Chicago White Sox

Where does Avisail Garcia fit in the White Sox rebuild?

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USA TODAY

Where does Avisail Garcia fit in the White Sox rebuild?

BOSTON -- He’s about to come off the disabled list, but Avisail Garcia wants to be here a lot longer than just the end of the season.

The White Sox outfielder was good in spirits on Saturday afternoon after he took batting practice for the first time a day earlier. The two fingers on his right hand that had bothered him have improved enough for Garcia to have fun during a pregame media session. On the DL retroactive to July 26, Garcia is eager to resume a breakout season in which he’s hitting .303/.347/.485 with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs in 363 plate appearances.

Given how he’s played and the two years of team control he has left, Garcia could be another trade candidate this offseason for the rebuilding White Sox. But the 26-year-old Garcia would like to stay with the White Sox when things turn around.

“I mean, yeah, why not?” Garcia said. “I feel part of it. But you know this is baseball. You don’t know what’s going to happen. I want to stay here. I want my career here. So, if I can play 15 or 20 years or 10 years or five more years, it’s going to be great. Let’s see what happens. I want to stay here for sure.”

The White Sox have hoped for Garcia to live up to his top-75 prospect potential since they acquired him in July 2013 in a three-team deal that sent Jake Peavy to Boston. Garcia performed well as a rookie with the White Sox in 2013, but produced at a .250/.308/.380 clip and averaged 11 homers and 46 RBIs in 105 games between 2014-16.

There’s a chance Garcia could have been finished with the White Sox had they gone the other direction this season and tried to contend. Instead, the team went full steam ahead into a rebuild and has traded nine players off the 25-man roster since December. Garcia has taken advantage of the opportunity and last month was named to the American League All-Star team. One of the reason Garcia would like to stay with the White Sox is to reward them for their patience.

“For sure,” Garcia said. “I appreciate that. That’s why I came here early and do my work every time and be professional play hard and try to give the White Sox everything I got every day. Hustle every day and that’s part of the game, part of me. Just trying to do my best for the team.”

What Garcia’s future holds with the White Sox could be determined this offseason. Garcia, who’s earning $3 million this season, has two years of arbitration eligibility left.

If he were to finish the season strong, Garcia could potentially have trade value for a front office that has been looking to wheel and deal for eight months. The White Sox also may consider trying to extend Garcia and keep him around for the future. Or, the White Sox could simply re-sign Garcia and see if he can backup his 2017 performance before making a determination on his future.

Carson Fulmer wants one more start for White Sox this season

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USA TODAY

Carson Fulmer wants one more start for White Sox this season

Carson Fulmer doesn’t want his last start of the season to be one in which he recorded only one out, but another appearance isn’t guaranteed quite yet.

The White Sox 2015 first-round pick was forced from Thursday night’s game after struggling with a blister on his throwing hand. He lasted only three batters, two of which he walked.

“Obviously, nothing’s really wrong with me physically,” Fulmer said. “Arm feels great, body feels awesome, just a blister that got kind of raw. I just need to take a couple days, let it come back and make my next start.”

Whether he gets the ball again depends on the healing process. With only eight games remaining, Rick Renteria won’t commit to giving the 23-year-old another start until he knows the blister won’t be an issue.

“It’d be premature for me to say anything about that,” Renteria said. “Obviously when you’re holding the baseball in a very sensitive spot with your fingers, you got to be able to feel comfortable with it.”

The blister came during Fulmer’s best stretch in the majors. He threw six innings in each of his past two starts, allowing only one earned run in both. On his Sept. 10 start against the Giants, he whiffed a career-high nine batters.

Despite having to, in essence, miss Thursday’s start, Fulmer isn’t worried about being taken out of his groove.

“I don’t think my momentum is going to go anywhere,” he said. “The bullpen I threw yesterday before the game was really, really good. Just had some issues with some of the stuff that was covering it, started cutting some balls here and there and it was tough to throw a cutter sometimes just because of the pressure I put on it.”

Even with the White Sox seemingly taking a cautious approach to protect their young prospects, each start is valuable experience for Fulmer. He will likely be competing against the likes of Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez and possible veteran free agent signings for a back end rotation spot come Spring Training, and pitching well against big league hitting now could go a long way in securing the role.

"I threw 160, 170 innings this year and haven't had an issue with (injury)," Fulmer said. 

"I'm going to do everything I can to get back out there." 

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

HOUSTON -- Two weeks ago Chris Volstad was focused on Hurricane Irma prep when the White Sox called to invite him to the majors. On Thursday night, he earned his first major league victory in more than five years as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 at Minute Maid Park.

Volstad, who had only made 10 big league appearances the previous four-plus seasons and spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Charlotte, allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings to pick up his first win since Sept. 10, 2012.

He hadn’t just shut it down after the Triple-A season ended, Volstad was actually shuttering his Jupiter, Fla. home and business the day the short-handed White Sox called.

“I was probably a little mentally shut down,” Volstad said. “But yeah, it’s kind of crazy how things can change. I guess it’s been about two weeks now. At home getting ready for a hurricane and then getting called back up to the big leagues.”

Volstad received word he might pitch early in Thursday’s game when a blister on Carson Fulmer’s right index finger worsened. Fulmer felt some discomfort after his Friday start at Detroit.

The White Sox let Fulmer try to go but yanked him after 20 pitches, including two walks. That brought out Volstad, who along with Al Alburquerque was promoted Sept. 10 after the White Sox lost several pitchers to injury.

The White Sox actually had to track Volstad down two weeks ago as he’d already been home for a week. He spent part of the time prepping for Irma, including boarding up his brewery.

He escaped a first-inning jam with a double play ball of the bat of Carlos Correa and ended a threat in the second with a pickoff at second base of Alex Bregman. After he surrendered a solo homer to Brian McCann in the third, Volstad retired the final eight men he faced.

[MORE: Why the White Sox are optimistic about their middle infielders' potential

He was awarded his first victory since he defeated Thursday’s Astros starter Dallas Keuchel 1,836 days ago here. Volstad remembered the win because Houston was still in the National League and he had a base hit in the five-inning start for the Cubs. He went 3-12 for the Cubs that season.

“You’re able to lock it in pretty quickly and get focused at the big-league level, you have to,” Volstad said. “But being home in Triple-A for the last few years, just getting called up about 10 days ago, I’ve got people following it, but it’s kind of unknown I guess. It’s a little surprising, but I’m glad to be a part of a team for sure.”

Fulmer, Volstad, Jace Fry, Mike Pelfrey, Gregory Infante, Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar and Juan Minaya combined on a three-hitter for the White Sox. Tim Anderson extended his hit streak to 12 games with a ninth-inning solo homer, his 17th.