Throughout this season, much of the focus on the White Sox top pitching prospects has been focused on two pitchers, Erik Johnson and Simon Castro. After Johnson's injury earlier this month, there was some worry. If the Sox were able to trade Jake Peavy, Johnson was seen as the guy to slide right into that spot. That changed with Johnson's injury.
Somewhat quietly, Andre Rienzo has turned his season around in a big way. After starting out with ERAs of 7.62 and 5.67 in April and May respectively, Rienzo has bounced back with ERAs of 2.27 in June and 1.59 in July before tonight. This turn around helped him to be a part of the Futures game on the World team where he made quick work of the U.S. team in an impressive inning.
It's going to hard for him to find any room for improvement after Thursday night, as Rienzo threw a seven-inning no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader against the Indianapolis Indians. It's the kind of performance that could move him to the front of the line for the next open rotation spot, especially if Erik Johnson needs to take his time rehabbing a groin injury.
The game wasn't without blemishes though. Carlos Sanchez and Mike McDade both committed errors, while Rienzo gave up four walks and a wild pitch. In the end, he was able to pull through partially by striking out 11 Indianapolis batters in the game. Rienzo is now leading International League pitchers with 113 strikeouts.
Rienzo's no-hitter is the second by White Sox minor leaguers this season. Three Kannapolis Intimidators -- pitchers Braulio Ortiz, Adam Lopez, and Joe Dvorsky -- combined for a seven-inning no-hitter on June 5, 2013. This also comes three days after Scott Snodgress lost a no-hitter with one out in the ninth.