Charlie Morton‘s moniker of “Ground Chuck” was earned by relentlessly getting opposing batters to ground out in rather ho-hum fashion, save for the occasional disaster of an inning here and there. When his stuff is on, he often induces ground balls via his two-seam fastball.
|O-Swing %||O-contact %||SwStr%||Ground ball rate||Fly Ball Rate|
As you can see, none of Morton’s numbers in this area are what you would call staggering, and the swinging strike percentage is well below the league average of 9.5%. But, as we expected, Chuck’s ground ball rate is an other-worldly 60.3%. Six out of every ten two-seamers that Morton throws end up on the ground to be swallowed up by Neil Walker, Jordy Mercer, or Josh Harrison. We’ve all seen innings from Charlie that are like clockwork, batter up..batter grounds out. Rinse and repeat. We’ve also seen the disasters where one bad inning can ruin a very good start. At this point in his career, Morton knows what type of pitcher he is, and when you couple that with the Pittsburgh Pirates being the shiftiest team in the league, it maximizes his strengths.
The next slide will highlight the two guys battling for the fifth spot in the roation.
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