6/11/2014 9:25 P.M. ET
Petricka having success in the strike zone
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The secret to Jake Petricka's success seems very simple: throw strikes.
It's the same basic theory espoused by any confident pitcher. But when Petricka gets the ball over the plate this season, the opposition has found it tough to make solid contact.
Petricka has a 0.77 ERA and .158 opponents' average over his last 19 games, with 17 of those appearances being scoreless.
"I've been fortunate that balls hit hard are at people," Petricka said. "It's part of the game. But I need to throw it over the plate and stop putting myself in the jams."
As a pitcher with 60 of his 100 career Minor League efforts coming as a starter, Petricka admits to still having the mentality on trying to be perfect with every pitch. But as a reliever, he has less room to work with walks as he found out on June 3 against the Dodgers. The 26-year-old walked Yasiel Puig trying to be too careful and then walked Hanley Ramirez in a 10-pitch battle, ending his night after two batters.
"It's not a bad habit, but it is a bad habit," said Petricka of trying to be too perfect. "You have to attack the center of the plate. The other night [against the Dodgers], I walked two batters and my night is over. You don't get a chance to find that groove and keep going."
Rienzo using extra time to work on adjustments
CHICAGO -- Andre Rienzo was scheduled to start Wednesday's contest against the Tigers, but because of Tuesday's postponement, the right-hander was skipped and moved to Sunday, with John Danks staying on his regular turn.
"It just makes sense," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the rotation adjustment. "We had Chris [Sale] that was going [Thursday] anyway. Give [Rienzo] some time. He might be tired. I think it just makes sense to skip him and get him in over the weekend."
Rienzo started the season at Triple-A Charlotte and then won four of his first six starts with the White Sox and made three quality starts during that stretch. But Rienzo has struggled since, losing three straight and giving up 12 earned runs over his last 12 innings.
This down time has allowed Rienzo to put in extra work with pitching coach Don Cooper. He understands location down in the zone becomes crucial for a pitcher who doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he also is focusing on his release point.
"I made mistakes the last two games, and I paid for that," Rienzo said. "They are making me work a little bit with Cooper and [White Sox bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen], so we can make the mistakes not happen anymore.
"It's minimal, but I need to find it again. This timing is good to find it."
Despite the rough stretch, the White Sox stand behind Rienzo as a starter.
"I'm glad they're so confident in me," Rienzo said. "I had pretty good games the first four games, and now I have a little bit of shake. But I like the confidence shown in me, and I want to answer that with good games."
Nine of top 10 Draft picks among signings
CHICAGO -- The White Sox agreed to terms with 28 players from their 2014 First-Year Player Draft class, including nine of their Top 10 selections. Carlos Rodon, the third selection overall, is the only player not signed of that first 10.
This list of signees includes second-round pick Spencer Adams, third-round pick Jace Fry and fourth-round pick Brett Austin. Adams, a right-handed hurler from White County High School in Georgia, was at the ballpark Wednesday and signed at a full recommended slot value of $1,282,700, per MLB.com's Jim Callis. Callis also confirmed that Fry, a southpaw from Oregon State, came in at $760,000, which was above the recommended $726,000.
Adams produced a 0.72 ERA with 90 strikeouts as a senior at White County High School, while Fry finished 11-2 with a 1.80 ERA in 16 starts as a junior for Oregon State. Austin served as Rodon's catcher at North Carolina St. and will remain a catcher in the White Sox organization.
Speed skater Alvarez signs with White Sox
CHICAGO -- There have been plenty of two-sport athletes who have dotted the White Sox landscape.
Josh Fields and Joe Borchard were accomplished collegiate quarterbacks, while Hall of Famer Frank Thomas spent time as a tight end with the Auburn football program to name a few. But in Eddy Alvarez, the White Sox might have their most unique combination of athletic ability.
Alvarez, 24, tweeted on Wednesday that he has signed with the White Sox. An accomplished collegiate shortstop at Salt Lake Community College, Alvarez is better known for winning a 2014 Olympic silver medal in the 5,000 meter relay of short track speed skating. Alvarez already is in Glendale, Ariz., working out, according to the ballclub.
Third to first
• The White Sox acquired right-handed pitcher Shawn Hill from Toronto in exchange for cash and assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte. Hill, 33, who pitched for the Expos in '04, posted a 2-1 record with a 4.85 ERA in six games with Triple-A Buffalo.
• Tim Anderson, the club's top pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and current shortstop for Class A Winston-Salem, was added to the Carolina League All-Star Team. Anderson and outfielder Courtney Hawkins, the team's top selection in the 2012 Draft, will represent the Dash in the Carolina-California League All-Star Game on June 17 in Wilmington, Del.
Anderson ranks among the Carolina League leaders in slugging percentage (third, .489), triples (third, seven), total bases (third, 109), hits (tied for third, 69), extra-base hits (fourth, 25) and average (fifth, .309). Anderson is hitting .443 (31-for-70) over his last 16 games.
• Freshmen outfielders Corey Ray (Louisville) and Ro Coleman (Vanderbilt), products of the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program, will compete at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Ray and Coleman, who were teammates at Simeon Career Academy, are the first ACE members to play in the World Series. Louisville and Vanderbilt meet on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CT.