Fulmer Follows Familiar Path To Majors

CHICAGOThe approach worked for Chris Sale, and it worked for Carlos Rodon.

The White Sox are hoping righthander Carson Fulmer is the next success story.

Like southpaws Sale and Rodon, Fulmer is a first-round pick. And like Sale and Rodon, Fulmer didn’t spend much time in the minor leagues before breaking into the majors as a reliever.

“We’re at a point where our guys felt he was ready to contribute right now,” big league manager Robin Ventura said. “We’ve been a little banged up in the bullpen, so we’re hoping he can fill that up and be useful.”

Still projected to be a starter for the White Sox, likely in 2017, Fulmer pitched in just 26 minor league games after being drafted No. 8 overall in 2015 out of Vanderbilt.

The 22-year-old righthander made 17 starts at Double-A Birmingham this season before Chicago called him up after the all-star break.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Fulmer said. “I’m trying to soak in every moment I have here.”

Fulmer went 4-9, 4.76 in 17 starts with the Barons, recording 9.3 strikeouts and 5.3 walks per nine innings.

Fulmer struggled early, but in his three starts before getting called up, he allowed just two earned runs in 19 innings while striking out 22. He also struck out two while pitching a perfect inning in the Futures Game.

Fulmer said he turned the corner at Birmingham after making an adjustment.

“I slowed down (my delivery) too much toward the beginning of the year,” he said. “I was able to look at some footage of when I felt comfortable at Vanderbilt, and I was able to get back to where I was. The upward tempo and moving quicker from the start, that’s what has gotten me back.”

Fulmer also said he was pressing early with the Barons.

“I was trying to be too fine,” he said. “Once you hit adversity, you try to make a perfect pitch, and you try to throw the ball in the exact spot that you want to. I feel like that digs you a deeper hole. Before the all-star break, I went back to the simpler approach of continuing to throw my pitches in the strike zone.”


• When catcher Alex Avila went on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in early July, the White Sox called up Omar Narvaez from Triple-A Charlotte. Chicago selected Narvaez as a minor league Rule 5 pick in 2013.

• In his first game at high Class A Winston-Salem, first-round pick Zack Collins went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer.

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