Charlie Morton to Start Year on Disabled List, Worley Moved to Rotation

According to Travis Sawchik, the Pittsburgh Pirates will place starting pitcher Charlie Morton on the disabled list as he continues to recover from his September hip surgery and Vance Worley will take his spot in the rotation. Morton pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday afternoon and had no command on his pitches, while also sitting high 80’s with his fastball. He walked five batters, hit two, threw two wild pitches and gave up six runs in 1.2 innings. Morton threw 70 pitches, with just 31 going for strikes. Worley pitched a scoreless inning in relief. The Pirates made the move official shortly after the report.

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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Assuming that Morton is able to get things straightened out, he is off the DL on April 19th, and has his first scheduled start April 22 at home. Or does he slide out of the rotation and into the bullpen even when he comes back?

The answer probably depends on the health, quality of the rest of the rotation, but I presume that his re-entry into the rotation is not a sure thing.

Bucs Stop Here

Hallelujah! Morton’s had too many chances and can not be counted on with his history of injuries. Time to leave him in the pen

Lee Foo Young

Wait! What? Morton goes on the DL?

John Lease

That was quick, but better to do it now than wait until he gets torched when it counts. Vance might not ever relieve this year.

R Edwards

If Morton is really hurt, why was he pitching this Spring? Is this one of those fake injuries, so they aren’t forced to take him north when he is pitching so bad?

If our young starting pitching prospects are so good at Indy, I hope they give them a shot early in the season, if the like of Locke, Morton, and Worley continue to struggle. I would be really excited about our rotation if Kingham and Sadler/Sampson were our #4 and #5 . Yeah, they may have some ups and downs, but they throw strikes and have upside to improve. Lets face it, our current #4 and #5 starters are mediocre journeymen at best, and are not likely to improve much from what they’ve been their entire careers.

Luke sutton

They way they can sell it is that he was still experiencing issues from the offseason injury and isnt fully healthy, thus the DL stint. I rather doubt he is that “hurt” but is instead still working on the alteration to his mechanics the team had him work on and the results clearly show he is a work in progress in maintaining his arm lot in his new mechanics.

I’d also highly question how Worley is a mediocre pitcher at best. Kid aint gonna win a Cy Young, but at his best he is a fine 4th option. When healthy, he actually hasnt even been anything but a quality back end arm. Even Locke out of the 5th spot is not terrible quality, though i agree the team could do better.

dr dng

Ok, looking at our depth now, who is the next man up now beyond Worley. We know the big time prospects will be available later, but what if someone can’t do between now and June 1? Is that Richards (not on 40) or is it someone else? (and some thought we would not miss Cumpton.)


Liz? Probably Sadler in reality, but I’d love to see if Liz could be a starter.

dr dng

Hmmm…. Interesting.

Chris Hale

3 years 21 million ………not well spent 🙁


Its two years $17 million the 3rd year has a $1 million buyout, if the Pirates cannot afford $8.5 million over two years for potentially league average pitching they better pack it up and go home.


Andrew/Chris: Just for the record, it was 3 years/$21 mil with $4 mil in 2014, $8 mil in 2015, and $8 mil in 2016, with an Option for 2017 at $9.5 mil or a $1 mil buyout. In 2014 his Value to the Pirates using WAR was a $8+ mil depending upon which value you use for WAR.

IMO, Charlie has a history of being a slow healer, so as long as he can use this next 2-4 weeks productively, there is no need to panic. If we want reason to be positive, in 2013 he had a career second half of the year after coming off an extended rehab period.

Chris Hale

Thank God. I hate to beat a dead horse and I am sorry. If he was pitching OK he wouldn’t be going on the D.L… I tell you with the two headed monster of Searage/Benedict if they cant get him right no one can and he’s a lost cause. i like this rotation now. I like the 2 lefties to keep teams off balance. Morton out Worley in, we’re ready to go

Luke sutton

You love to beat this horse, which is fine but just admit it. You live to comment about how bad Morton is.


These things certainly have a way of working themselves out don’t they.

Monsoon Harvard

I am so glad to hear that. I would have been very distraught about their chances to have a winning April if Morton was still in the rotation.


Morton will still be this team’s third best starter once healthy. He needs to be healthy, that is the key. Felt all along he was rushing things. Once he had the surgery, I did not expect him to be ready for Opening Day. Bad news here though is that now that bum Stolmy Pimentel will make the team for sure.

oh Hal

Didn’t Morton say he was completely healthy and had no pain?

Chris Hale

Morton will never be the 3rd best starter on any roster. Send him to Indy he’s a #5 starter barely


For you, or anybody like you, to call Pimental or anybody who has at least appeared in MLB, a ” bum ” is hilarious. I am no fan of his, but am smart enough to recognize when somebody has a lot more ability than I ever had. Grow up, if it’s possible.


Does this mean Pirates will stick Pimentel on the Active Roster again?


I was figuring this would’ve been announced by the 4th inning.


Told my wife as we were listening to the game that they would never let him start the season in the majors after this kind of spring training, especially with this last performance. I was right. Stolmy’s safe for now.


Absolutely no reason Pimentel should be on this roster do the right thing recall Holdzkam, Hughes hasn’t looked great this spring either we need real relievers not “assets”


Pimentel sucks! tired of hearing about potential.


Not surprised here at all. With our supposed depth, the Bucs are not going to mess around waiting for him to feel good.

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