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Friday, December 2, 2022

Morton Abandoning Mechanical Adjustment; Polanco Fixing His Swing

Charlie Morton has been working on a mechanical adjustment this Spring, and in the process, has been struggling on the mound. On Saturday, Morton abandoned that adjustment in order to focus on getting ready for the season.

“Those kind of things are going to have to go to the back burner right now, and I’ve got to get ready for the season,” Morton said, noting that getting outs is the emphasis now, rather than focusing on adjustments.

“There’s some things that, along the way, you have to learn to incorporate them in your delivery, and if they don’t work, they don’t work,” Morton said. “If they do, they do, and you stick with them and you just get better. This is a tough time of year to gauge that kind of thing.”

Morton had a decent outing yesterday, throwing just 88 pitches through six innings, and giving up two earned runs. The crazy weather in Bradenton, with a lot of high winds, led to some of the damage against him.

“Today was pretty good,” pitching coach Ray Searage said of the outing. “He threw 88 pitches, and 78 were all fastballs with two-seamers mixed in there. When he did throw the off-speed pitch, that got them off his fastball. Right now the more reps he can get in getting that arm path, and getting out in front, and staying back — that’s a positive sign.”

There haven’t been any injury concerns with Morton this Spring, and he said that his hip feels great after recovering from the hernia injury last year. He returned this year trying to incorporate his pickoff move into his delivery, aimed at staying healthy on the mound.

“I want to get better. Anytime I have a chance I think I can get better making an adjustment, I want to try it,” Morton said. “It’s just a tough time, at this point right now, to put a lot of emphasis on mechanics.”

The Pirates are now getting Morton back to the pitcher he has been since his complete overhaul in 2011. Searage was encouraged by the results on that switch today.

“He’s getting ready for the season now,” Searage said. “Today was a lot better. He was back to his old self.”

Morton has been a very under-rated pitcher the last few years, looking like a middle of the rotation starter when healthy. Unfortunately, the health aspect hasn’t been consistent. He will get one more start this year for the Pirates to decide if he’s ready for the start of the season. Even if he might need an extra start to get back to his old self, he won’t miss much time. And if he can get back to his old self, the Pirates will have a good pitcher for as long as he stays healthy.

Polanco Heating Up

Gregory Polanco went to Pirate City this week, getting some extra at-bats. Since that time, he has returned to see his bat heating up in Spring Training games. Polanco has homered in each of the last two games.

“Down in the minor league camp is where it all started,” Hurdle said on Saturday. “He was able to take it into yesterday. Was able to get more good swings today. Staying on the ball. Held his backside better so much for me. That’s been the biggest difference.”

Hurdle said that Polanco is staying firm on his backside, and is getting the barrel of the bat out in front. Polanco said that he was working on his timing while at Pirate City, allowing the ball to travel deep in the zone, and trusting his hands.

Last year Polanco struggled in his debut at the Major League level. He was on fire when he came up, but quickly struggled after the first ten days in the majors. He’s got the hitting skills to be an impact player, but will need to adjust to the majors.

“They saw video of me, and they got to know me,” Polanco said of opposing pitchers. “I have to adjust to them. I just have to keep working, have my timing there, and trust my hands.”

Other Notes

**Stolmy Pimentel will get the start today. The Pirates aren’t necessarily looking at him as a starting option, but found a way to get him some additional innings with the way the schedule worked out. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the final audition for Pimentel. Arquimedes Caminero seems to have a roster spot locked down, and Pimentel hasn’t done much to put either Jared Hughes or John Holdzkom (whoever doesn’t get sent down for Caminero) in the minors. He’s got some good upside, but he remains a project, and the Pirates already have a few of those on their roster showing more promise than Pimentel.

**A.J. Burnett threw six innings at Pirate City yesterday. He threw 96 pitches, with 64 strikes, and generated a lot of ground ball outs. Pedro Alvarez joined him at Pirate City, rotating between minor league games to get additional at-bats. Tony Sanchez was also there catching Burnett, and seems to have turned into Burnett’s personal catcher.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Chris Hale

If you have watched Morton over the past 6 years like I have you can’t possibly want this guy in the rotation. Yes he got better when he made adjustments but now he’s junking those adjustments. That is the point. He is captain inconsistent. This guy is a mess. He doesn’t have the mentality to be a consistently good SP. Give it up already. Morton has made this team because the Pirates made a horrible decision to extend him. Worley gives us a much better chance to win and now he is in the pen.. You will see. He will crash and burn again this season


“Right now the more reps he can get in getting that arm path, and getting out in front, and staying back…” How can you get out in front and stay back at the same time?


Get out in front of the hitter on the count.

Stay back on your body motion, don’t let your hips and shoulder fly open early.


Morton, more than anything physical, needs to improve his mental toughness when things don’t go his way. Way too often last year he would turn a good outing into a bad one at the first sign of trouble.

Can he learn to bear down at his age? Hope so.


I wouldn’t necessarily say that Charlie lacks mental toughness. I do think that sometimes he over thinks.

Luke sutton

Mental toughness….the trait ever fans loves to attempt to assume on guys and that is largely impossible to measure. You get 10 guys in a room and ask “Is Morton mentally not tough” and i bet you get at least 5 different answers. Personally i dont see anything about Morton that wilts under intense pressure, its always pretty obvious with Morton if his stuff is playing well or if he clearly doesnt have a feel for his sinker/curveball. I’ve seen him get away with poor command for a few innings, but i really never see a game where i go “Morton has it going” and then he just loses it and gives up 5 runs. If he stays back and controls the movement on the sinker, its a GB factory and usually decent. If the sinker stats dancing too much, he’ll hit a guy and leave one up.


Not impossible to measure. One way to look at it – compare % of runners stranded when leading to % of runners stranded when tied / behind in a game. They should be about the same unless the pitcher is scoreboard watching / waiting to be yanked from the game.



Do you have situational numbers – LOB% with a lead versus LOB% when trailing?

I am not saying that is the best measurement of “mental toughness” nor am I saying that Charlie suffers from a lack of “mental toughness”.

I am saying that if you suspect a lack of “mental toughness” on Charlie’s part, one stat you might look at is a comparison of the two LOB%. If they disagree from each other by a significant amount then you might conclude that Charlie is watching the scoreboard when he pitches.

Luke sutton

Well…. you did argue that Charlie struggles from a lack of mental toughness. “needs to improve his mental toughness when things dont go his way” doesnt word for word say he lacks it, but it clearly implies that his mental issues are larger than physical ones. It’s interesting to try to find a stat that may imply issues with struggling more after some rough at bats, i just dont see LOB as indicative of it and it relies more on assumption. Because you went to “he may be watching the scoreboard” which then is assumption based on the LOB, which has fluctuated as others have pointed out. Its not really using LOB itself as proof.



The first post was by “Sklieson”, not me. I was proposing a way to quantify “mental toughness” in the sense of not letting outcome adversely affect performance.

I thought that situational LOB% may be better than opponent situational OPS, strike out rate, or some other situational measures because it allows the pitcher get outs any way that he can even at the expense of additional base runners.

If there are better measures out there, I am all ears.

Luke sutton

But at best thats a correlation-causation issue. LOB doesnt directly in any way indicate a pitcher is mentally struggling, since i can name a bunch of other factors that also influence LOB stats. You go on below to get even farther into speculation about if a pitcher is watching the scoreboard which THEN impacts LOB. Which, at best, is highly assumptive and not able to be judged. You can make the argument, but i dont see a high degree of reliability to that data in suggesting what you are trying to get at.



“I can name a bunch of other factors that also influence LOB stats…”

Yes, but a lot of those other factors should carry an equal weighting irregardless of score. Condition of the field, quality of defense, quality of batting opponents, etc. should balance over a season / multiple seasons.

And I am limiting my definition of “mental struggles” to outcome frustration – I just made some of the best pitches I can throw and the batter still got on base / drove in the go ahead run. Do I come back with the same effort, or do I get disheartened?

There are other kinds of mental struggles – preoccupation with non-baseball events (personal issues), etc. But these again should balance out over a season irregardless of score if they are season long issues, or should be noise in the background if they are short lived.

Situational LOB% isn’t maybe the ideal stat to look at. But I think it is better than opponent situational .OPS because of intentional walks, pitch arounds, etc. and better than situational strike out rates because a pitcher may try to induce the double play rather than pitching for the strikeout.


I’m not sure that would really prove anything, the year to year correlation of LOB is around .23, it is not really reliable so you would just be chasing variance.



Actually what I am hoping to find is situational LOB%, compare pitcher’s LOB% with a lead compared to a pitcher’s LOB% in a tie game, playing behind.

The two during a given year should be pretty close. Even if year to year LOB% has a high degree of variance, during any given season it shouldn’t matter what the score is unless the pitcher has a tendency to watch the scoreboard and get discouraged – hence the lack of mental fortitude / toughness.

The question is – does Charlie give the same effort down by three runs and runners on 2nd and 3rd as he does up by three runs with runners on 2nd and 3rd.

That is how big innings sometimes play out. Starting pitcher gives up a lead and in the back of the mind, the doubts creep in – oh, no here we go again.


Early in Charlies’s career, he really struggled against left handed hitters.

Right handed hitters – .245 AVE, .708 OPS
Left handed hitters – .306 AVE, .944 OPS

Right handed hitters – .236 AVE, .594 OPS
Left handed hitters – .316 AVE, .923 OPS

Right handed hitters – .335 AVE, .887 OPS
Left handed hitters – .329 AVE, .936 OPS

Right handed hitters – .220 AVE, .567 OPS
Left handed hitters – .364 AVE, .960 OPS

Initially in 2011, Charlie was sitting 93-94 with the four seam and 86-87 with the splitter. As the season progressed, the four seam fastball dropped to 91-92 but the splitter dropped to 81-82.

Right handed hitters – .301 AVE, .740 OPS
Left handed hitters – .310 AVE, .886 OPS
He spent most of that year on the DL.

Right handed hitters – .223 AVE, .552 OPS
Left handed hitters – .312 AVE, .844 OPS
He spent the early part of that season on the DL.

That seemed to be the breakthrough year for Charlie – he was as dominant as ever against righties, and was able to improve his success against lefties. His 4 seam fastball held at 93-94 through the part of the season that he pitched. The split change was around 85-87.

Right handed hitters – .252 AVE, .698 OPS
Left handed hitters – .243 AVE, .664 OPS

Though the record doesn’t reflect it, Charlie actually had his best year last year (at least against lefties). Note, those are league average numbers against righties, and better than league average numbers against lefties. That is about what you would expect out of a #3 starter on a non-contending team and #4 / #5 starter on a playoff team.

To make the next leap, Charlie needs to fine tune his pitch selection. When he has thrown his split finger, he has gotten hammered.



Morton is a two pitch pitcher, his split change sucks and appears to not have enough velocity separation from his fastball offerings. His improved performance against LHH is likely due to increasingly throwing inside against LHH. Early in his career he lived away, now it is inside and low and why he has hit 21 LHH over the last two years.

With two pitches and the platoon splits Morton is going to be volatile, he lacks a backup plan when struggles, I think this is why he is such a flash point among Pirates fans.

Also if I may, I suggest Fangraphs for stats, their setup is a little cleaner and more navigable.



He also hit 14 RHH over the last two years. Of those hit batsmen, 16 of a total of 35 were hit with curve balls. That kind of makes sense against lefties – back foot curve ball breaks in too much. It doesn’t explain why he is hitting RHH especially when he has had success all through his career against RHH.

Looking at the fan graph site, Charlie does rely on the two seam fastball more now than earlier in his career. That pitch will have a tendency to run in on the hands of right handers.

Wonder if Charlie should use more four seam against righties to keep the HBP down?


Even with the 14 RHH hit, still hitting lefties at a higher rate. His platoon split it jumps around a bit, but is usually really big in favor of lefties, even in 2013 it was big, but that was mainly because he was so dominant against righties.

Picture gets muddle looking at pitch types, not really any big patterns, though of late Morton has kept LHH in the park. But overall the guys a bit of mystery, needs another secondary pitch.


He has toyed with a slider on / off through his career. More effective against righties than lefties. Vulcan change / palm ball might get better speed separation. Not sure if he has ever tried throwing a knuckle ball.


Obviously we are over simplifying it but with the 3/4 arm slot Morton needs some type of change up or a cutter. Which is what Halladay threw so effectively.


Polanco making adjustments at this point in his career is a good thing, morton making adjustments at this point in his career is a bad thing. One has just found the rainbow, the other missed the rainbow and got hit on the head by the pot of gold while wandering by.


Strange to hear Sanchez as A.J.’s personal catcher, given the former’s trouble with throwing runners out and the latter’s slow delivery to the plate. Bad combination, if you ask me.

Chris Hale

That is a day that they will pretty much give up on controlling the running game. Tony has fixed his throwing though. Good runners will steal on this duo. Just hope AJ keeps them off the bases. Sanchez probably only plays once every 5 days

Chris Hale

Jeff Locke Career 61 Starts 17-18 4.00 ERA 1.36 WHIP
Vance Worley Career 73 Starts 27-22 3.75 ERA 1.38 WHIP
Charlie Morton Career 36-61 134 Starts 4.50 ERA 1.45 WHIP
Worley and Locke combined have the exact number of games started as Charlie Morton does 134. Morton has had far more chances than either of these guys to get it figured out. If he hasn’t yet he will probably never figure it out. I think it’s obvious who should be the odd man out. Tell me again why we extended this pitcher? Especially when he continues to lose his velocity. This guy used to be more encouraging , throwing 93-95 a couple years ago Last year he was 89-91. WHich is fine with pin point command like Worley had last year


Since the mechanical change Morton has an ERA of 3.74. We need to quit lumping in stats from pre 2011 when discussing Morton. We also need to stop using his W/L record to judge him.



I went through each of Charlie Morton’s starts last year and recalculated his win-loss record based upon the scoring methodology below:

April 2 vs Chi Cubs
6 IP, 0 ER, Pirates up 2-0 after 6, Final score 4-3 Pirates in 16 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Win

April 8 vs Chi Cubs
6 IP, 5 ER, Pirates up 6-5 after 6, Final score 7-6 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Win

April 13 vs Mil Brewers
7 IP, 4 ER, Brewers up 4-1 after 7, Final score 4-1 Brewers in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

April 18 vs Mil Brewers
6 IP, 5 ER, Brewers up 5-2 after 6, Final score 5-3 Brewers in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

April 23 vs Cin Reds
6 IP, 3 ER, Reds up 4-2 after 6, Final score 5-2 Reds in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

May 1 vs Bal Orioles
5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, Orioles up 4-1 after 5 1/3, Final Score 5-1 Orioles in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

May 6 vs SF Giants
8 IP, 1 ER, Tie Game 1-1 after 8, Final Score 2-1 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – No decision
New Score – 1/2 Win

May 11 vs Stl Cardinals
6 IP, 1 ER, Cardinals up 4-2 after 6, Final Score 6-5 Cardinals in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

May 18 vs NY Yankees
7 IP, 4 ER, Yankees up 4-3 after 6, Final Score 4-3 Yankees in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

May 23 vs Wash Nationals
5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, Pirates up 4-1 after 5 2/3, Final Score 4-3 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – Win
New Score – 1 Win

May 28 vs NY Mets
5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, Mets up 3-0 after 6, Final Score 5-0 Mets in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

June 2 vs SD Padres
5 IP, 2 ER, Pirates up 3-2 after 5, Final Score 10-3 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – Win
New Score – 1 Win

June 9 vs Chi Cubs
6 IP, 1 ER, Pirates up 4-1 after 7, Final Score 6-2 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – Win
New Score – 1 Win

June 14 vs Mia Marlins
7 IP, 2 ER, Pirates up 8-2 after 7, Final Score 8-6 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – Win
New Score – 1 Win

June 20 vs Chi Cubs
6 IP, 6 ER, Cubs up 6-3 after 6, Final Score 6-3 Cubs in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

June 25 vs Tampa Rays
7 IP, 2 ER, Rays up 3-0 after 7, Final Score 5-1 Rays in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

July 2 vs Ariz Diamondbacks
6 IP, 1 ER, Pirates up 3-1 after 6, Final Score 5-1 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – Win
New Score – 1 Win

July 7 vs Stl Cardinals
7 IP, 0 ER, Tie game after 7, Final Score 2-0 Cardinals in 9 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Loss
Yes he should get half a loss here. Pitchers bat in the NL.

July 12 vs Cin Reds
6 IP, 5 ER, Tie game after 6, Final Score 6-5 Pirates in 11 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Win

July 19 vs Col Rockies
7 IP, 2 ER, Rockies up 2-1 after 7, Final Score 3-2 Pirates in 11 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Win

July 25 vs Col Rockies
6 IP, 4 ER, Rockies up 4-0 after 6, Final Score 8-1 Rockies in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

July 30 vs SF Giants
5 IP, 4 ER, Pirates up 5-4 after 5, Final Score 6-5 Giants in 9 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Loss

Aug 5 vs Mia Marlins
7 IP, 1 ER, Pirates up 2-1 after 7, Final Score 6-3 Miami in 9 Innings
Old Score – No Decision
New Score – 1/2 Loss

Aug 10 vs SD Padres
5 IP, 5 ER, Padres up 5-2 after 5, Final Score 8-2 Padres in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

Aug 15 vs Wash Nationals
3 IP, 5 ER, Nationals up 5-0 after 3, Final Score 5-4 Nationals in 9 Innings
Old Score – Loss
New Score – 1 Loss

Sept 16 vs Bos Red Sox
5 IP, 0 ER, Pirates up 2-0 after 5, Final Score 4-0 Pirates in 9 Innings
Old Score – Win
New Score – 1 Win

Old Record – 6 Wins, 12 Losses
New Record – 8 1/2 Wins, 13 1/2 Losses

Not a big difference, but it does demonstrate that Charlie pitched better than his record indicated.



Agreed on using his W/L record to judge him. Major league baseball really needs to change how it scores a pitcher’s win / loss record. Looking at today’s spring training game is a good example.

B. Wood comes into the game during the 8th inning with the Pirates leading by 1 run. He gives up the lead (blown save / hold) and then gets credited for the win when the Pirates retake the lead in the 9th.

I propose the following changes to the scoring rules for pitcher of record:

MLB should allow for half wins and half losses.

A starting pitcher that goes 6 innings and leaves with a lead gets 1 win if his teams wins out without giving up lead, 1/2 win if his team loses lead and then regains it to win, and no decision if his team loses lead and game.

A starting pitcher that goes 6 innings and leaves game behind in score gets 1 full loss if team loses out, 1/2 loss if team ties / goes ahead and then loses, and no decision if team comes back and wins.

A starting pitcher that goes 6 innings and leaves game tied gets 1/2 win if team wins out, 1/2 loss if team loses out.

If the starting pitcher is unable to go 6 innings, then the pitcher of record when the winning team first takes the lead gets 1/2 win. The pitcher of record when the winning team scores the winning run / runs gets 1/2 win.

If the starting pitcher is unable to go 6 innings, then the pitcher of record when the losing team first gives up the lead gets 1/2 loss. The pitcher of record when the losing team gives up the winning run / runs gets 1/2 loss.

Basically, the starting pitcher stays in line for the win / loss based on his performance no matter the outcome of the game.

This would cure the Blyleven problem of a starting pitcher not getting his due because a manager relies a lot on his bullpen.


I just really hate the W/L stat in general.
Morton’s run support the last two years
2014: 3.58
2013: 3.62
Morton has an ERA of 3.52 and a FIP of 3.67 over those two years. His record is 13-16

Compare his run support to Kyle Gibson of the Twins.
2014: 4.39
2013: 5.80
Gibson has an ERA of 4.92 and a FIP of 4.10. his record is 15-16.

Are we really going to sit here and act like Gibson was as good if not better than Morton because of his record? Pitching records are a crapshoot unless you’re Clayton Kershaw and constantly putting up 1 run games or shut outs.

Heck, remember when Kevin Correia was an All-Star because he had 11 wins in the first half of the season? That should be enough right there to show how pointless wins and losses are.


I reworked Morton’s win / loss record to reflect a fairer scoring – I gave him 1/2 win when he pitched 6 innings, the bullpen lost the lead, and then came back and won.

This still docks him some wins where he is let down by the bullpen, but he only gets 1/2 loss when this happens if he leaves with a lead / tie.

As the starter Morton gets credit for any runs scored while he is pitching and should also get credit for lack of run support (problematic but pitchers bat in the NL so he can help himself).

As such, pitching a quality start (> 6 IP, < 3 ER allowed) should not excuse him from taking a loss if he gets no run support.


Right, Tim. I also remember you mentioning that during that down year Morton had a hard time throwing his two seamer. The bottom line is that Morton, when healthy, is a pretty good pitcher.

Luke sutton

There is an argument that can be made, and i dont dislike it overall, that Morton could be held in extended ST. But using career stats is really not the smart way to go, and makes you look like you just dislike Morton and dont care to be fair to the reality of these 3 pitchers. What Morton did in 2008 and 2009 is basically useless in using to determine his future value. Locke has really never shown the ability to throw a season as productive as Morton, and while he is “healthy” that really doesnt help if he is so bad at times they dont throw him and his total innings are greatly better than Morton.

You also use clearly misleading stats when arguing. “When he continues to lose his velocity”. By continue, you mean he lost velo last year but you dont really bother to admit there is a reasonable chance that loss of velo had to do with the injury he pitched through for a month. Injuries will always be an issue, but when healthy you put his guy in the rotation (and he is healthy now).

If 31 is the point where a guy wont ever figure it out (after back to back 1.5 WAR seasons) then trading for AJ Burnett should have been theeee dumbest move ever made….since he was coming off back to back seasons worse than Morton’s last two. AJ was healthier, but throwing like a worse pitcher. Hold Morton back if you want him to work on a mechanical issue, not because you think Jeff Locke is better than him. Just going via stats, Locke’s best year had periphs that were worse than Morton. Find a better option than Locke and i’ll be on board with hating Morton.


Chris: I am glad he is feeling healthy, and the bottom line is he is making $8 mil this year, and $8 mil next year, so if healthy he is on the 25. He has announced he is healthy, therefore he will be in the Rotation coming out of Spring Training or shortly thereafter which puts guys like Locke, Decker, Lambo, and Pimental in jeopardy. But, if CM can stay locked into the game pitch by pitch he can be very strong.

They will most likely keep Locke as an extra Long Relief/SP rather than chance losing him for next to nothing because he is out of options. If they want to keep Pimental, who is also out of options, they have to send either Holdzkom or Hughes back to AAA because they do have options remaining. And then there is always the LH hitting utility OF spot – if we hold the pitching, we have to forfeit that opportunity, and use Hart and/or Rodriguez as the utility OF. Decker and Lambo both have options remaining, so that would not be exposing either.

A conundrum!

Chris Hale

I think it would be smart to keep Morton in extended spring training . It can only help. The other two starters are better safer bets right now. Let Charlie ease his way back. WHen he’s finally dialed in bring him up and that is when you send Hughes or Holdzkom back to AAA because they have options. I think it’s time to cut Pimentel. Expose him to waiver and hope he clears. If he doesn’t we move on. If Morton stays in extended ST that keeps ocke and Worley both in the rotation and it gives 7 guys who deserve to be in the pen. Melancon,Watson,Bastardo,Liz,Caminero,Hughes and Holdzkom. Those are your 7 best relievers. They should be heading to Pittsburgh.
The Bench will be Sanchez,Kang, Rodriguez,Hart and either Lambo or Decker


I doubt the Pirates will attempt to keep CM in XST. Worley is a better bet right now as the 3/4, but CM and Locke are tossups for No. 5 which is acceptable for Locke, but not for CM. Once again there is a reason, but I am tiring of the annual drama.

Pimental is still only in his age 25 season – he has given us reliever innings the past few years and I hang onto him and, if necessary, send Hughes down to work on the Sinker.

Lambo has had another less than adequate ST, and Decker has been better in ST at the plate and can play all 3 OF positions, but I would rather keep Locke and Pimental, who are better trade possibilities from the MLB Roster. Send Decker and Lambo back to AAA.

Lee Foo Young

The only adjustment I want from Charlie is a health adjustment. When healthy, he is a good pitcher….I am not a Charlie fan, but that is mostly ‘mired’ in my belief that he will never stay healthy. This puts us in a position to use our depth, which is never as good as CM is when healthy.

david jung

It’s not just the health issue per se, but his history of 4-5 bad starts before finally admitting an injury and getting yanked from the rotation. Perhaps lying with a plan to work through an injury and stay on the mound is a common problem with pitchers, but there is no excuse for the coaching staff not to be more proactive with the depth we have this year as you say.

Chris Hale

This news on Morton is bad news to me. This guy is a mess. He always has been a mess. Here and there you see some positive things from this guy and then out of know where he starts hitting batters ,can’t hit his spots and starts giving up homers and starts getting hammered. He came to spring this year for the 2nd or 3rd time in his career trying to change his mechanics. First it was his own then it was Roy Halladay delivery then he changed some other things and then he came into this spring with more changes and now he’s going back to his old mechanics. This guy can’t ever figure it out and his career record of 36 -62 tells the entire story. Inconsistency. Morton is not top 5 starter right now. Yesterday he faced a lineup with one starter. Justin Smoak. Keep this guy in extended ST

Luke sutton

Wait wait wait….you dont like Morton? When did that happen? I was sure you were raving about him after his 1.5 and 1.6 WAR in back to back years. I mean that is just ho hum “here and there positive things” but im shocked!

zombie sluggo

His career win/loss record tells us essentially nothing about how he has pitched. When healthy, Charlie absolutely is one of the Bucs’ best five starters.

Chris Hale

W/L is not a good measurement for a single season. But over 98 professional decision it does. He is horrible. Get over it

Lee Foo Young

I agree about the W/L part, but the rest of it is the truth.

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