Carson Fulmer Called Up, Looks Decent, Immediately Sent Down
Just before yesterday’s White Sox game against the Rays, I saw the unexpected news of the day: Carson Fulmer was getting the call to Chicago after Ryan Cordell was optioned to Charlotte.
I could get into asking why Cordell was sent down over Palka, but that’s a story for a different time. The team clearly needed a fifth starter with the Opening Series rest days ending, and like most Sox fans I was anticipating seeing Ervin Santana in Chicago. But nope, we got the return of Carson Fulmer to the big league club.
A former top prospect for the South Siders and their first round pick in the 2015 draft out of Vandy, Fulmer had struggled in most of his appearances in the majors thus far. With a career record of 5-7 to go along with an ERA of 6.53, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see Carson Fulmer until a little bit later this year, once injuries had set in. But here we are in the 2019 season after a couple brutal losses to the Mariners after the thrilling home opener.
The crazy thing is, Fulmer actually looked pretty decent yesterday. He lasted three innings in relief of Carlos Rodon, who couldn’t follow up his electric outing in Cleveland last week. He added three strikeouts and only allowed one run and three hits, stopping the bleeding at 4-0 Rays. Overall, he had good command and looked comfortable out there.
And perhaps most importantly, he saved some arms in the bullpen. The bullpen has been an absolute weakness this season, in both performance and the handling of it. In terms of performance, just look at the numbers this year out of the bullpen, courtesy of baseball reference.
With the exception of Herrera and Colome, this is just God awful. No ERA’s below 6 besides those two. Not exactly ideal. Yeah, I know it’s early but come on. We need any bright spots we can get here. And if our starters struggle, these guys are only going to get more exposure.
Why continue to trot out fillers like Jones, Banuelos, Ruiz, Covey (while he was up) rather than a younger guy like Fulmer. While he has struggled, he does still have some potential so you might as well see what you got. I mean what’s the worst that could happen, he gets blown up like all the other guys? I’m willing to see what Carson can do this year while we’re still building a full time lineup.
Well, at least we’ll be able to Carson Fulmer for a little bit now, right? Wrong, he got sent down immediately yesterday in another ~savvy~ move by Ricky Hahn to make room for Ervin Santana.
I get bringing up Santana to start, because in all likelihood any possible future for Fulmer is in the pen. And that’s fine, an arm that still has some upside as a long relief/utility reliever would be valuable for a team with a young and inconsistent starting staff. So why not leave him up and see how he develops? That’s the million dollar question right there.
Maybe someday we’ll see more of Carson Fulmer in Chicago, but that day is yet to come. I do feel for the guy, despite the struggles he has been shuffled between the pen and rotation, which makes it hard to settle into a role. And as the first prospect I remember being excited about seeing in the early stages of this rebuild, I have a soft spot in my heart for Carson. Here’s to hoping he gets his chance and can put it together out of the pen.