On Tuesday, “Braves sign Charlie Morton” was blasted on every Braves social media outlet as they inked Morton to a 1 year $15 million deal. Charlie was drafted by Atlanta all the way back in the 3rd round of the 2002 amateur draft. Who would’ve thought 18 years later the 37 year old righty would be heading back for a World Series run?
After signing Drew Smyly and now Morton, the Braves rotation is looking much different. Last year these Braves were running out the likes of Tommy Milone, Robbie Erlin, and Josh Tomlin for meaningful September starts. Hopefully, that will not be the case this year as the rotation has been bolstered thanks to these additions. The rotation is now projected to consist of Morton, Smyly, Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and, when deemed healthy, Mike Soroka.
Charlie Morton has had a very long and successful big league career through 18 seasons. However, he&nbsp; began to turn into a completely different pitcher in 2017 after being acquired by the Houston Astros. He was an all star in 2018 and 2019 while placing 3rd in the Cy Young voting just one season ago. Since 2017, Charlie has been relied on to make 12 postseason starts. He has a career 3.38 ERA in over 60 postseason innings.
The Braves became a much better team today addressing their biggest weakness from a year ago. Charlie Morton is exactly what this team needed in the rotation to make another run towards a title. The playoff veteran is a perfect 1 year deal who shouldn’t hold Atlanta down financially this year or obviously in the future. I’m looking forward to a now star studded rotation who should be more than capable of holding their own against any rotation thrown their way.
Charlie Morton’s Statcast Data
In 2019, Charlie Morton was a Cy Young candidate, throwing 194.2 innings of 3.08 ERA baseball, striking out 11.1 per 9 while only walking 2.64/9. And while the biggest difference maker has always been his curve ball (Max Fried and Morton’s curve ball in the same rotation? *Drools*), his fastball really came to life in 2019. In 74 plate appearances that ended with a fastball, hitters struck out 22 times and went 18 for 64, albeit with 10 walks. He unlocked added velo the year prior in an Astros uniform, and it stuck around for 2019 to become a real weapon when combined with the curve.
Charlie, a 5 pitch pitcher, relies mostly on the fastball, curve, and sinker with sprinkles of splits and sliders. His out pitch is definitely the curve, and even in a down 2020, it was well above average. The curveball will always be there, but the fastball is the real key to Morton’s effectiveness. And yes, it dropped in velo overall in 2020, but it found life again in the playoffs hitting 95-97 regularly. Against the best competition in the MLB, Morton threw 20 innings, giving up 6 runs and striking out 23 (2.70 ERA). These numbers were right in line with 2019 Charlie Morton.
Maybe it’s too much hope to believe in the small sample of the playoffs, but I’d be willing to bet that Anthopoulos watched every stinkin’ pitch of those playoffs and came to this conclusion: “Charlie Morton is our man.”
Thanks for reading “Braves Sign Charlie Morton”. To play catch up, here’s our writeup on the first starting pitcher the Braves inked, Drew Smyly.