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.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Morton changes mechanics more than an old lady with a lemon, he’s hurt more than a thin skined ugly girl trying to get a date and his outings are about as successful as a teenager trying to get a date with a super model. Every once in awhile the stars lineup and he has a good outing but hey even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. That said, whether we like it or not it looks like upchuck is going to be around for awhile.

  2. Nice to have the luxury of moving Ground Cuck along at a leisurely pace in his injury rehab. But make no mistake about it, when he’s deemed ready by NH & co., he will be moved into the rotation no matter how Worley has performed. Whether you agree or disagree, matters not.

      • No no, Morton has always been terrible and is useless and bad and stuff. I read it online so its true.

          • Its one thing to argue Morton isnt useful because of some of his flaws, but by literally any metric Morton hasnt been crappy the last two years. Not terrible FIP, xFIP, SIERA, WAR. Lacks durability. His lack of flashy K’s must irk some fans, because his stuff has been good the last two seasons overall. Not great, not 1-2 stuff, but really useful in helping the team make the playoffs. Good problem to have when he may be the 4-5 option, because he would be a 5th pitcher on any team in baseball outside of WSH like stacked rotations.

            You would rather randomly pick fun at me than discuss things, which is just weird. No stats back up the “Morton is a bad pitcher” bandwagon the last two years.

      • He has always been a crappy pitcher aside from about ten games in the last three years when the opposing lineups matched up with him. I honestly don’t understand what the pirates see in this guy. Crappy is as crappy does.

        • Last year, Morton went at least 7 innings with 2 earned runs or fewer given up 8 times. 26 starts, 8 times he goes 7 innings and 2 ER or less. So roughly once a month Morton was much better than crappy.

          Overall, 16 of his games saw him give up 2 ER or less. While that ignores if he went 5, 6, or 7 innings it does show how well he was at limiting runs. Slightly over half his starts last year saw him leave having giving up only 2 ER.

          2013- 7 games of 7 innings or more and 2 ER or less. Overall games with 2 ER or less came to 12 out of 20. Basic math gets me at 15 games in the last 2 years have been 7 innings+ with 2 ER or less. Overall gets him at 28 games out of about 40 that he left with 2 ER surrendered.

          I honestly dont understand what people are doing when Morton pitches, because it certainly isnt paying attention and remembering. The guy aint Nolan Ryan, but he is a rather respectable 3-4 pitcher. Half the time he will keep your team in the game or better. Oft injured and at times unable to go deep into games, but effective.

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