Atlanta Braves 2024 season preview: One last ride for Charlie Morton

The 16-year veteran is gearing up for what could be his last season in Major League Baseball.
Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves have a great mix of young and veteran talent as they head into 2024. It has been incredible to see the team thrive so well over the last few years.

Charlie Morton has luckily been a part of that success and has helped the team tremendously when he's healthy and on the mound. He was a big reason the Braves were able to get to and win a World Series title in 2021. Despite suffering a broken leg during that series, he returned as if nothing had happened.

2022 was a bit of an up-and-down year for Uncle Charlie as he finished with a 4.34 ERA which was a full point higher than the previous season. 2023 had its own set of challenges for him but mostly, he had a very good season.

Atlanta Braves 2024 season preview: Charlie Morton

Morton pitched pretty well for the Braves in 2023 as he attained a 3.64 ERA over 163.1 innings of work. He finished with a 14-12 record with 66 earned runs allowed including 83 walks and 183 strikeouts.

His strikeout numbers were still good but his amount of walks increased by about 20 last year. That is what plagued him all year from a slight lack of command. However, he always found a way to escape jams when he needed to. Overall, it was a nice season for him.

The only question that remained was would he return for the 2024 season? Atlanta had a $20 million option on Charlie but no one knew if he would retire. Morton decided to give it another go and will be back for 2024 as Atlanta's 4th starter. That's a pretty good starter to have at the back of the rotation.

Morton is projected to finish with a 4.16 ERA allowing 146 hits, 73 earned runs, and walking 69 batters and striking out 171 of them. These numbers are extremely fair as they sit around the same numbers Morton has featured since joining the Braves.

The strikeout numbers being under 200 seems fair as well. Morton has eclipsed the 200 strikeout mark in 2021 and 2022 but that fell last season. He could easily reach that point again in a heartbeat. If he strikes out the projected 171 batters this year, he will eclipse 2,000 career strikeouts.

His Spring numbers were decent over the 15.2 innings he pitched over the last month. That was good enough for a 2.87 ERA allowing 12 hits and five earned runs with seven walks and 17 strikeouts. His curveball continues to be one of the best in all of baseball. It has looked very sharp.

Perhaps he will share some of his curveball knowledge with Spencer Strider as he works on refining the addition of a curveball to his repertoire.

Morton could be pitching his final season in Major League Baseball and I'm sure he's happy that it has the chance to end with another World Series and in the place where it all began for him in 2008. We are wishing Charlie nothing but the best this year.

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