White Sox

White Sox demote Carson Fulmer to Triple-A Charlotte

White Sox demote Carson Fulmer to Triple-A Charlotte

CLEVELAND -- Carson Fulmer is headed back to the minors to become a starter once again.

During Fulmer’s month in the majors, White Sox manager Robin Ventura often stressed how he wanted the rookie pitcher to learn to pitch one batter and one inning at a time. They wanted him to understand the importance of command and that even though he has good stuff, he has to be sharp to be successful. The White Sox also wanted to take Fulmer, the No. 8 pick of the 2015 draft, out of his comfort zone by throwing him in the bullpen.

As they optioned him back to Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday night, their hope is he’ll take the lessons learned and apply them to starting pitching. The White Sox will promote pitcher Anthony Ranaudo on Wednesday in Fulmer’s stead.

“He got a taste for it,” Ventura said. “When he comes up here and he’s relieving, which isn’t really normal to him, that’s something he’s trying to get used to. Some of it is you go and you’re facing major league hitters and you learn to adjust and you learn that they can hit a fastball. These guys can hit. He ended up scrambling to a point to where he figured out how to locate. I think his last couple have been better. Now I’d like to see him get stretched out a little bit and there might be a possibility down the road he gets a start when he comes back.”

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Promoted July 15, Fulmer appeared in eight games and has an 8.49 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. Even though he likes late-innings situations and many scouts believe he profiles well for the role, Fulmer struggled early. He allowed seven earned runs in an inning over two outings, including four runs to the Cubs on July 27. But Fulmer showed improvement in his past two outings, allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

“I think that broadening my horizon and really being as a reliever, being in those situations in tight games, this will do nothing but help me in the future,” Fulmer said. “So, you know I will always continue to learn and have experience.”

Fulmer doesn’t expect it would take long to stretch out. He throws regularly and thinks it will be easy to build up the necessary arm strength. Part of the move is also to get Fulmer more innings this season. Between Charlotte and the majors, Fulmer has thrown 98 2/3 innings. Ventura said there’s a possibility that Fulmer could return to the big leagues in September and even the potential for starting assignments.

Fulmer and Ventura think his experience out of the ‘pen should help the right-hander for whatever is asked of him in the near term.

“I think in a lot of ways you’ve got to be able to adjust, adapt and get after it,” Ventura said. “That’s part of coming up here and facing major league hitters. He wasn’t going to necessarily be in the rotation, but you at least get a taste of facing major league hitters and that’s the biggest thing. You get to see what it’s all about.”

After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

When general manager Rick Hahn has talked about bringing up key prospects, he says he wants those players to be able to come up to the majors and stay there. That won't be the case with Zack Collins.

The White Sox sent the catcher down to Triple-A Charlotte following Monday's 5-2 loss to the Royals. No corresponding move will be made until Tuesday, but it is expected Welington Castillo will return from his rehab stint and rejoin the White Sox.

Collins was called up on June 18, but only played in nine games with seven starts in his 28 days on the big league roster. Collins drew a pinch-hit walk in his first plate appearance at the Cubs on June 19. He then homered two days later in his first start in Texas.

After that, Collins struggled. He goes back to Charlotte after hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five walks, the one home run and 14 strikeouts in 31 plate appearances.

It's unclear if Collins had a chance to stick on the roster or if the plan was for him to go back to Triple-A once Castillo was ready to return. Collins certainly didn't do himself any favors at the plate, but he also didn't see regular playing time.

Collins, a first-round pick in 2016, was seen working out at first base in fielding practice before games, but he stuck to catcher and DH. He could have played some first base or DH when Castillo returned. However, the White Sox claimed A.J. Reed off waivers and he debuted after the all-star break. Reed has taken the at-bats at DH, leaving Collins without regular at-bats.

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White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

Luis Robert has been promoted twice in 2019, but nothing has slowed down his red-hot season.

The 21-year-old Cuban has only played in five games for Triple-A Charlotte, but has skipped past the adjustment period and has been productive in all five.

After collecting two hits, a walk and two stolen bases on Monday, Robert is hitting .429/.500/.810 for the Knights. He has reached base at least twice in every game with Charlotte.

Robert has shown some versatility in his game as well. He hit four extra base hits in his first three games, including two home runs in his first game for Charlotte. In the last two he has added three stolen bases. One of the stolen bases on Monday didn’t require a slide.

With Eloy Jimenez coming into his own for the White Sox and Dylan Cease one start into his major league career, Luis Robert is the clear gem of the White Sox system currently. The outfielder is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Charlotte’s BB&T Ballpark is known as a hitters’ park and Triple-A plays with the same baseballs that have been under fire lately for being juiced for hitters in the majors. It makes sense that Robert would put up big numbers, but it’s still an impressive start that has White Sox fans antsy for his call-up.

It’s just five games and the White Sox haven’t been in any rush with their top prospects, but Robert is showing that he isn’t that far away from being ready for MLB pitching.

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