MLB insider hints at Charlie Morton's retirement while breaking down roller coaster season

Ken Rosenthal relays some vital information from his recent discussion with the Braves veteran pitcher.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

It was known by most fans that 2024 could be the final season for Charlie Morton. After missing out on the 2023 NLDS because of injury, Morton went into the offseason assessing his desire to continue playing baseball.

In the end Morton decided to come back for a 17th MLB season, and the Atlanta Braves picked up his $20 million option for the 2024 season. Although ground chuck hasn't yet confirmed whether or not this season will be his final swan song, some evidence we gathered over the weekend may signal retirement is on the horizon for Charlie.

Ken Rosenthal hints 2024 could be it for Charlie Morton

On a recent appearance on Foul Territory, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal gave plenty of details from his recent discussion with Charlie Morton. After speaking with Morton, Rosenthal said it felt like retirement after the season was coming "more than ever before."

Morton has openly contemplated retirement the last few season (understandably so, considering he's turning 41 this season), but this conversation with Rosenthal seemed to indicate more than ever before retirement feels strong at the conclusion of this season.

Morton spoke about how much he is missing the time spent with his kids, and not wanting to miss out on them growing up. This is exactly why Charlie is beloved by so many around the game of baseball.

Morton would go on to discuss the rollercoaster season that has been 2024. Morton's numbers have been more than serviceable, especially considering he's basically the Braves' fourth starter right now. However, Morton expressed how he's struggled with finding his identity as a pitcher this season.

Morton admitted to pitching differently knowing his velocity is down, and looking to utilize more cutter/sliders in an attempt to work more East/West. Morton's velocity dip is about one mph down across the board. That may not seem like much, but hitters are getting much better results off of him because of it.

In 2023, Morton generated a 42.0 whiff% on his curveball, and 22.5 whiff% on his four-seam fastball. This season, those numbers are down to 34.3 whiff% on his curveball, and 18.0 whiff% on his four-seamer via Baseball Savant.

In reality, fans likely expected a dip in stuff for Charlie, but that might be more difficult for him to accept as an individual. He's been plenty good in his role for the Braves, and we're confident in Charlie to step-up when needed. Morton may not be happy with how the season has gone thus far, but if we know one thing for sure about Charlie it's that he's mastered reinventing himself as time goes on.

Most fans are confident Charlie Morton can adapt one more time and finish 2024 strong. And if that ends up being all she wrote for ground chuck, then it was one hell of a ride.

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