SAN DIEGO — If they ask him to head to the bullpen, Carson Fulmer is confident he can handle the switch.
He likes being a starting pitcher, but the White Sox top prospect thinks his style of pitching lends to a natural transition to a relief role. Many prospect analysts have often suggested Fulmer — who struck out two in a scoreless inning at the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park — better projects as a reliever. With a shortage on healthy, effective relievers, the White Sox could call upon Fulmer soon and use him in a relief role.
“I’m a max-effort guy,” Fulmer said. “I do everything I do every time I go out there, and I don’t think that transition will be that big of a difference. It’s the same game. You’re still facing hitters, and I just try to keep the same approach every time I go out there. I don’t think it’ll be a big transition at all if that’s what they decide to do.”
After he struggled early in the season, Fulmer has been in a groove. In his last seven starts, Fulmer has a 3.51 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 41 innings. He also has cut down his walk rate almost in half. In his first 46 innings, Fulmer averaged 6.65 walks per nine innings. He has reduced that to 3.73 per nine over the last 41 innings.
Fulmer attributes his rebound to staying positive and to improved command of his curveball. He has continued to throw the cut-fastball, a pitch he learned in big league camp this spring, and get more comfortable with it.
“You continue to move regardless of the results you have,” Fulmer said. “I’ve had my adversities this year, and I’m over the hump now. I feel great, and I’ve learned a lot from experience.
“I’ve been able to throw (the curve) early on in counts, late in counts. It’s a big pitch I wasn’t really able to have a feel for early on in the year. I feel good now.”
Fulmer also feels like he could help the White Sox compete this season. If moving to the ‘pen comes with a promotion, Fulmer, the eighth overall pick of the 2015 amateur draft, is on board.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to not only get there, but help the team win,” Fulmer said. “For me that’s the most important thing in this game is to win and to continue to have a good culture, and I want to contribute any way I can.”