Charlie Morton made his first rehab appearance for the Pirates Double-A affiliate Altoona Curve tonight since being placed on the 15 day Disabled List with a sports hernia.
His night ended after four innings, during which he gave up four hits, two earned runs, walked one batter and struck out six. He also induced six ground ball outs. All of his outs were recorded by way of a ground out or a strike out. He threw 73 pitches, 49 for strikes.
“My speed was okay, I thought the movement was good on my sinker. Changeup was really good, and my curveball was okay. I made a couple of good pitches with it, and I threw a couple that I didn’t really know where they were going. My off-speed stuff was there and the movement on my sinker was there,” Morton said after his outing was completed.
Morton says he felt “about as good as I expected to,” but is not sure what the future holds for him the rest of the season.
“I’m not sure what the plan is. I know the minor league season is over on [September 1st], so there’s not really anytime for me to come back out and get a rehab start. But [the next step] is to be determined.”
Morton’s injury occurred during his start on June 2nd against the Padres, and attempted to pitch through the pain over the next two and a half months. But Morton could not speculate what effect the injury had on his pitching.
“There were really good games and there were really bad games. So I would tend to say that I couldn’t really base my pitching on how I felt. So it’s really the kind of thing where you manage [the pain], and you try to make pitches.”
Since his June 2nd start, Morton is 3-5 with a 4.33 ERA in 79 innings.
Since being placed on the Disabled List, Morton has been rehabbing, continuing to throw bullpens, and maintain as much of a normal routine as possible.
“I do what I can day-to-day. It’s just the kind of thing where it affects you differently day-to-day. It’s just frustrating. It’s just really frustrating because I’m used to having a certain routine doing certain things in between starts. So you [have to] alter it, just like anything else.”
Morton is not sure whether or not he will pitch for the Pirates again this season.
“The team is what’s most important to me. I want what’s best for the team. And if that’s me being on the mound, so be it. And if it’s not, so be it. But my goal is to get back out there as soon as possible, and as effectively as possible.”