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White Sox call up Carson Fulmer, activate Justin Morneau

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carson Fulmer throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The White Sox will open the second half with reinforcements from within.

Prior to their series opener against the Angels, their first action after four days off for the All-Star break, the Sox activated designated hitter-first baseman Justin Morneau from his injury rehabilitation assignment at AA Birmingham purchased the contract of right-hander Carson Fulmer from Class AA Birmingham.

Fulmer, the 22-year-old eighth overall pick in the 2005 draft, was 4-9 with a 4.76 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 51 walks over 17 starts with Birmingham. Fulmer struggled with control problems early on but has been better of late. Over his last three starts he was 1-1 with a 0.95 ERA and 22 strikeouts.

Fulmer pitched a scoreless inning for the United States at the All-Star Futures game last Sunday in San Diego. He is expected to pitch out of the bullpen, which is an area of need for the club short on bullpen depth after injuries to Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka and Daniel Webb. Before Fulmer, the Sox got first-round picks Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon acclimated to the major leagues by using them out of the bullpen. Both are starters now.

Morneau, 35, agreed to terms on a one-year contract on June 9 and has been recovering from offseason surgery to repair the primary flexor in his left elbow. He appeared in eight games with Charlotte and Birmingham on his rehab assignment and is expected to be in the starting lineup this weekend as the DH.

Justin Morneau was the 2006 American League Most Valuable Player.

A career .282 hitter with 241 home runs and 960 RBI, Morneau is a former MVP and four-time All-Star with the Minnesotat Twins. He batted .319 with the Colorado Rockies in 2014 to win the NL batting title and hit .310 in 49 games with the Rockies last season.

Outfielder Jason Coats was optioned to AAA Charlotte to make room for Morneau. Right-hander Chris Beck was sent down Sunday to open the other spot. The Sox 40-man roster is at 40.