As Charlie Morton, the 39 year old veteran, takes the mound for the Braves today in St. Louis, some fans have expressed a worrisome attitude about his future production with the club. Morton had a 4.34 ERA last year, his highest since 2020, and gained a reputation for having spotty consistency.
His last outing in St. Louis on August 28th was further proof of this inconsistency. Morton went 5 innings giving up four earned runs and two home runs in a loss. Morton was also the losing pitcher in game 4 of the NLDS, giving up three earned runs. Despite Morton's down year, the Braves still gave the grizzled righty a one year, $20 million contract. Many Braves fans were perplexed at this move, especially when the free agency market was full of big name starters. However, there is reason to believe Morton is still a valuable asset to the team.
Morton's pros and cons
Unlike pitchers his age, Morton can still run his fastball up to 97 mph, and follow it up with a devastating backdoor breaking ball. when it's not into batters foot of course. Morton can also deliver a solid start of seven plus innings with well over 12+ strikeouts. We saw this fire from Morton several times in 2022, the only issue was the next outing that followed was often abysmal.
Still, Morton is also as previously mentioned, is a veteran who’s been around the block his fair share. Having someone like Morton is advantageous for a team bringing up so many young pitchers. There are several pros and cons to Morton being on the Braves, and whether or not he stays a starter is also up for debate. Braves fans nationwide will be closely watching Morton’s outing in St. Louis, perhaps the start of a bounce back for the man they call ground chuck.