Following up: Carson Fulmer slips backward

Plus: Lucas Giolito might have found a working curveball, and the latest round of cuts

Ten days ago, we discussed Carson Fulmer starting his spring off with a couple of dud outings. Poor outfield defense dragged him down in the first, but the second one was all on him and his inability to capitalize on two-strike counts.

At the time, his struggles didn’t warrant an overreaction because one good start could put him back on track. Sure enough, he made progress with a three-inning outing last Friday that featured a couple homers, but allowed him to build up his pitch count and get up and down multiple times. Improvement remained, but it resembled a start the way his others hadn’t.

Five days later, he once again failed to get out of the second inning. The Brewers lit him up for seven runs on five hits (three homers) and three walks. He failed to record a strikeout, but he hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

His highlight might’ve been getting squeezed by the umpire against Lorenzo Cain in the second inning, based on James Fegan’s report:

There were a couple calls Fulmer really wanted after going 1-2 to Lorenzo Cain in the second inning, but the at-bat ultimately resulted in a crucial two-out walk and preceded a Braun grand slam. A league scout in attendance admitted Fulmer might have gotten squeezed by the umpire, but that same scout also saw no trace that Fulmer was able to execute his pitches, nor repeat his delivery, nor command his fastball. Those are problems that usually keep a pitcher more than a few calls away from having success, and they’ve been present for much of spring.

While there’s a lot of noise in spring training stats, Fulmer’s line only tells one story: 6.2 IP, 18 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 7 HR, 10 BB, 5 K. Rick Renteria says he’s not repeating his delivery, which is the kind of thing that eliminates starting from a potential career path as he enters his third full pro season.

Hector Santiago is on the same schedule as Fulmer, and he’s still outpitching him, even during rougher patches. Santiago started in a minor-league game, allowing three runs on six hits and 2 1/3 innings, but at least he threw strikes (three K’s, no walks).

* * *

In encouraging starting pitching news, Jeff Sullivan watched Lucas Giolito’s start against the Cubs and saw an arm slot that might work better for him.

Giolito’s previous effectiveness was limited by an inability to locate his curveball against MLB hitters. Pitching against the North Siders, Giolito featured a lower arm slot that might reduce the impressive 12-6 drop of his breaking ball, but breaks tightly just the same, and in a manner that’s easier for him to locate.

* * *

Dylan Cease indeed left big-league camp on a high note, taking his excellent start against Seattle to the minor-league side as part of the White Sox’ latest round of cuts.

  • Optioned OF Daniel Palka and INF José Rondón to Class AAA Charlotte;
  • Optioned LHP Ian Clarkin and OF Eloy Jiménez to Class AA Birmingham;
  • Optioned OF Micker Adolfo and OF Luis Basabe to Class A Winston-Salem;
  • Reassigned RHP Dylan Cease and C Zack Collins to minor-league camp.

These assignments to specific camps don’t always stick when Opening Day rolls around, but they’re all appropriate. Jimenez might be overqualified for Birmingham, but he only played 18 games there last season, so they can say they’d like to see a little more in the big park.

A conservative assignment allows the White Sox to play Palka, Charlie Tilson and whichever outfielder loses the bench battle on an everyday basis in Charlotte. If it happens to be Ryan Cordell, those are three players the Sox haven’t seen play in front of them regularly. None of them deserve priority over Jimenez in even the medium term, but there’s value in seeing where their games stand before figuring out which one needs to get out of the way.

It also doesn’t hurt to give Jimenez a second hurdle between the farm and Chicago. One month in Birmingham, one month in Charlotte, and all of a sudden it’s the first week of June, when Super Two concerns can be set aside.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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madridsox

They should stop once and for all, trying to make a starter out of Fulmer. He might not even be a viable reliever at this point.

35Shields

Is it possible to overreact to a bad Fulmer start? What’s there to overreact about?

He just plain sucks. Before this year, his greatest accomplishment was throwing 20ish palatable innings of major league ball that a 5.69 FIP and .190 BABIP says were really just some SSS luck. His ERA in Charlotte is north of 5.50. He has no sense of the strike zone.

Maybe the Sox have brought him along too quickly, but then why is he a presumptive member of the opening day roster?

Red_Hair_White_Sox

Jim,

If I can make one suggested change to the site it would be to have block quotes look different. The current black box/white text is a little jarring and is creating an afterimage in my vision.

Thanks for all the hard work bringing us the best Sox coverage out there!

karkovice squad

Spoiler text is lower priority but it might also look better if it could be done in-line.

As Cirensica

Thumbs up

Red_Hair_White_Sox

Much, thanks Jim!

As Cirensica

I have said it in SSS, but I am discouraged by Fulmer and Rutherford. Two prospects that I am unsure will amount to anything in the Bigs.

joewho112

You should be unsure any prospect will amount to anything

Trooper Galactus

We really haven’t seen enough of Rutherford to draw any sweeping conclusions, and he has a lot of potential for development still. Fulmer, on the other hand, came in as a relatively finished product, and what little development remained for him hasn’t materialized at all.

L2R

Don’t let anyone throw away the measuring stick they use to gauge talent for draft picks and FA’s. It seems to be exceptionally consistent. Just zig when they say zag and we should be fine when it comes time to sign the free agents that get us over the hump.

As Cirensica

I am confused…Is Eloy ‘zigging or zagging”?

L2R

Not hard at all to explain- now that I have been here a couple of weeks.

OPS * BABIP / (PA/SO) * SQUARE ROOT OF (wRC+) + (wRAA)
When the regular season actually starts, the (wRC+) is added to (LIPS) and divided by pi. (LIPS cannot be counted during spring training)

In more simplified terms, he is mostly zagging when he is supposed to zag but zigs with anomalies or fliers if your using minitab to triangulate. This is what left a devot about half way between home and first base last week and what Jake tripped over that the camera didn’t catch as he ran to first.

Oh, and you are most welcome

PauliePaulie

Sickels posted his top 175 prospect list. 6 Sox in the top 54 + Collins at #124.

Trooper Galactus

Link, or is there a paywall?

jorgefabregas

Looks like the Angels broadcast will be on MLB.TV this evening if anyone wants to check in on Giolito.

PopeDonnPall

Ugh. I thought Chris did a good job. Better than the couple prior to him. What a shame.

jorgefabregas

So does this mean they won’t have a White Sox beat? Or they’ll just hire someone and underpay them?

krushcuts

Took the wife and kid to the Brewers game as part of our annual spring training trip. We walked in,  immediately found the concessions line, and heard the following things that served as a harbinger of bad times: “Now in RF, Jacob May” and “we’re out of brats; we only have fishsticks.” Moments after we got our subpar food, Braun welcomed us to our lawn seat with his second HR.

After 2016 going to Peoria to see the Sox play SD and enjoying the a blend of Seattle and San Diego beers (Red Hook and Ballast Point were the features), then Camelback last year, which had a decent beer selection… I was completely disappointed with the offerings at Maryvale. Basically just Miller Lite, Blue Moon, and Angry Orchard. Also, the outfield berm is dangerous as hell. Between nearly sliding all the way down to the concrete wall in left and the constant threat of batting practice moonshots, it was not a fun lawn experience. I did manage to get some good photos at the game that I will one day post.

Anyway, does anyone have a favorite spring training park? We’re going to continue the tradition as we have some family in Tucson and it’s a good way to break up the early spring grey weather in Seattle to do it over spring break.

PauliePaulie

I also enjoyed Mariners stadium. Saw Latos way back in ’09 absolutely dominate. DBacks/Rox stadium is a good one.

krushcuts

Nice, thanks for the tip.

The M’s/Pads stadium was really nice. The LF fan deck was really nice. We had some drinks on the couches out there while our daughter (like 6 months at the time) napped. If I recall correctly, there were at least two bombs Sox players hit that ricocheted of the metal roofing. Really cool place to watch a game.

lil jimmy

Angels in Tempe. Closer to Tucson. Get the jump on leaving the parking lots though.

krushcuts

Thanks for the tip, Jimmy. That’s the one I’ve always driven past and wanted to check out. It does look like a nightmare to get out of, especially on a weekday during rush hour.

Antiegus

I have kind off lost touch with Jim Margalus after his reviewing of the offseason plans for the white sox in SSS, in which EGUS gave my plan consistently the worst review because I had them trading Sale and Quintana. (2014) I am curious of how Egus and others think of the rebuild plan now. Opinions”””