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Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Atlanta Braves sign Charlie Morton to one-year, $20 million extension

The Braves locked up another key player for next season, announcing a $20 million, one-year deal for pitcher Charlie Morton on Monday.

The contract includes a $20 million club option for 2023 with no buyout.

The 37-year-old right-hander has been a stalwart of the rotation for the first-place Braves, going 13-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 28 starts.

Morton leads the team in wins and has provided veteran leadership in a rotation that includes Max Fried and a pair of 23-year-olds, Ian Anderson and Huascar Ynoa.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 07, 2021 at 03:54 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, charlie morton

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   1. bfan Posted: September 07, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6038583)
Morton has been the Braves pitcher this year and has gotten much better as the season has gone on; he is not wearing out. If Will Smith was Josh Hader, Morton might be looking at a possible 20 win season.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 07, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6038584)
Pardon me for not following Charlie Morton's career closely enough, but what happened during the 2016 season (or the following off-season) that caused him to transform into a completely different pitcher:

2017-present: 125 GS, 704 IP, 569 H, 831/232 K/BB, ERA+ of 126, made about $45m, with another $20 guaranteed for 2022, and a team option for another $20m in 2023.

2008-2016: 161 GS, 893 IP, 950 H, 630/337 K/BB, ERA+ of 84, made about $31.7m

Those K/BB numbers just pop off the screen...
   3. salvomania Posted: September 07, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6038590)
If Will Smith was Josh Hader, Morton might be looking at a possible 20 win season.

If Charlie Morton could routinely go 7 innings, he might be looking at a potential 20-win season.

He's 6-0 (with one no-decision) in 2021 when he pitches into the 7th inning.

Of his 9 no-decisions, five came in games in which he pitched into, but not beyond the 6th inning, left with a lead, and had the bullpen blow the save. In two other no-decisions, he pitched into, but not beyond the 6th, and left with the score tied.

It's not completely on Charlie, though: in one of those six-inning starts, he was removed after 79 pitches (one run), and in another, at 85 pitches (zero runs).
   4. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 07, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6038593)
Pardon me for not following Charlie Morton's career closely enough, but what happened during the 2016 season (or the following off-season) that caused him to transform into a completely different pitcher


If I recall, he dropped his arm slot before that (all the articles about how much his new delivery looked like that of Roy Halladay were maybe 2014?) but the breakthrough in 2016 came as a result of deciding to throw harder (I know, right?) and also making some changes as to the frequency/grip or sequencing of his curveball?
   5. The Duke Posted: September 07, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6038595)
So that’s it. Throw Harder. I wonder why coaches don’t harp on that.
   6. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 07, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6038596)
“For some reason,” Morton said. “I just went out there and tried to throw the ball hard one game. I wound up throwing it harder.

“I feel like my arm is working really well … My timing is really good. I feel like my arm is quicker. I’m maintaining my pitch speed throughout the game, which is really promising. It’s not just I go out there, throw hard, and it fades away.”

Last spring, the analytically inclined Morton appeared to do less thinking. Perhaps concerned that he was running out of answers, he made a very uncomplicated decision: he was going to try and light up the radar gun.


From an old Fangraphs article at the time. I knew I wasn't crazy!!
   7. Walt Davis Posted: September 07, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6038598)
I didn't follow it that closely but my memory was that he was one of the first "but look at the spin rate" guys. Plus he went to Houston where, magically, a few guys had surprising success that had nothing to do with the team's willingness to cheat because that only involved trash cans. :-) On the other hand, if he was loading up his pitches, we might have expected a big drop-off this year.

Based on data at statcast/savant, there was a big change in pitch mix. He went from 60% sinkers** and 25% curves to about 40% curves, 40% 4-seam and 20% sinker. There was also a 2-3 MPH jump in velocity but I'm not sure that was anything other than changing the point at which they measure velocity a few years ago.

** That could be my orange/red these legends are too small color-blindness ... I think sinkers are orange and 4-seam are red.

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