The Reds announced they’ve claimed right-hander Carson Fulmer off waivers from the Pirates. Pittsburgh designated Fulmer for assignment last week to create 40-man roster space after acquiring Duane Underwood Jr.
Fulmer has pitched parts of five seasons at the major league level and has yet to find much success. Over 105 career innings, he has just a 6.34 ERA/5.41 SIERA. Fulmer has posted worse than average strikeout (18.9%), walk (13.9%) and groundball (37.5%) rates.
In spite of the poor results, the 27-year-old has continued to attract interest around the league. Within the past eight months, the former eighth overall pick has been claimed off waivers by the Tigers, Pirates (twice) and Orioles. In each situation, the claiming team had been near the top of the league by waiver priority. Fulmer fell a little farther down the waiver order this time around, but he’ll find another landing spot nonetheless.
It’s hardly a surprise to see the Reds put in a claim for Fulmer. The Cincinnati organization has been rather open about their affinity for pitchers with high spin rates, and Fulmer certainly qualifies. The 27-year-old sat in the 91st percentile in fastball spin and 88th percentile in curveball spin last season, per Statcast. While that has yet to translate to MLB performance, there’s no harm for the Reds in taking a flier. Fulmer is out of minor league options, so he’ll need to either break camp with the big league club or else again be offered to rival teams.