Pittsburgh Pirates right-handers Charlie Morton and Jameson Taillon both began the regular season in extended Spring Training after the rest of the organization broke camp last month. Morton remained behind, as his miserable Spring Training numbers indicated he wasn’t fully recovered from his hip injury, while Taillon continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery last April.
Morton was placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season and threw a 55-pitch simulated game Friday, which manager Clint Hurdle received good reports on. Morton was supposed to pitch against the Yankees extended spring contingent but they canceled the game.
General manager Neal Huntington said Morton is feeling better and getting more in “sync”, and his next step is a 65-pitch simulated game later this week. Huntington added Morton isn’t dealing with pain but finding his form, which eluded him in spring training.
“The body just didn’t function the way the body functioned before the surgery,” Huntington said. “We’re getting closer to where Charlie feels he can just go compete and he doesn’t have to work through making sure he feels right.”
If Morton’s next simulated game goes well, he’ll likely move onto rehab outings in live action.
Taillon, Pittsburgh’s 2010 No. 2-overall pick and top prospect, will continue to work in extended Spring Training but Huntington said he is making progress as well.
“[He’s] continuing to check box after box and [we’re] looking forward to getting him against an opposition in uniform here sooner or later,” Huntington said.
The General Manager clarified the Pirates have a plan for Taillon moving forward but the timetable will stay internal.
“Publicly we build on each outing for him,” Huntington said. “He is continuing to move very well and I’ll share each outing as we go.”