As Pat pointed out a few weeks ago, Charlie Morton has struggled mightily with runners on base this season.
My guess is that it has something to do with how he's pitching out of the stretch. It's true that guys are hitting him pretty hard without runners on base (.346/.346/547), but they're just obliterating him with guys on (.444/.500/.944 with all three home runs of the traditional variety). His line was also a bit worse with runners on base last year as well, holding hitters to a .259/.339/.380 line with bases empty, but getting hit at a .299/.373/.439 rate (including 12 doubles and 3 homers in 186 PAs with runners on, compared to 5 doubles and 4 homers in 230 PAs with bases empty) with runners on. The trend doesn't appear to extend to the minors, though. Minor League Splits has him down for a lower career minor league FIP with runners on base (3.75) than with bases empty (4.15).
These numbers were from Morton’s first two starts, but the trend has continu...
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.