Atlanta Braves ace Charlie Morton is performing at his finest since the sticky stuff crackdown.
Many of the Atlanta Braves pitchers have spin rates that have remained constant, even after the league cracked down on sticky balls.
Before I get into Charlie Morton’s success since the crackdown, here’s a quick overview of how the league as a whole has shifted since the crackdown.
- Before June 3, the league was hitting .236. Since then the batting average has improved drastically up to .247.
- Prior to the crackdown, the league was slugging .395. Since then, the slugging percentage has shot up to .417. Hard-hit rates are up from 31.2% to 32.8%.
- Before: 24.2% K-Rate | After: 23.0% K-Rate
- Before: 17.0% Soft-Contact Rate | After: 16.1% Soft-Contact Rate
No doubt we have all heard about the Gerrit Coles and other top pitchers whose spin rates have conspicuously dropped since the league threatened to enforce the rules already in the book.
Information about the league’s upcoming actions regarding cracking down on sticky substances first leaked on June 3, 2021.
Since that date, people have been scouring through before and after statistics to try and find the proof that is in the pudding. The genuineness in the gelatin. The authenticity in the aspic.
With the side-effects of my recent bout with optimism still lingering (Read: Five Reasons Braves Will STILL Win NL East), I took a look at some spin rate numbers. Rather than point the finger at pitchers whose revolutions have regressed, I opted to salute one who has remained steady.
Atlanta Braves: Charlie Morton and steady spin rates
The man who has assumed the role of ace on the staff is Charlie Morton. In a big game scenario, who would you want on the mound against the other team’s ace? For me, no question it is Uncle Charlie.
Prior to the crackdown, Morton’s average fastball spin rate sat at 2281. Since the crackdown, it’s actually increased to 2298.
Even at age 37, Uncle Charlie’s curveball is as deadly as ever. Still ranking with the 10th-highest spin rate in all of baseball.
In fact, from a numbers perspective, Morton has played his best ball since the crackdown leak. Morton was sitting on a solid 4.26 ERA prior to the information squirting out onto the internet.
If you were watching, you knew his stuff was even better than that number.
Since the crackdown, Morton has posted a 3.00 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 54 innings while holding enemy hitters to a .179 batting average.
His control is definitely not suffering as he has thrown 63% of his 887 pitches for strikes in that time.
He is 6-3 in his nine starts since the crackdown. He has gone 7.0+ innings while allowing zero runs in three of those outings.
Morton is playing hitting his stride as the ace at a crucial time for the Braves.