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Fulmer brimming with confidence

MLB.com @alysonfooter

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though his Cactus League performances haven't always produced ideal results, one constant has stayed with Carson Fulmer throughout: his confidence.

Through the rough outings and speculation that he may not have done enough this spring to merit a roster spot, the 24-year-old Fulmer has maintained his poise, and he is unwaveringly confident about his future with the White Sox.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though his Cactus League performances haven't always produced ideal results, one constant has stayed with Carson Fulmer throughout: his confidence.

Through the rough outings and speculation that he may not have done enough this spring to merit a roster spot, the 24-year-old Fulmer has maintained his poise, and he is unwaveringly confident about his future with the White Sox.

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When exactly that journey begins in earnest is still to be determined, but when he does cement his place in the Sox rotation, he'll know he belongs.

That time may be coming sooner rather than later. Fulmer had his longest and best outing of the spring on Monday, pitching four scoreless innings against the D-backs in a 15-2 win at Salt River Fields.

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It wasn't a perfect outing -- he walked three, including issuing back-to-back free passes to begin the third inning -- but comparatively speaking, it was what the White Sox, and Fulmer, needed.

"I definitely needed that outing," he said. "I was able to locate really well. I was able to get some pretty good hitters out. I was able to slow down when I needed to and make the pitches that I needed to make. It's definitely where I need to be right now going into the season, and it's something I can build off of."

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Fulmer speaks in terms of being part of the rotation, rather than trying to make the rotation. He was the favorite when Spring Training began to win the fifth starter spot, but a rough month, that prior to Monday's outing had him sporting an 18.90 ERA, prompted speculation that he may not open the season with the Major League club.

He's been outpitched by his closest competitor, lefty Hector Santiago, but the White Sox are clearly hoping Fulmer does enough in the final leg of the spring to break camp with the big league club.

The goal for the Sox this year is to continue to build their organization from the lower levels on up, while easing the top talent into regular roles in the Majors. If that is the case, Fulmer would be a perfect fit for the Sox -- confident and young, and unfazed by the stumbles and failures that are part of developing into a Major Leaguer.

But, he needs to show he can get outs with regularity at this level, and Monday's outing helped. Fulmer didn't allow a D-backs hit, and he struck out four.

Video: CWS@ARI: Fulmer on his strong start vs. D-backs

Fulmer said he threw mostly fastballs, but also had a good feel for his breaking stuff. The Cactus League environment can often skew a pitcher's effectiveness, but Fulmer felt in control with all of his pitches in this game.

"I'm right where I need to be with my pitches, and it's something I'll continue to work on and move on to the next start," he said.

A week's worth of games remain on the exhibition schedule before decisions have to be made. Fulmer envisions himself as a part of that opening week rotation.

"I personally would like to be part of a rotation that's very competitive with each other -- that's what drives me and pushes me," he said. "We definitely have that here. A lot of stuff as baseball players is out of our control. We try to come each day and work as hard as we can to get to where we want to be. This team is really special and I'm glad to be a part of this rotation."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Chicago White Sox, Carson Fulmer