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Prospect Fulmer not pressing to earn roster spot

March 13, 2017

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite seeing his spring ERA soar to 5.91, Carson Fulmer felt like his stock was rising after his four-inning outing against the Indians in Monday's 9-5 win at Camelback Ranch. He's fighting for a spot in the White Sox rotation, and he felt confident about his performance and

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite seeing his spring ERA soar to 5.91, Carson Fulmer felt like his stock was rising after his four-inning outing against the Indians in Monday's 9-5 win at Camelback Ranch. He's fighting for a spot in the White Sox rotation, and he felt confident about his performance and his ability to focus on his goals.
"All in all, I thought it was a really good outing," Fulmer said. "I was able to have a quick first inning, which I think is the most important inning of the game. I felt like I threw a ton of strikes. Walks weren't an issue. I was able to get a couple swings and misses on my changeup. I was able to throw my breaking ball for strikes, and I had a couple two-seamers looking."

Fulmer pitched four innings and faced one batter in the fifth -- a leadoff double that led to a run. He gave up four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk, with 45 of his 69 pitches going for strikes.
The 23-year-old right-hander, the organization's No. 5 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, spent most of 2016 with Double-A Birmingham, where he started 17 games and posted a 4.76 ERA while walking 51 and striking out 90 in 87 innings.
The White Sox called him up in July, and he made eight relief appearances, giving up 11 runs on 12 hits and seven walks while striking out 10 in 11 2/3 innings. Fulmer finished the season with four starts in Triple-A Charlotte, going 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA.

"I obviously went through an up-and-down last year," Fulmer said. "This year, I wanted to work on other things, and I'm able to go out there and do that now. I feel really confident. Being around the older guys and just continuing to learn from them is also helping. Every outing this spring I've felt really, really good, and I've been going out there and doing what I wanted to do."
The confidence comes through, both on and off the mound, but there's also a sense of realistic expectations. Fulmer isn't falling into the trap of pressing to earn a roster spot or getting caught up in how his results look to coaches. He is more concerned with his fundamentals and his ability to execute.
"You don't think about it," Fulmer said in terms of the competition for a spot on the pitching staff. "Everyone in the clubhouse is obviously trying to get a spot. As a young guy, you want to learn as much as you can, and you want to go out and accomplish what you're going out there to do. I don't accomplish anything if I go out and throw 90 percent fastballs. I wanted to throw my changeup and curveball and work on hitting different spots. I felt like I accomplished that. Sometimes you can't look at the results, as much as I want to go out there and put up zeros. You have to take it into perspective."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.