Thought #1: Morton’s Pre-CFM days
When the Houston Astros acquired Morton, it wasn’t an awestruck deal. But it was a curious one. Drafted 95th overall in 2002 by the Atlanta Braves, a native of Flemington, N.J., spent much of his early years in the Braves’ minor league system until he was called up to their 40-man roster in 2007. A season later, Morton made his debut against the Los Angeles Angels earning a win despite allowing three runs in six innings.
But Morton’s time in Atlanta was short-lived as he was traded to the Pirates in 2009. He finished that year 5-9 with a 4.55 ERA. Morton then started next season losing all five starts for a whopping ERA of 12.57. At 1-9 overall and a 9.35 ERA, Morton was placed on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. Though he finished 2010 strong, he still won two games in total.
Obviously, 2011 was Morton’s best year with Pittsburgh, going 10-10 with a 3.83 ERA. But he underwent surgery to fix a torn labrum around his hip and didn’t return until mid-April of 2012. Then, he had Tommy John surgery to end his 2012 year. Although he would sign a three-year contract to stay with the Pirates, injuries would continue to bother Morton in both 2014 and 2015.
Prior to the 2016 season, Morton was shipped across Pennsylvania to join the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, the stint wouldn’t go deep as a few weeks into the season, Morton was out with a torn hamstring, ending his 2016 year.