White Sox

White Sox: Carson Fulmer hopes to follow Chris Sale's path

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White Sox: Carson Fulmer hopes to follow Chris Sale's path

Chris Sale forged the fast-track route from Lakeland, Fla. to the major leagues five years ago, and Carson Fulmer is well aware of it.

Like Sale, Fulmer — selected eighth overall by the White Sox in Monday’s MLB Draft — calls Lakeland, a city of about 100,000 that sits between Tampa and Orlando, home. The Vanderbilt right-hander hasn’t met the White Sox ace, and his family only has loose connections to the Sale family.

But Fulmer and a few relatives made it a point to find a Buffalo Wild Wings Monday in Champaign, Ill. — where Vanderbilt beat Illinois to book a second straight trip to the College World Series — to watch Sale’s 14-strikeout masterpiece against Houston. Sooner rather than later, Fulmer hopes to join Sale in The Show.

“Growing up and seeing a guy like Chris Sale from my hometown with the White Sox and the impact that he’s made on the organization. I was pumped up for it,” Fulmer said. “I definitely wanted to become a part of the White Sox organization.

“I’m pumped up for the opportunity and I definitely want to make an impact right away.”

[MORE: Chris Sale strikes out 14 as White Sox top Astros]

Fulmer fits the fast-track profile, having pitched out of the bullpen during the Commodores’ run to the College World Series title a year ago. He has 298 strikeouts in 258 collegiate innings and while he said he prefers starting over relieving, his big fastball-curveball combination and experience pitching on a pressure-packed stage could make him a candidate to rocket through the farm system and into the White Sox bullpen.

It’s a path traversed by Sale and Carlos Rodon before him, and White Sox scouting director Doug Laumann said Monday Fulmer could be capable of following in those left-handers’ footsteps.

“There’s questions about starting or relieving and for me (but) I just want to impact the team, I want to help the team as much as possible right from the get-go,” Fulmer said. “Obviously the organization is going to do what they know will help. I’m just going to do what they tell me to do.

“But I definitely want to move quick, I definitely want to get there to impact the team and help the team as much as possible. Obviously nothing’s set in stone, I haven’t really talked to the organization that much yet but it’s definitely something that’s in the back of my mind and definitely something I want to do in the next couple of months.”

Eloy Jimenez returns to White Sox a little more than three weeks after spraining ankle

Eloy Jimenez returns to White Sox a little more than three weeks after spraining ankle

Things looked grim when Eloy Jimenez, the White Sox top-ranked prospect and a centerpiece of the South Side rebuilding plans, was down in pain on the warning track.

But a little more than three weeks later, Jimenez is back in the lineup, returned from his stay on the injured list for the start of a four-game series against the Houston Astros.

Jimenez made a leaping attempt to catch a home-run ball in the April 26 game against the Detroit Tigers. In the process, his foot got stuck in the padding of the left-field wall, and the 22-year-old suffered a high ankle sprain. He limped off the field and needed help getting into the dugout and clubhouse. Thoughts of "here we go again" flashed through a fan base that's watched top prospects suffer one significant injury after another in recent seasons.

The White Sox said Jimenez would be reevaluated in a couple weeks, while cursory Google searches revealed recovery times of more than a month for this type of injury.

But Jimenez seems to have healed quickly. He went on a minor league rehab assignment last week, playing in five games with Triple-A Charlotte before being deemed ready to return Monday.

This is phenomenal news for the White Sox and their fans, of course, who in the time Jimenez has been sidelined have seen another key piece go down with Carlos Rodon's Tommy John surgery. Jimenez hasn't got off to the rip-roaring start some predicted — he's slashed .241/.294/.380 with a trio of home runs in his first 21 major league games — but all playing time for the youngster is good playing time as he continues his development in his first big league season. Throw in Jimenez's four-game stay on the bereavement list prior to that game against Detroit, and he's had just one at-bat since April 21.

So maybe expect some rust, and manager Rick Renteria said Jimenez could perhaps be eased back with a game at DH here and there as he continues to work on improving his defense in left field.

Jimenez did go 7-for-22 (a .318 batting average) with a homer and a double in his rehab stint in Charlotte. Now he's back in the major league outfield, a good thing for everyone following along with this rebuild.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: What has James McCann meant to the White Sox? Everything

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What has James McCann meant to the White Sox? Everything

Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber talk about James McCann's breakout season with the White Sox (1:15).

Then Chuck speaks with McCann about all the preparation he does for every game (9:20), why he'll never use a cheat sheet scouting report behind the plate like many catchers do (11:30) and what McCann has been badgering Lucas Giolito about since spring training (14:30).

Plus, why Evan Marshall and Aaron Bummer have been so successful out of the bullpen (16:30), why McCann acts as a karaoke host on the team bus (17:40) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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