First Pitch

First Pitch: Charlie Morton is Comparable to Derek Lowe and Brandon Webb

First Pitch: Charlie Morton is Comparable to Derek Lowe and Brandon Webb

Charlie Morton led the league in ground ball percentage this year. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

This isn't the first time I've written about how Charlie Morton is under-rated. It won't be the last time either. All summer, even before he returned from Tommy John rehab, I've been on the Morton bandwagon. At times it was lonely. At times it looked like there was no room left. All throughout the season I felt that Morton was a very under-rated pitcher. I still feel the same way, even after he finished with a 3.26 ERA in 116 innings this year.

Morton is a complex case. He's not a guy where you can just look at the career numbers and tell what kind of pitcher he is. In 2011, the Pirates totally overhauled Morton's delivery, dropped his arm slot, and got him to lean on his two-seam fastball. The result was that he put up a 3.83 ERA in 171.2 innings. It was a huge turnaround, but it didn't last long. The following season Morton quickly suffered an elbow injury. He pitched through it, but ...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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