Charlie Morton Placed on DL, Brent Morel Recalled

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and third baseman Brent Morel has been promoted from Indianapolis and added to the active roster. The move with Morton was made retroactive to August 16th and it was called right hip inflammation. The addition of Morel is likely just temporary as Gerrit Cole is scheduled to return to the Pirates rotation after throwing shutout ball in his last rehab start on Friday. Cole won’t be activated until it’s his day to start. Morton has a 3.84 ERA in 25 starts this year. He has thrown 152.1 innings, his most since 2011 when he threw 171.1 innings. Morton lasted just three innings in his last start and gave up five runs. He also allowed five runs in his previous outing, so he has been struggling recently. This is Morel’s third stint with the Pirates this season. In nine games, he is 3-for-16 with a double. He has made four starts at third base for the Pirates.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Morel is terrible. Maybe he’s the best option the team has. But having Morel, Nix, and Martinez on the roster is really uninspiring.


Does anyone else think the Pirates are too conservative in sending runners to the plate from third? In the ninth tonight with Polanco at second, Harrison singled to left field – with Polanco’s speed it would be expected he would score. As I recall, the base hit was not a one hopper directly at Harper. It looked like Polanco was probably given the stop sign by Leyva. Harper’s throw was off line and it appeared Polanco would have scored easily to put the Bucs – importantly – up by two runs in the ninth if he had not been held at third. It is relatively difficult to throw out a runner at the plate from the outfield – the ball has to be fielded cleanly and quickly, the throw has to be quick, accurate and strong, and a guy using a catcher’s mitt usually has to scoop it on one or more hops and apply a tag without losing control of the ball – a lot of things can go wrong in that sequence especially when the runner is as fast as Polanco. Conversely, it is relatively difficult to drive in runs. I would think on border line judgments (not plays where it is unlikely that the runner can score) that you would want to send runners until the number of runners thrown out is approximately equal to the number of runners being stranded at third base. The Pirates lose very few runners at the plate but strand a lot of runners at third base. In the sixth, I did not see enough to know what kind of chance Walker, a slower runner, had to score from second on Alvarez’ hit. However, the PP Gazette reported that when Polanco doubled in the ninth, Sanchez ran through Leyva’s stop sign to put the Pirates up by one – there wasn’t even a play at the plate because of a poor throw from the outfield, etc. I would think a player running through a stop sign would be a significant event – do the player’s lack confidence in the third base coach’s judgment?


I am constantly under attack when I criticize Hurdle for anything and I won’t budge from my assessment that he is one of the best motivators in the game. But as far as game management he is one of the worst. While we all seem baffled by moves he doesn’t make thinking it is his thinking and not realizing he doesn’t know what to do so he hopes what he already has done will work out.

Ron Loreski

Clint Hurdle doesn’t send the runners home. That’s Nick Leyva’s job.


Yes I’m quite aware of what a third base coach does. And they probably even discuss potential base running situations between innings. But you prove my point about the sensitivity of Hurdles name mentioned for anything but praise.


I agree, after all these years, CH must be happy with the third base situation or surely he would have reassigned his third base coach to another position.

Nathan Swartz

This is a bit off topic, but I noticed quite a few on these boards keep looking to upgrade from Mercer like he’s some kind of hack. Anyone notice that he is top 35 in NL in WAR? Or that he is the 8th ranked SS in baseball? Ahead of: HanRam, Simmons, Lowrie, Cozart, Andrus, Gregorious, Castro, Desmond and barely behind Rollins, Hardy, and Reyes.
I don’t understand the rush to “fix” the SS spot at the moment. There are far more pressing needs.


I agree there are far more pressing needs – I just hope Mercer can play. Has anyone heard if they have done a MRI on his elbow?


Ya I like Mercer and am glad they have stuck with him.

Kind of wish we would do the same with Lambo. Let him play out the season at 1st and start next year. Patience has paid off with Mercer, Harrison and Snider. The 1B upgrade might be right under our noses.

I think this winter is prme time to trade Walker as well for something. Like a package of two or three young arms to fill out the rotation/middle relief next year.


Why is Lambo still in Indy? Martinez looks lost in LF. The flyball that went for a double tonight would have been caught by any competent left fielder. Heck Teke would have caught that.


You just aren’t going to win many games with Jason Nix, Brett Morel, and Michael Martinez as 3 of the 8 men on the field with a tie game. You just have to make better roster calls than this.


Totally agree. When you have 3 position players who don’t have major league talent, well guess what. You aren’t a playoff team.


The Pirates bullpen is awful…especially on the road. The Pirates suck on the road. The Pirates are going to fade from the playoff picture not because of lack of talent or not stacking up against the competition, but because they are ABYSMAL on the road.

(Alvarez shouldn’t be at 3B either…another error…terrible management).


Fister? I barely even know her


I was guessing Charlie was going to go on to the DL. As John wrote above, most innings in a while for Charlie. Prob Just needs a rest. Hope that is all that it is. Better to give Charlie a rest then bring him back and can put Volquez in the pen if all healthy and we are suddenly much stronger.

Ron Loreski

Why would you put Volquez in the bullpen? Over his last 3 starts he’s 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 7.91 K/9. He and Liriano are the 1-2 punch going down the stretch.


Just seems kinda funny how yesterday morton was saying he felt healthy and today he goes on dl, I know this kind of “injury” happens all the time in baseball it’s just a bit laughable to me the lenghts teams have to go to in order to give a guy a break. Ah well,what is is what it is.


…or you know, how little incentive players have to be honest with the media with regards to their health.

Sean Epstein

Explains a lot. Morton’s velocity has been down and he has been elevating his pitches. Either the hip injury is legit or he needs a break. Either way, with Cole on the way back it made sense to DL him and let him reboot.


Before anyone complains about Morel, he is 3-for-3 vs Fister.


I thought he should have been up as soon as walker was hurt, thus negating the need to put pedro anywhere near third.

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