Charlie Morton

Charlie Morton

40-Year-Old PitcherSP
Atlanta Braves
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Morton continued to fend off Father Time by starting 30 games. He's started at least that many every season since 2018, excluding the truncated 2020 campaign. Morton's control showed signs of age as he posted an 11.6 percent walk rate, the highest since his rookie season. His 25.6 percent strikeout rate dropped a couple of ticks, but it was still within range of the previous few seasons. Morton's elevated walk rate resulted in his highest WHIP since 2012, but Lady Luck was on his side with a low 9.4 percent home run per fly ball rate and a 77.6 percent left on base mark, keeping his ERA in check, albeit at least half a run below the associated estimators. Morton's didn't lose any velocity, but it's still fair to be worried about his spike in control. Atlanta isn't concerned as they picked up Morton's $20 million team option for his 40-year-old season. Hoping for one more productive season is defensible, but Morton should be considered a luxury item, and not counted on as a staff staple. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#262
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $20 million contract extension with Atlanta in September of 2022. Atlanta exercised $20 million team option for 2024 in November of 2023.
Gets 2024 option picked up
PAtlanta Braves
November 6, 2023
Atlanta exercised Morton's $20 million team option for the 2024 season on Monday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
According to Passan, the organization had some uncertainty at bringing Morton back for his age-40 season at a sizable salary, but the veteran right-hander will ultimately stick around in Atlanta for what could be his final campaign in the big leagues. Though his 11.6 percent walk rate in 2023 represented his worst mark since his rookie campaign, Morton struck out more than a quarter of the batters he faced for the third season in a row and was able to suppress home runs (0.77 HR/9). Even in the twilight of his career, Morton still looks like a strong mid-to-back-end rotation arm, and his fantasy outlook is made more promising by the fact that he'll be back by one of the top offenses in baseball.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
95
Last 10 Games
91
Last 5 Games
83
How many pitches does Charlie Morton generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Charlie Morton generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-9%
BAA vs LHP
2023
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-3%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-17%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2021vs Left .215 1073 315 107 197 31 6 33
Since 2021vs Right .236 1127 289 97 238 42 2 25
2023vs Left .234 351 100 47 68 12 1 8
2023vs Right .253 365 83 36 82 18 2 6
2022vs Left .229 364 99 33 72 11 2 18
2022vs Right .236 364 106 30 77 15 0 10
2021vs Left .183 358 116 27 57 8 3 7
2021vs Right .221 398 100 31 79 9 0 9
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-22%
ERA at Home
2023
 
 
-19%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-47%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-15%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2021Home 3.31 1.11 261.1 19 9 0 11.3 2.9 1.2
Since 2021Away 4.23 1.34 259.2 18 15 0 9.6 4.2 0.8
2023Home 3.23 1.22 75.1 7 5 0 10.9 3.6 1.3
2023Away 3.99 1.60 88.0 7 7 0 9.4 5.4 0.3
2022Home 3.05 1.08 88.2 6 1 0 12.1 3.0 1.2
2022Away 5.72 1.39 83.1 3 5 0 9.3 3.6 1.7
2021Home 3.61 1.06 97.1 6 3 0 10.8 2.2 1.1
2021Away 3.06 1.03 88.1 8 3 0 10.1 3.5 0.4
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Stat Review
How does Charlie Morton compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.20
 
K/9
10.1
 
BB/9
4.6
 
HR/9
0.8
 
Fastball
94.8 mph
 
ERA
3.64
 
WHIP
1.43
 
BABIP
.329
 
GB/FB
1.50
 
Left On Base
76.4%
 
Exit Velocity
83.1 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.5%
 
Spin Rate
2580 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
26.6%
 
Swinging Strike
13.2%
 
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
This could be Morton's ride into the baseball sunset as he enters his age-39 season. Atlanta holds a team option for 2024 at $20 million. After helping the club get to and win a championship in 2021, Morton returned from the fractured fibula he suffered in the World Series to go 9-6 with a 4.34 ERA across 172 innings spanning 31 starts last season. For the second consecutive year, Morton was knocked out of the postseason by a comebacker, this time to the elbow although this one didn't do nearly as much damage. He can still drop his excellent curveball in for strikeouts -- he finished 10th in baseball with 205 punchouts last season -- but everything else in his repertoire is rather hittable at this stage. The walks ticked up last year (8.7 BB%) as he nibbled more. Morton has a great defensive outfield behind him and a lot of offense to support him so while there is some age-related decline showing, he can still do a lot of good for a fantasy team.
Morton left Game 1 of the World Series against Houston in the third inning, though not before striking out Jose Altuve on a broken freakin' leg. He had been hit by a comebacker and was forced to undergo surgery to repair a fractured fibula days later. The expectation is that Morton will be ready for the start of spring training. His 2021 regular season was tremendous, especially for a 37-year-old; Morton racked up 14 wins with a 20.9 K-BB% and 1.04 WHIP over 185.2 innings. He's not the extreme groundball pitcher he was earlier in his career, but the heavier reliance on his high-spin curveball in recent years has proven to be a winning recipe. Notably, Morton regained some steam on his fastball last year, and Atlanta brought him back at a $20 million price tag for 2022 -- a statement of faith in the aging arm. Assuming his health checks out in spring training, target Morton as a high-end SP3.
The Rays declined Morton's $15 million option for 2021, but the Braves were happy to meet that price for the right-hander's services. Morton's peripherals indicate that he still has life in his arm even though he finished 4.74 ERA across 38 innings in 2020. Notably, he surrendered fewer than 1.0 HR/9 for the 10th consecutive season and maintained an 18.8 K-BB%. A dip in velocity plagued Morton early in the season and skewed his average to 93.8 mph, his lowest mark since 2015. However, after Morton returned from a shoulder injury that cost him nearly a month of the regular season, he rebounded to post average velocities of 94.7, 95, 94.9 and 94.4 mph in four playoff contests. Entering his age-37 season, there is clear risk in drafting Morton due to his recent injury history and age. Morton's underlying skills suggest he has the talent to continue to produce at a high level, albeit not at an ace level.
Since 2017, Morton has outpitched his peripherals, and he was doing so again to begin his first year with the Rays. However, he fought off regression by ratcheting up his skills. On May 19, Morton's ERA was 2.65 compared to a 3.74 xFIP and 4.07 SIERA. The rest of the way, his ERA rose to 3.21, but his xFIP was 3.11 with a 3.36 SIERA. There was some ERA regression, but a 1% increase in K% coupled with a 5.4% drop in BB% softened the blow. Integral to his success was allowing a scant 15 homers in 194.2 innings. Morton's bread and butter is one of the highest spinning curves in the league, helping to compensate for a fastball losing a tick or two. Skills-wise, there's no concern. However, Morton will be 36 years old, with a checkered injury history, coming off a campaign where he set personal bests in innings and starts. Ace level pitching is rare, so Morton will cost. That said, caveat emptor.
The Houston rebuild of Charlie Morton is complete. Two seasons, 29 wins, a 3.50 ERA and a dramatic increase in strikeout rate. "Ground Chuck" did not generate as many groundballs as he did with Pittsburgh, but he still gets his fair share of them when he is not missing bats. The 167 innings of work in 2018 represented his highest single-season total since 2011 and it marked the first time he hit the 30-start plateau in his career. His fastball and curve were both well above average pitches in 2018, but it is his curveball that has consistently graded out well throughout his career. Pitching in Minute Maid did not impact his home park splits, so keep that in mind as Morton heads to Tampa Bay on a two-year deal. When Morton has been on the mound the past two seasons, the results have been solid more often than not. He has the skills of a front-half starter, but lacks the durability of one.
Talk about a career rejuvenation. Morton was labeled a "priority signing" by Houston last offseason after showing surprising fastball velocity gains (to go with wicked curveball spin) in a small sample with Philadelphia in 2016. As it turned out, those gains were no fluke, as Morton gave the Astros nearly 150 quality innings during the regular season and then played a crucial role in the postseason, even earning the win in Game 7 of the World Series. What was once Morton's biggest weakness -- getting lefty batters out -- turned into one of his greatest strengths, with Morton posting the second-lowest wOBA against lefties by a righty starter, per FanGraphs. He's given something back in the groundball department, but the added strikeouts (10.0 K/9) more than make up for it. It's unwise to expect him to add to his 2017 workload, but this new version of Morton can make a fantasy impact even with limited innings. Plus, the era of the workhorse starter is over anyway.
Morton made just four starts before suffering a left hamstring tear that required season-ending surgery. Before he went down, there were some positive signs in his profile that make him an interesting endgame speculation this season. He was averaging 94.3 mph with his fastball, more than two miles per hour faster than he averaged in 2015 and easily the best velocity of his career. His K/9 increased along with his velocity and his swinging strike rate was at 13 percent after averaging eight percent in his prior seasons. He was also maintaining the excellent GB/FB ratio that he had displayed throughout most of his career. Morton quickly signed with the Astros soon after free agency began and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2017 season, if not spring action. He's sure to be overlooked in most leagues, thanks to the shift to the American League and his limited amount of work last season.
Morton’s confounding career continued in 2015. After returning from hip surgery in late May, he won his first five starts, compiling a 1.62 ERA in 33.1 IP. Thereafter he got rung up for a 5.93 ERA in 95.2 IP. He continues to struggle against lefties (.301/.389/.506) and remains inconsistent from start to start. Morton, who will earn $8 million in 2016, could find himself on the trade block if GM Neal Huntington’s patience has finally worn thin. The right-hander figures to rebound a bit after tossing consecutive sub-4.00 ERAs in 2013 and 2014, but given his propensity for injury and inconsistency fantasy owners might want to consider him as little more than a late draft pickup.
Morton will likely miss time at the beginning of 2015 after undergoing hip surgery in late October. The 31-year-old, who has made more than 20 starts in only two of seven big league campaigns, registered a 3.72 ERA (3.72 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP with a 126:57 K:BB ratio in 157.1 innings. He led the NL in hit batters (19) for the second straight season. Morton signed a three-year, $21 million extension prior to 2014, a deal which kicks in starting in 2015. The Pirates will gladly welcome him into the starting rotation, but again, it likely won't be at the start of the year. Morton has won 10 games only once -- he went 6-12 for a team which won 88 games in 2014 -- but should pile up innings once he gets back from his latest injury.
Morton put together a surprisingly consistent 2013 after making his season debut in June. The sinker-balling righty returned from Tommy John Surgery armed with a 92.8 mph average fastball that induced a whopping 62.9 percent groundball rate in 116 innings. He allowed more than three earned runs in three of 20 starts en route to a 3.26 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Morton benefited from Pittsburgh's defensive shifts as much as any starting pitcher and limited lefties to a .312 BA and .692 OPS. That may not sound like much, but it's an improvement over career marks of .335 BA and .822 OPS. Morton will slot in Pittsburgh's starting rotation looking to pick up where he left off at the end of 2013 after inking a three-year, $21 million extension.
Morton isn't expected back until June or July after undergoing Tommy John surgery in late May. Before getting hurt, he registered a 4.65 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 50.1 innings. When he's on top of his games, the right-hander utilizes a sinking fastball that seemingly coaxes groundballs at will. His 2.20 GB/FB ratio followed up a 3.17 mark in 2011. Left-handed hitters have historically fared well against Morton. They hold an .806 career OPS against him and are typically stacked in lineups when he starts. He engineered his best season with Pittsburgh in 2011, when he put up a 3.86 ERA while striking out a career-high 110. Even then, his WHIP was an ungainly 1.53, thanks to 77 walks. When he comes back, he'll likely slot in as a back-end rotation man, but his lack of strikeouts and risk of injury push him down low on fantasy totem pole.
The 2011 Charlie Morton version didn't pitch like Roy Halladay, but he was a heck of a lot better than the 2010 version (or 2009, for that matter). The righty put up some atrocious numbers numbers in 2010 (7.57 ERA in 79.2 IP), but general manager Neal Huntington showed faith in him and was rewarded. The righty with a repertoire of sinking pitches surprised many with a 3.21 ERA through his first 13 starts. By the time fantasy owners bought into Morton, however, he cooled off with a 4.41 ERA the rest of the way. Morton underwent hip surgery in October to repair a torn labrum and might not be back until May. He doesn't strike out many hitters or make many lefties miss (left-handers hit .364 against him). Draft him as a spot starter and use him against right-handed dominated lineups only.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington and others in management have shown an almost cult-like fostering toward Morton. The team coddled Morton, using Chris Snyder almost exclusively as his catcher over Ryan Doumit -- if only the rest of the staff had been so lucky. Morton earned his 2-12 record, compiling a historically bad 7.57 ERA and 1.732 WHIP in 79.2 innings. Opposing batters hit him at a .332 clip, numbers typically reserved for former Bucco Zach Duke. Regardless, he's still a factor in the Pittsburgh organization. He carries a low-90s fastball and a deuce that breaks off a cliff. The 27-year-old righty needs to trust his fastball, teams sat on his offspeed stuff all too frequently. After splitting time between Triple-A Indianapolis and Pittsburgh last year, Morton enters the 2011 campaign as a long shot to win a rotation spot. With his talent, however, it would be foolish to write him off altogether, as Huntington certainly hasn't.
With 33 combined starts between Atlanta and Pittsburgh, Morton made it through his first full major league season intact in 2009, but it wasn't easy. Inconsistency plagued the right-hander with intriguing stuff. On Aug. 14, Morton surrendered 10 earned runs in just one inning against the Cubs. He returned to Wrigley in late September to throw the first and only shutout of his short major league career. Morton will compete for the No. 4 or 5 spot in the rotation in 2010. At this point in his career, Morton might be used in fantasy leagues based upon matchups, but every-start usage is not recommended.
Morton struggled in his first season in the majors with poor control (41:48 K:BB ratio), but saw improvements in his strikeout rate and control at Triple-A (72:27 K:BB ratio). He threw just 5.2 innings in September due to a back injury, but should be fine for spring training. Despite the improvement at Triple-A, Morton's prior minor league strikeout and control numbers didn't indicate he'd have much success in the majors. He could win a spot in the rotation in spring training, and could surprise if his improvement at Triple-A continues.
Morton enters 2008 with an outside shot at a big league job after Braves management were impressed with his play in the Arizona Fall League, where he went 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 20:8 K:BB ratio in 21 innings. His minor league strikeout and control numbers wouldn't seem to indicate he's ready for a promotion all the way from Double-A. However, a rotation spot at Triple-A and a shot at a late-season call up may be in the offing.
More Fantasy News
Throws bullpen session
PAtlanta Braves
Finger
October 6, 2023
Morton (finger) threw a bullpen session Friday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Lands on injured list
PAtlanta Braves
Finger
September 24, 2023
Morton was placed on the 15-day injured list Sunday with right index finger inflammation.
ANALYSIS
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Sent for MRI on finger
PAtlanta Braves
Finger
September 22, 2023
Morton will undergo an MRI on Saturday after leaving his start Friday at Washington with right index finger discomfort, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Exits with finger discomfort
PAtlanta Braves
Finger
September 22, 2023
Morton was removed from his start Friday at Washington due to right index finger discomfort.
ANALYSIS
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Lit up by Marlins
PAtlanta Braves
September 17, 2023
Morton (14-12) allowed six runs on six hits and five walks over 4.2 innings Sunday. He struck out five and took a loss against Miami.
ANALYSIS
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