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Morton will skip next start

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Right-hander Charlie Morton will not make his next turn in the rotation Sunday against the Red Sox. His next start is set for July 1 against the Nats — an 11-day break designed to give him time to rest and figure out what’s going wrong.

Charlie Morton's next outing will come on 11 days' rest. (Getty Images)

Charlie Morton's next outing will come on 11 days' rest. (Getty Images)

“We all wish every player’s development could be linear, that it went from Point A to Point B and always got better,” GM Neal Huntington said. “The reality is, it’s more peaks and valleys. Charlie right now has thrown a lot of pitches. He’s thrown some high-intensity pitches and high-intensity innings, and right now we’re in one of those valleys. He’s got to dig himself out of it. We wanted to be a little bit cautious and help him dig out of it quicker.”

Even with Morton on the shelf, the Pirates will not need to bring up another starting pitcher because they are off on Thursday and Monday. However, righty James McDonald will start Sunday on just four days’ rest.

The Pirates will have to make a roster move before the second game of the July 2 doubleheader at Washington. Right-hander Brad Lincoln, who is 6-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis, almost certainly will get the call.

Manager Clint Hurdle also is keeping close tabs on McDonald and Jeff Karstens, who both have had stamina issues in the past.

“It would not surprise me if we have another guy or two have to skip a start somewhere along the line,” Hurdle said. “Very rarely do you see five men, as we’ve had, get to this point without anybody going down. I’ve been kind of expecting it, just because of the history of the game and what I’ve seen.”

»»» It was great to see catcher Chris Snyder, on the mend from back surgery, up and about in the clubhouse and on the field during batting practice. Snides is on the 60-day DL, but told me he expects to get back in action, even if it’s just for a handful of games, before the season is out. “We certainly hope he comes back,” Huntington said. “He’s very optimistic and upbeat.”

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Comments

  1. Ray says:

    Has he possibly slipped back into the overhand delivery that got him shelled last year? When he went to the 3/4 delivery, he was reborn. The sinker started sinking.

  2. Mike says:

    I noticed two starts ago that his fastball lost some velocity. He usually pitches in the mid 90′s and that game, he hung around low 90′s. Great job of giving him rest!

  3. Ray: I asked Charlie if his arm slot had shifted and he insisted it has not. He’s watched a lot of video lately to make sure his mechanics are still okey-dokey. At this point, I’m taking him on his word that it’s a bit of physical (and, I think, maybe a little mental) fatigue. It’s a good time to rest him.

 
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