While many White Sox fans have abandoned viewing Carson Fulmer as a busted pick, he still may have a place in the team’s future rotation.
Carson Fulmer started a game for the White Sox Tuesday night. It was his first start as a White Sox since May 18, 2018, when he went two innings and gave up eight earned runs. This was purely a bullpen day and Fulmer was just the choice to start as an opener. However, I don’t think it’s too late to give up on him.
Fulmer has made only 13 starts in his career with the White Sox in the four years he’s been with the organization. By comparison, Lucas Giolito was given 39 starts in 2017 and 2018 before he was able to turn it around this season. Reynaldo Lopez made 40 starts in 2017-2018 plus the 16 he’s gotten this year.
Fulmer’s ERA was an atrocious 8.07 in the eight games he started last year but the question remains – why have Giolito and Lopez been given so much more leniency and time to develop at the big league level?
Fulmer was the #8 overall pick in 2015. He came from a Vanderbilt squad that had just made two College World Series finals appearances. He was the college national pitcher of the year with a 1.83 ERA. Obviously, the kid has loads of talent. He didn’t just forget how to pitch.
Have the White Sox failed him in his development or was he, as many believe, a failed pick? It’s quite apparent he hasn’t lived up to being the Sox top pick to this point. I have no argument there, but I cannot believe that the White Sox have more fault in his lack of success than he does. Yes, everyone can look back and say they should have selected his Vandy teammate Walker Buehler instead of him but that could be said in every draft for every team.
Fulmer has been used solely as a middle reliever this entire season, both in Chicago and Charlotte. His recent outings in Chicago have shown he still has the stuff to be a Major League pitcher. Maybe his role will ultimately end up being a middle reliever or perhaps a late inning set up guy. It’s probably not wise to let him pitch 5+ innings as a starter due to him not being extended past a couple innings per outing so far this year.
However, with the horrible rotation issues the Sox currently have, let’s let Fulmer get the nod every 5th day. Let him pitch a couple innings to start with and gradually push him out to four, five and even six innings if possible. It’s a much better option than what the Sox have thrown out there recently.
On Tuesday night against the Red Sox, he pitched two innings, gave up two hits, zero earned runs and struck out three. That tells me he’s got the stuff to pitch in the big leagues.
Giolito and Lopez were given much more time to harness their stuff. It’s time to let Fulmer go and see what he can do one more time.