GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Fulmer, the White Sox’ first-round draft pick who will head to AA Birmingham for more seasoning, closed the curtain on his first spring training with mixed results in the Sox’ split-squad game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night.
In his last outing of the spring — Fulmer was reassigned to minor league camp after the game — the 22-year-old right-hander pitched 4 1/3 innings, his Cactus League high in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory before a sellout crowd at Camelback Ranch. After pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the A’s in his previous outing, Fulmer found himself in trouble almost every inning but often pitched out of it, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out four.
Fulmer needs more than his 22 Class A innings before he’s ready to join the Sox — likely before season’s end.
“There are experiences that go on there you need,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You need some innings just to have a nice foundation.”
“Each time I go out I feel more comfortable,” Fulmer said after Saturday’s outing.
“This spring has been great, regardless of what happens. I’m just glad to have this experience.”
Fulmer, a College World Series star at Vanderbilt, said he is confident he can pitch at the major league level. He added a cut fastball to his arsenal this spring and changed the grip on his changeup. He pitched to a 4.85 ERA this spring.
“Huge,” he said of his confidence level. “I’m definitely confident. Coming into spring you just have to know your stuff works at this level. The more you get out there, the better it is. There’s a comfort level of being on that stage and facing these caliber of hitters.
“This was an experience I definitely won’t forget.”
Tyler Saladino connected for his fourth homer of the spring and Jose Abreu slugged his third. Dioner Navarro, J.B. Shuck and Austin Jackson each had two hits for the Sox (12-11).
Sox left-hander Dan Jennings gave up back-to-back home runs to Willie Calhoun and Cody Bellinger, both left-handed hitters, in relief.