Carson Fulmer doesn’t want his last start of the season to be one in which he recorded only one out, but another appearance isn’t guaranteed quite yet.
The White Sox 2015 first-round pick was forced from Thursday night’s game after struggling with a blister on his throwing hand. He lasted only three batters, two of which he walked.
“Obviously, nothing’s really wrong with me physically,” Fulmer said. “Arm feels great, body feels awesome, just a blister that got kind of raw. I just need to take a couple days, let it come back and make my next start.”
Whether he gets the ball again depends on the healing process. With only eight games remaining, Rick Renteria won’t commit to giving the 23-year-old another start until he knows the blister won’t be an issue.
“It’d be premature for me to say anything about that,” Renteria said. “Obviously when you’re holding the baseball in a very sensitive spot with your fingers, you got to be able to feel comfortable with it.”
The blister came during Fulmer’s best stretch in the majors. He threw six innings in each of his past two starts, allowing only one earned run in both. On his Sept. 10 start against the Giants, he whiffed a career-high nine batters.
Despite having to, in essence, miss Thursday’s start, Fulmer isn’t worried about being taken out of his groove.
“I don’t think my momentum is going to go anywhere,” he said. “The bullpen I threw yesterday before the game was really, really good. Just had some issues with some of the stuff that was covering it, started cutting some balls here and there and it was tough to throw a cutter sometimes just because of the pressure I put on it.”
Even with the White Sox seemingly taking a cautious approach to protect their young prospects, each start is valuable experience for Fulmer. He will likely be competing against the likes of Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez and possible veteran free agent signings for a back end rotation spot come Spring Training, and pitching well against big league hitting now could go a long way in securing the role.
"I threw 160, 170 innings this year and haven't had an issue with (injury)," Fulmer said.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get back out there."