Fulmer optioned to Charlotte after White Sox loss to Rangers
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Carson Fulmer could not find the strike zone.
Nicky Delmonico broke a bone in his right hand when he was hit by a pitch.
Oh, and it rained.
It was another brutal night for the White Sox in a season already filled with them.
Fulmer was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte after Friday’s 12-5 loss to the Rangers. His ERA ballooned from 6.23 to 8.07 as he allowed eight runs in two-plus innings. He gave up three hits, walked five, hit two batters and threw two wild pitches.
The 24-year-old buried his head in a towel as he grabbed a seat in the dugout.
“This isn’t the last time you’re going to see Carson Fulmer,” Rick Renteria said. “This is just a little reset, which happens from time to time.”
Fulmer will join Charlotte’s starting rotation, and the Sox do not plan to move him to the bullpen. One item Fulmer needs to work on is a mechanical issue that causes his delivery to kick side to side instead of straight up and down.
“We’re trying to clean that up so it’s a more direct line,” Renteria said. “Those are things that he’s been trying to work on. That, and with the weight of trying to help win a major-league ballgame on a daily basis, you compound it. Now, instead of bogging him down, we’re going to try to alleviate a little bit of that stress.”
Delmonico also will be out for four to six weeks after he broke the third metacarpal in his right hand. The left fielder immediately grabbed his hand and dropped to a knee after he was hit by a pitch in the second inning.
The Sox will announce corresponding roster moves Saturday to replace Fulmer and Delmonico.
The short-term outlook is less than sunny for the Sox. But to label the season a waste or Fulmer a bust is likely premature.
Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin watched Fulmer shine during a three-year career that included one College World Series title and another runner-up finish. The dominance led the Sox to select Fulmer with the eighth overall pick in 2015.
Corbin pointed to ex-Cub Jake Arrieta, who endured several up-and-down seasons before becoming a Cy Young winner. Corbin coached Arrieta with Team USA in 2006, and he said Fulmer had a similar blend of toughness and talent.
“When I spoke to a couple general managers before that draft, I said, ‘He’s like the Joe Frazier of college baseball,’ ” Corbin said. “I said, ‘This guy comes for your chin, and he just keeps coming.’ I’ve never seen someone so ferocious and so determined.
“Now, I understand that college baseball is a sprint in comparison with professional baseball. But those fibers and components are real, and they exist in the human being, and they will serve him as he proceeds through these next couple of years.
“He’s still a young kid. He got brought up out of college, and within a year he was pitching in the big leagues. Whether that was good, bad or indifferent doesn’t matter, that’s what happened. But going forward, Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox will get something out of that kid. He is a winning piece of anyone’s roster, and I’d put my name on it. I’d bet on him any day.”
Fulmer’s voice cracked as he vowed to return to the Sox as soon as possible.
“Gotta go work on some stuff,” he said. “It definitely hasn’t [played] out the way I wanted it to. It’s tough to handle, but I think that I have to take responsibility for my actions and my performance and continue to work like I always have. Continue to battle and move on to the next one and accomplish as much as I can.”