CLEVELAND -- If Nate Jones had his druthers, a 6.58 ERA would not have been attached to his name over April and May. But through adversity, Jones learned more about himself and his game out of the bullpen than he did during his breakthrough rookie campaign of 2012.
"They say it's called finding out the hard way," Jones said. "It was zero fun at all going through it, but I'm glad I did. I learned what I need to work on and how to deal with struggles and stuff like that.
"It was pretty frustrating. I wouldn't say I was doubting myself. I was just, I knew what I could do, what I was capable of and it just wasn't happening at all. And so I was just pretty hard on myself."
The hard-throwing right-hander worked with pitching coach Don Cooper to change his results, focusing simply on throwing more strikes with all of his pitches. He has allowed five earned runs over his last 26 innings, compared to 19 earned runs allowed in his first 26, and he has held first batters faced to a .111 average.
"I think the biggest thing is getting ahead," Jones said. "Throwing that first-pitch strike and throwing more strikes with the slider and changeup. That's helped me get out of that hole pretty good."
Rios rumors spark as Yankees enter picture
CLEVELAND -- The Yankees have renewed interest in White Sox right fielder Alex Rios, according to a baseball source, but that potential trade would need Rios' approval, with the Yankees one of six teams on his no-trade list.
Rios didn't talk specifically about the Yankees possibility on Tuesday before the team's game against the Indians, during which he left in the eighth inning after fouling a ball off his left foot in the eighth inning. He did speak briefly before the game about this entire process moving into Wednesday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline wearing him down a bit.
"Yep, I don't want to talk about trades," said Rios with a bit of a forced smile. "There's been too many things being said. It's a distraction right now.
"But hopefully it's Aug. 1 and it's in the past. Whatever happens, if I'm here, I'm here. If I'm somewhere else ... It would be nice for this to be all over, you know?"
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has talked to Paul Kinzer, Rios' agent, a few times to keep him updated. The rumored trade talk involving the Pirates and Rios appears to have lost most of its steam. Talks centered around Rios had quieted down enough over the past few days to where it looked as if he would finish the season in Chicago, until the Yankees entered the picture.
According to Rios, dealing with this present scenario is crazier personally than when he was claimed off waivers by the White Sox from the Blue Jays in 2009.
"There are more teams involved in talks and more discussions than back then," Rios said. "But yeah, a little crazy."
Rienzo's debut historic for Brazil
CLEVELAND -- Before Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes was even asked the question pregame Tuesday, he knew what was coming.
Andre Rienzo, the White Sox rookie right-hander, was scheduled to make his Major League debut at Progressive Field with Gomes hitting ninth against him. They represent the only natives of Brazil in the Majors.
"I guess it's just another big step for what we've been talking about, getting Brazil on the map," said Gomes, who didn't know Rienzo growing up but caught him on the first night of the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament. "It's going to be exciting. We're both kind of nervous. I'm even kind of nervous, and I've been up here for a little bit already. It'll be exciting to see what he does. Hopefully, he sticks around."
ESPN Brazil broadcast the Indians' 7-4 comeback victory across the country, according to the White Sox. Additionally, ESPN Brazil will be picking up the raw audio/video feed of WCIU's broadcast, with Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Tom Paciorek (subbing for Steve Stone) being heard across Brazil during the broadcast. According to Major League Baseball's international broadcasting department, there was not Portuguese subtitles on the broadcast.
Josh Phegley caught Rienzo with Triple-A Charlotte and provided a thorough scouting report of what to expect.
"He's got a good fastball to both sides of the plate. He's got a two-seamer and a four-seamer," said Phegley of the club's No. 17 prospect per MLB.com. "But good offspeed, good breaking stuff. I think he's got a big, sharp curveball and a cutter/slider kind of thing. He's effective. He throws them all for strikes. He's going to be pretty good.
"Huge competitor. He's a bulldog out there. He's an awesome guy to have in the clubhouse. I've seen him for a couple of years. He's just going to go out there and give you everything he's got. He's a perfectionist on the mound. He just competes. He wants to throw his best pitch every pitch."
Having Phegley in place should help Rienzo with the adjustment process.
"I remember how nervous I was on my first day," Phegley said. "It's going to be hard to go from telling him to just relax and throw your game."
Rienzo allowed three runs (all unearned) over seven innings in a no-decision. Gomes went 1-for-2 against with a walk and a strikeout against his countryman.