NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Andre Rienzo stood as the lone White Sox representative among the 32 players confirmed early to take part in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, as released on Monday.
Rienzo, the fast-rising right-handed prospect with a chance to make the White Sox Opening Day roster, will pitch for Brazil after posting a 7-3 record and 2.53 ERA over 18 starts made between Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season.
Hector Santiago already has mentioned plans to pitch for Puerto Rico, while Jose Quintana could suit up for Colombia. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn certainly expects more than Rienzo to take part and has mixed feelings about their participation during Spring Training.
"It's tough because you get conflicted," Hahn said. "You are wearing your White Sox hat and you want to protect all your guys and have them under your watchful eye and being able to monitor what they are doing vs. trying to wear your 'what's good for the industry hat' and realize this is a big event and a big deal for baseball. It has international appeal.
"You want to do what you can to support them," said Hahn, before adding with a smile, "I'm paid to wear a White Sox hat right now."
One player who will not be participating is Chris Sale. The White Sox All-Star southpaw told MLB.com earlier this offseason that it would be a thrill to represent his country and pitch for Team USA, but he has to put the White Sox first.
"I don't think throwing in competition earlier than I was supposed to be is best for myself and the team," Sale told MLB.com during a phone interview from his Florida home. "I want to be as strong as I can for the whole year, for myself and for my team. I want to still have gas left in the tank if we get into October like I hope."