GLENDALE, Ariz. — White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito was put to the test Sunday.
After allowing two home runs in the first two innings against the Athletics, Giolito kept his composure and didn’t unravel like he has in the past. He got through the next 2‰ innings with efficient, quick outs and allowed only one more run.
Along with altering his arm swing, one of Giolito’s biggest adjustments this offseason has been in his mental game.
“I’m not stressing anymore with runners on base,” Giolito said. “If I walk a guy — I walked three today — it’s not eating at me like it would last year where I’m thinking about something that happened in the past instead of the next pitch. My focus is much more on every single pitch, one at a time, [instead of] this inning is getting out of hand, things are getting out of hand.”
Giolito’s was the longest outing by a Sox starter this spring. He allowed five hits and struck out three.
“From a feel-body perspective, ball’s coming out better, better spin, better velocity, curveball today was the most consistent it’s been in a couple of years, so, yeah, all good things,” Giolito said. “The stat line didn’t really show how I felt about the game.”
Year of reckoning?
Right-hander Carson Fulmer knows what’s at stake this year.
After beginning last season as the Sox’ fifth starter, Fulmer struggled in the majors with an 8.07 ERA in 32⅓ innings. The result was a demotion to Class AAA Charlotte in May.
This spring, Fulmer isn’t fighting for a spot in the rotation; he’s just trying to break camp with the team.
Fulmer’s inconsistency led to his demise in 2018. So this offseason, he went back to the basics.
“I went back to a lot of stuff I did in college,” Fulmer said. “Really just polishing up my pitches. Making sure my off-speed stays in the zone and working on fastball command, which I’ve been able to do pretty well this spring.”
Fulmer said he “definitely would be disappointed” if he’s not on the Sox’ Opening Day roster. But for now, his conversations with manager Rick Renteria and general manager Rick Hahn have been positive.
“I have to show people that I am consistent,” said Fulmer, who has a 9.00 ERA in nine innings. “That’s how you stick in the big leagues. I trust my ability. I know I can get guys out at that level; it’s just about being able to go out there and help us continue to win ballgames.”
Nicky Delmonico, who suffered a concussion Thursday after crashing into the left-field wall while trying to make a catch, was spotted for a second consecutive day at Camelback Ranch, but Renteria cautioned not to read into it.
Renteria said Delmonico is “still progressing” and is “definitely in a better place today,” though he’ll continue to be monitored as part of the concussion protocol.
† Right-hander Ervin Santana, who’s expected to fill the fifth spot in the Sox’ rotation once he’s healthy, looked good while throwing four innings in a simulated game on a back field, Renteria said. He’s expected to pitch again in five days.
Santana, who signed a minor-league deal with the Sox on Feb. 23, had a middle-finger injury that sidelined him most of last season.