Tampa Bay Rays: Charlie Morton Omitted From MLB’s “Top Ten Pitchers”
By Seth Carter
The Tampa Bay Rays’ veteran ace is returning for another season after going finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting in 2019. Was that enough for MLB.com to rank him among the game’s top ten pitchers right now?
We all know about the Tampa Bay Rays franchise-record contract they extended to Charlie Morton last offseason. Morton continued his career renaissance by going 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA and 240 punchouts in 194.67 innings.
Morton’s season was good enough to finish third in the AL Cy Young voting behind Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander.
Has Morton’s performance been good enough to land him on MLB Network’s Top Ten Pitchers Right Now?
For Rays’ fans, when the list came out, Morton’s name was conspicuously absent. No mention of Morton, no Mention of Blake Snell (who has a case of his own), or Tyler Glasnow (looks like he could be the next Blake Snell).
Let’s take a look at the list of the “Top Ten Pitchers Right Now.”
- Jacob deGrom, NYM
- Justin Verlander, HOU
- Gerrit Cole, NYY
- Max Scherzer, WSH
- Hyun-Jin Ryu, TOR
- Zack Greinke, HOU
- Jack Flaherty, STL
- Patrick Corbin, WSH
- Mike Clevinger, CLE
- Walker Buehler, LAD
While you’d think the guy that finished third in the AL Cy Young Voting behind the second and third place pitchers on the list would be recognized.
Are the Rays being disrespected?
Surprisingly, Morton finished outside the top ten in the following categories.
- Walks Per Nine
But he wasn’t far off in most of those. Here are some categories in which Morton made his case.
- Home Runs Per Nine (1st in MLB)
- Adjusted ERA+ (10th in MLB)
- FIP (4th in MLB)
- Strikeouts Per Nine (9th in MLB)
- Fewest Hits Per Nine (10th in MLB)
- Wins (T-8th in MLB)
- Games Started (T-8th in MLB)
- Situational Wins Saved (6th in MLB)
On top of all that, nineteen of Morton’s thirty-three starts registered as quality starts, which was good enough to tie him for 15th in the Major Leagues.
There’s no doubt that Morton is an incredible pitcher, worthy of being mentioned on this arbitrary list. I’m sure he was close.
At the end of the day, Charlie Morton led the Rays’ pitching staff to the number one ERA in all of baseball in 2019. Tampa Bay won 96-games with a middle-of-the-pack offense.
Do you think Morton was snubbed? If so, who should he replace?