As you guys know, hopefully, we started a podcast a few months ago. It’s good shit especially if you read this blog and enjoy our musings on Twitter. Due to life we decided that this week we would take a break as Loaf was vacationing in Texas and Chorizy was in Vegas hanging with Daniel Palka. So I decided to write a quick blog on 1 of the things I would have talked about on this week’s pod. I am listening to Enter The Wu-Tang 36 Chambers as I type, feel free to do the same.
I was rolling around in the White Sox Premium group on the Facebook. I engaged in a lengthy conversation with one of the admins about our former starting pitcher Carson Fulmer. The question was raised if he could be a valuable guy in short relief / set up situations. I responded with what Chorizy has stated to me several times in the tub, “If he isn’t good to start, why would he be good later?” Well, let me tell you, the admin didn’t agree with my statement at all. He responded very quickly with –
Ridiculous. There’s a long list of failed starters that became excellent releivers.
So, the examples named by this guy were as follows –
I am a student of internet arguing so I did some quick research and what really stood out to me was the mention of Dennis Eckersley. My baseball knowledge isn’t all that awesome, so upon a quick search I learned that Eck had a 20 win season as a starting pitcher. Hardly a failure in my eyes. At the very least he had some success as a starting pitcher right?
Lee Smith barely was even considered a starter as he only started 6 games in 18 years. Mariano Rivera never really started in the MLB past his first year either. But his numbers were better than Carson in his 10 games started. Plus, both guys, in my eyes are complete exceptions to the rule as both guys are HOF’ers. Tom Gordon was brought up by another guy in the thread, but again, he had major league success as a staring pitcher. So much he was named ROY and won 17 games in his rookie season. Hardly failed.
I thought this was pretty sufficient proof that the guys he mentioned weren’t the best examples to be used to make a point, but nah, he said I was wrong. My point was “failed”. He still claimed that the guys above were failed starting pitchers.
I stated to him what I wrote above (exceptions) he said they were NOT exceptions, and there are many more. He even said that Fulmer wasn’t really a starting pitcher in college and that the Sox made him do it. Hmmm, that didn’t add up either so I Googled it up and found out that in his sophomore season he was moved to a starting pitcher pretty early in the season. He pitched 28 scoreless innings as a starter! he was 7 -1 in his sophomore year at Vandy with a 1.98 ERA. Junior year he was 14-2, with a 1.83 ERA. Then he was drafted by the Sox in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. Well, we know how well he has done in the majors 5-7, 6.68 ERA. 67.1 innings pitched.
So, again, no he wasn’t really a reliever in college (not anything of note anyways), he found success as a starting pitcher and the Sox took a gamble on him. Well, my guy said that his sample size is too small to make a decision if he can be a MLB reliever. And he could be right. But how many more games do we need to lose before we realize that he might not have the stuff to make it in the MLB? I would think that last year he would have been called up had he shown anything of value as our bullpen was a dumpster fire. But that wasn’t good enough either, my guy linked me to an article that shows the top 10 failed starting pitchers that became great relievers. You ready for this?
Rollie Fingers (HOF’er). John Franco (Never started a game in the MLB). Goose Gossage (Had 26 saves in 1975, Sox tried to make him a starter, didn’t work). Roberto Hernandez (Was barely a MLB starter). Jason Isringhausen (Failed Starting Pitcher). Jose Mesa (Failed Starting Pitcher). Joe Nathan (was still over .500 in his starting pitching years in MLB, went to the minors and was brought back as a reliever. I guess he was a failure?). Mariano Rivera (See Above). Francisco Rodriguez (The article states he started in his 1st 3 professional seasons, but he never played in the MLB as a starting pitcher. Failed I guess?) Lee Smith (See Above).
Ok, right now you are confusing this with a blog from Chorizy or ‘Loaf, but I assure you they didn’t write this. And if you are listening at home, 36 Chambers just finished so I have moved on to Wu-Tang Forever.
At this point in the conversation, I am kinda floored that a guy who seems pretty knowledgeable about baseball doesn’t really see the other side on Fulmer and how it would be crazy to say that he could be the next Mariano Rivera (which I don’t think he thinks that will be his path, but he used him as an example TWICE).
He did question my use of calling these guys exceptions which to most I would think they are clearly are. This is not the norm. I am sure there are tons of guys who have made the adjustment but I would be willing to bet 8 times as many of them haven’t. It’s baseball. Failure is part of the game. A big part. He said that didn’t prove much as tons of people fail. WTF?
Folks, according to a guy on White Sox Premium, Carson Fulmer has it in him to become a quality reliever. I, personally, don’t see it and I don’t think the Sox do either. But they will let him try it plenty I am sure. Carson is a great guy and awesome with anyone that comes into contact with him. I get it, I know why people would stand up for him and say he can do anything. But in my limited time seeing him pitch, I just don’t see this happening. I hope he comes back hard and can finally get control of his pitches to make it in any capacity as a MLB pitcher. Might happen with us, might happen with another team.
Also, I will glady eat all my words if he becomes a HOF Reliever. It will be a joy watching him and Zack Collins as the dynamic duo that will win us championships, set records and all that shit HOF’ers do.
Got a legit beef with me? Tweet at me. Think this is great? Share with your friends. Hate it? Tweet at me. I’ll gladly defend my position. Hope ya had a great holiday and many special thanks to everyone that showed up at our event on Dec 21st. We had a great time and will be doing plenty more in 2019. If you didn’t show, hit the next one! You miss that one though, and you don’t live in Canada, fuck you.