White Sox

White Sox in no rush to see if Carson Fulmer can be on fast track

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White Sox in no rush to see if Carson Fulmer can be on fast track

The first directive Carson Fulmer received upon joining the White Sox was to do nothing.

Fulmer, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, signed with the White Sox on Friday for a slot-value $3,470,600 bonus. The organization thinks the Vanderbilt right-hander has the potential to be put on the major league fast track, but first, they want him to rest up.

In his junior year at Vanderbilt, Fulmer threw 127 2/3 innings (with a 1.83 ERA and 167 strikeouts). The White Sox don’t want to wear out the 21-year-old, who last pitched in the College World Series finals June 22, so they’re going to give him some time off before likely sending him to Arizona to resume baseball activities.

“We'll see how he adapts, there is no rush or no urgency to move quickly,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “He certainly has the talent and the makeup to potentially to move quickly, but at this time it's let's just get him acclimated to pro ball, and adapt accordingly as he proceeds through the system.”

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Carlos Rodon reached Triple-A after being taken third overall in 2014, while Chris Sale rocketed through the White Sox farm system and to the major leagues back in 2010. The White Sox feel Fulmer has the makeup and repertoire — a mid-90’s fastball and plus curveball — to force his way into the 25-man roster discussion.

Fulmer, though, doesn’t plan to focus on the big picture once he starts pitching in the farm system.

“In certain ways you gotta be patient,” Fulmer said. “Obviously the White Sox have a plan, I’m a part of the organization now, I just have to sit back and try to develop as much as I can as a player and just let them control it. All I can go out and do is compete and try to give my team the best chance to win. But in regard to moving up and trying to get through the organization as fast as possible, it’s out of my control and I’m just going to do whatever it takes to help us win.”

Fulmer — who, like Chris Sale, is a native of Lakeland, Fla. — is well aware of the White Sox success developing pitching, which recently has included Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon. Not only have all three of those pitchers shown varying levels of effectiveness in their careers, they all reached the major leagues quickly after joining the organization.

[MORE: Fulmer gives back to ACE program after signing with White Sox]

Perhaps Fulmer becomes the next prospect to whiz through the White Sox mind league ranks to U.S. Cellular Field. But for now, the White Sox are going to take his development process slow.

“We're looking long term with this kid,” Hahn said. “Obviously he is an important piece for us for the future. And we're certainly not going to rush him. There is no specific time frame for him to get to the majors. We're just going to respond to his ability.”

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

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USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: