White Sox notes: Fulmer, Saladino, Sanchez, Soto, Bonifacio

SHARE White Sox notes: Fulmer, Saladino, Sanchez, Soto, Bonifacio

CLEVELAND – The White Sox’ first-round draft pick passed his first test at Class A Winston-Salem Thursday night.

Carson Fulmer, a hard-throwing right-hander with a big curve, started and pitched two scoreless innings in his Dash debut. Fulmer struck out three, walked one and gave up one hit, a double to Carolina Mudcats catcher Jose Briceno.

Drafted eighth overall out of Vanderbilt, Fulmer was perhaps the closest pitcher to being big-league ready in the draft. The Sox figure to move him along quickly, as they did with 2014 No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon who is in the 2015 starting rotation, but like Rodon, Fulmer won’t get to the majors until he goes through a spring training.

Fulmer made his professional debut with one scoreless inning in the Arizona League Saturday.

Fulmer was named the National Pitcher of the Year after going 14-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings as a junior at Vandy.

The next best thing

It was somewhat bittersweet for Tyler Saladino when he made his major league debut at Wrigley Field, knowing his father couldn’t get away from his job to be there to see his son’s dream come true.

Perhaps the best consolation prize for a major league dad would be watching the kid play in the majors for the first time at Fenway Park, which is where Saladino’s dad will be when the White Sox play there next week.

Saladino held his own playing at Wrigley and U.S. Cellular Field, hitting safely in seven of nine games for a .318 average with two homers and contributing very good defense at third base. Progressive Field, where the Sox opened a four-game series Thursday, was his third park, and Saladino’s mother and relatives on her side who hail from Ohio were in attendance.

Fenway is the next stop and that will be special because pops will be there. When Saladino got called up from AAA Charlotte on July 9, the first call was to his father.

“He’s one of my closest friends, so we just sat back and enjoyed it,’’ Saladino said.

Hello, Leury

Utility man Emilio Bonifacio was placed on the bereavement list for three days and Leury Garcia was called up to fill the roster spot. Garcia, who batted .166 in 73 games last season, was hitting .301 at AAA Charlotte. Garcia entered Thursday’s game at second base in the eighth inning and singled in his only at-bat.

More time for Soto

Geovany Soto made his 35th start behind the plate and his 19th with Jeff Samardzija pitching. Soto had homered in consecutive starts and had four in his last 11.

“He’s going to get more time,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.

With the July 31 trade deadline approaching, Soto also figures to have some value in a possible deal with a team looking for depth at catcher. While not an everyday player, the 32-year-old veteran is looked up to in the clubhouse as a team leader.

Sanchez holds it together

It took a season-high five-game hitting streak and 11 hits over his last nine games for Carlos Sanchez to get his average at .200.

“My confidence is coming back,’’ said Sanchez, who got called up to shore up the Sox defense – after he hit .344 at AAA Charlotte.

When he came to Chicago, his second stint after a September callup in 2014, he felt lost.

“I was feeling good and suddenly I couldn’t hit,’’ Sanchez said.

Sanchez has hit better since he adjusted his stance and started swinging sooner.

The defense has been steady, and flashy at times.  The 23-year-old shows no fear of contact turning the double play.

“He’s very good at getting rid of the ball, even on bad feeds he can get the ball out pretty well,’’ said Gordon Beckham, one of the best around at turning two when he manned second base on a regular basis.

“He’s a very solid defender all the way around. He does a lot of good things right.’’

This and that

The Sox hit a season high four homers, including two by Melky Cabrera and one by Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez.

Cabrera, a switch-hitter, homered from both sides of the plate for the third time in his career and became the first Sox to do that since Nick Swisher in 2008.

*Adam LaRoche went 0-f0r-4 with strikeouts in his last three at-bats, dropping his batting average to .215.

*Sox pitchers own a 2.65 ERA over the last 11 games.

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