Tampa Bay Rays News: Manager Kevin Cash has named Charlie Morton as the 2020 Opening Day starter.
Charlie Morton went 16-6 last season with a 3.05 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and finished third in the American League in Cy Young Award voting.
He came to summer camp with a goal of pitching at least five innings in his first start, while teams were still discussing hoping to get three innings or so out of their starters. After throwing 79% strikes of nearly 50 pitches in his first simulated game, he completed five innings in his second outing.
Morton has made two All-Star teams in his career and won a World Series with the 2017 Houston Astros. Now he can add Opening Day starter to his list of accolades. Most of Morton’s career milestones have been accomplished in the back-half of his career.
While the Tampa Bay Rays hold a team option on his contract in 2021, Morton has expressed uncertainty regarding his future. Recently, he admitted that he didn’t like the idea of his final season only being a 60-game sprint.
Nonetheless, his future remains ambiguous. Whether or not this is his final season with the team or with Major League Baseball in general, he has earned the title of Opening Day starter.
Not only was he the Rays best and most consistent option over the entirety of the 2019 season, but Blake Snell has struggled to accumulate innings in camp and Tyler Glasnow just recently returned after testing positive for COVID-19.
Manager Kevin Cash has already named LHP Ryan Yarbrough as the team’s starter for Saturday, the second game of the season.
Morton will square off with the Toronto Blue Jays new ace Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday at 6:40 p.m. EST.