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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Trib exclusive: Morton has torn elbow ligament

Check the Trib’s main site for my exclusive news on the Pirates’ Charlie Morton being shut down and facing possible Tommy John surgery.

Credit for the initial tip on Morton goes to Chris Mueller of 93.7 The Fan.

UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: Check the same link above for word that the elbow ligament is torn. This isn’t good.


  1. John Lease says:

    Uh oh. I guess we can look forward to a full season of Correia now. Bad news, but at least it is the elbow, not the shoulder.

  2. JRay3 says:

    Tough break for Charlie. The only positive news is he should bounce back and he still has a lot of prime years in front of him.

    Time to call Indy and maybe not stop at just Owens….Locke or Wilson may need a look as well as Correia can not be the answer.

  3. radio wave says:

    First Karstens, now this. And all along I’ve been expecting Bedard to be the injured pitcher.
    The high water mark of the season may have been last Sunday.

  4. NMR says:

    So this basically means the next time Charlie Morton pitches will be the season before free agency?


  5. Dan1283 says:

    Just call him “Scoop”, ladies and gents.

  6. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Yet another reason you can never have too much pitching depth.

    Hope he makes a quick recovery and is back on the mound soon.

  7. Chuck H says:

    It seems that once the Buccos reach the top of the standings, they quit, both pitching and hitting. Just like 2011, in July they were in first place, and we all know how the season ended. Don’t know what happens to them, but they seem to shut down as a team, to a man, they just quit, even Walker and McCutchen. Walker struck out 3 times in yesterday’s game against a so-so pitcher. Why can’t they keep playing good baseball? Maybe next year will be the year of the Pirates. HA! HA!

  8. GlassHalfFull says:

    Too bad for Charlie. I hope he can come back in ’14 and be the dominant pitcher he used to be.

    I guess he really was hurt and not just put on the “Convenience List”.

  9. JoeBucco says:

    Yep, disappointing for Ground Chuck. Definitely didn’t seem right this year, that’s for sure.

    Looking forward to him getting well and helping us with our push to the playoffs after the all star break next year.

  10. RobertoForever says:

    Guess it wasnt the ‘convenience list’

    Get well soon, Mr. Morton. Prayers for your health and speedy recovery.

  11. NMR says:

    Two games and we’re declaring the Pirates, as a whole, have quit.



  12. gregenstein says:

    That sucks, but maybe it explains his recent regression.

    I’m guessing he doesn’t pitch for the team until after the All Star break 2013. The good news is that they won’t be tempted to limit his innings like the Nationals are doing with Strausburg, or at least claim they are doing. He’ll only have half a season, and he’ll be full bore 2014.

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah, he was on the convenience list, they just got “lucky.”

  14. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, i see i was too late for the pity party. Or was it a pitchfork and torches party.

    Its funny, I’ll bet some of the same people calling for Pedro to be dumped on the heap of ‘busts’ also thought Jose Bautista was washed up and dragging down our lineup.

    And I see some are calling for Barmes to be replaced by Harrison. Let’s see, who would i rather have, someone recently hitting. 091 or someone recently hitting. 273?

    And how did Walker avoid the hostile crowd? He struck out 3 times, en route to an 0 for 5 night. Left 5 on base during his at bats.

    And I here I thought Falling Skies had its season premiere next week. Guess I will have to DVR the repeat during the next 2 game losing streak.

    DK: ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …

  15. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Ditto DK. I liked yesterday’s nice Roberto better. Today must be his alter ego.

  16. JHadar says:

    It’s early in the season, but the events of the last couple of days call for a gut check … Somehow I think they’ll find their way again, after all (1) it’s not the first time they’ve lost two in a row or (2) had an injury, and (3) after all I am an incurable optimist.

  17. Jandy says:

    This drama chit is getting old.

  18. Jandy says:

    JHadar, I think Drew called me….HAPPY.
    But I am an optimist too. :)

  19. Jandy says:

    Lucky, actually, this is what I call baiting. And to think it’s perceived that everyone else does the baiting…go figure…

  20. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Correct as usual, Aunt Friday. It put DK to sleep. Sounds like an idea.

  21. Jandy says:

    Lucky, time for me to go for now…enjoy your afternoon. Maybe I’ll get a chance to check in later on.

  22. JHadar says:


    Hope for the very best, prepare for the very worst …

  23. JRay3 says:

    @ Roberto – Your defense of Clint Barmes is borderline delusional.

    He ranks 23rd in SS fielding % out of 25 with enough attempts to qualify to be included. He is 1-10 in his last three games. On the year he is hitting a PALTRY .190 with a HORRENDOUS OBP of .210 (because he never walks), has struck out 43 times in 174 AB’s which is 25 % of the time (and that is with pitchers feeding him plenty to hit as he intimidates no one), and has a SLG % of a MONSTROUS .299.

    Give it up with him, the FO failed miserably, own up to the mistake. Wasted dollars, too many years should not mean we are forced to watch this meltdown each night. They recalled Mercer, let him play or send him back. You rather have Barmes? Well you also feel the last 19 years have not been as bad as some make it.

    As for Josh Harrison, tough to get on a guy that in his last seven games has been given just one AB in six of them and two in the other, but somehow through the infrequency of time is still hitting. .218 with a .277 OBP and .391 SLG.

    As for Pedro he is striking out at a 37% clip with his .191 AVG (this coming off of a season where he hit, you guessed it the same .191 but only struck out at a 34% clip. He has struck out now 263 times in 756 career AB’s. I heard you had to give a guy 500 AB’s to start figuring out what he is capable of, what is it now 1,000, 2,000 AB’s. Enough is enough, I am not labeling him a bust, however I am ready to label him as a player that needs A LOT OF HELP and it should come via the minors not with the PBC where we are supposedly still playing meaningful games.

    Neil Walker, how do you get on a guy who is the team’s second best hitter iand is hitting .278 with a .335 OBP and had a very good hitting year in 596 AB’s last season. He is the least of the team’s problems so I can forgive one bad night at the plate. For Alvarez and Barmes it is an everyday bad night at the plate.

  24. RalphM says:

    Pirates reportedly signed their 1st rd supplemental pick for a little less than slot

  25. JRay3 says:

    @ Ralph – Thanks for sharing, that is some good news!

  26. nate83 says:


    Why you got to be like that? Yes the sky is falling comments are rampent but you can state your case a much less defensive way. You ironically use so much negativity in your quest to create positivity. It just doesn’t promote intellegent conversation and quickly turns this blog into mud throwing. It is OK for someone to have an opposite view point. At the end it’s just a baseball team that we all like enough to spend a portion of are day reading this blog and learning from each other.

  27. Come on, Johnnie Ray III,

    Don’t sugar-coat it——tell him plainly!!!!!

  28. LuckyNKentucky says:


    JRay never, ever says anything negative about anyone or anything. The guy has a way of saying something without vileness. But I believe he is steamed on this one and his facts are well taken and meaningful.

    Great job!

  29. JHadar says:

    Just a reminder:

    Be truthful.
    Be civil.
    Be respectful.
    Own your words.
    Leave the trolls alone.

    (Guidelines from a blog on Cedar Rapids Gazette; I’m sure the Trib probably has something similar around.)

  30. Milo Hamilton says:

    The lineup for tonight is the same as last night except Barajas is catching instead of McKenry.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    As far as the draft goes, we’re nearing the point where Neal tells Boras, “Here’s what we have left. Like it or lump it.” I hope he holds his ground.

  32. nate83 says:

    I just saw something that said the Pirates are in serious talks with San Diego about trading for Chase Headly. Is he strictly a 3rd baseman or can he move to 1st? If he is strictly a 3rd baseman and still has 2 and half years until free agency that is a message Pedro should hear loud and clear.

  33. JHadar says:



  34. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Nice find, Nate. Probably could play first if he’s versatile enough. Pedro has been excellent in the field.

  35. nate83 says:…pirates…chase-headley…/49688/

  36. Milo Hamilton says:


    Sorry. Won’t happen again.

    DK: Not a big deal. And nothing specific. Just a general thing.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    Another reason for Pedro not to play tonight is his giving up on that foul ball just in the stands that led to the Davis homerun a few pitches later. He totally gave up that potential out. Can’t be done at this level. Last night had that play, some dogging it in the field by Presley, that was even commented on by the O’s announcers, and Tabata getting put out by the pitcher covering on that ball that dropped in front of Pearce.

    There is not a lot of shame in losing a series to the O’s. That team could rake even when losing 90 games. But they have to find a way to avoid the sweep tonight and less sloppy play would be a good start.

  38. nate83 says:

    I apoligize as well. Sorry.

  39. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Due to church last night, didn’t see or hear the game. You mean Pedro missed a pop-up and Presley loafed again? I can understand Tabata with his rep. and possible injury, but the other two, I can’t.

  40. JohninOshkosh says:


    Pedro was worried about crashing into the stands. I get it. Probably can be forgiven for it. But it did not look good especially in light of the ensuing homerun.

  41. JHadar says:

    nate & milo

    And I’m sorry that my request for a link led to that …

  42. LuckyNKentucky says:

    But when is Presley gonna get it? We used to play all out, every play in slow-pitch softball that meant less than nothing. What’s wrong with some of these guys?

  43. pghboyinca says:

    I can handle guys who are not talented enough and who at leasrt give it a full effort. But guys like Tabata who are either disinterested and or lazy make me sick. Is Pedro starting to look that way? I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but last night looked bad and his demeanor shows no fire. Is that him being even keeled or not interested? I am still on the fence with his mental approach but by any measure his performance demands time in AAA. This team is onthe verge of a meltdown, not as bad as last year buthte pitching is coming back to earth and you know what that means.

  44. RobertoForever says:


    It’s not delusion. The fact is that Barmes’ trend for hittingis going up. Significantly.

    I quoted his June avg-.273, and that was including his 0 for 3 yesterday.

    In his 10 starts, Clint has 4 games he went hitless, 6 games with hits, including 2 multi-hit games.

    There are point in time stats, but trend plays a role.

  45. RobertoForever says:


    Funny I counted at least 3 personal attacks on me from this mornings thread. I guess I took the bait.

    Make ya a deal, you challenge the real baiters, and I wont take the bait ;)

  46. LuckyNKentucky says:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++Ants on a RR track

  47. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I’m on your side–the nice Roberto side. I enjoy your posts and stats, etc. The other puts me to sleep like it did DK.

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here’s a trend. Clint Barmes is 4 for his last 22. That’s .182.

  49. nate83 says:

    I unfortunatley do not get to watch many of the games but the few dozen or so games I have seen this year I was very impressed with Presley’s hustle to the point I told my 9 year old to watch him bat and see how quickly he gets down the line after hitting the ball. I told him it puts pressure on the defensive player and sometimes leads to a throwing error or even a bare handed attempt on a soft hit ball or chopper.

    Having not watched the game I will have to take your word for it that he was not going full speed but since his recall he would have been one of the last players I expected to hear that about.

  50. JHadar says:


    Not defending Presley ,,, but your slow-pitch team probably didn’t play 30 spring training games and another 60 by the middle of June.

    Over and over we see distraction in all MLB teams … guys making mistakes that would have led to a pretty good chewing out if we’d have made them in our second year of little league.

    Danny Ozark’s line (attributed often to Yogi Berra) that 90% of this game is half mental rings truer than when he said it. Well the intent of it, not the way it came out. Not only is there more for a young man to do and think about outside the park, the level of analysis that goes into every aspect of the game has become so complex that it might be causing some players to overthink, which on the field looks like not thinking at all. Or thinking instead of reacting.

    For example, any modern hitting coach would take one look at Ty Cobb’s stance and grip and start making changes. Who’s to say that he might coach him to the point that he couldn’t hit at all any more. Or look at old films of Walter Johnson’s delivery.

    And I think that might be what’s going on, especially with our hitters, but throughout the league as well. Psychologists call it purpose tremor. Basically it’s the effect that when you consciously try to do something that you normally do without thinking you goof it up.

    I’d like to think that it’s a result of that when I was a kid, baseball was the game that we played three times a day from April until September, and other sports were secondary, but there just has to be more to it than that.

  51. NMR says:

    Don’t sell youself short, Roberto. You are the master baiter.

    Seriously, though. I’m pretty sure anytime people mention you, present company included, its all in good fun.

  52. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Good points, all of them.

  53. Milo Hamilton says:


    I think you can retire on that one.

  54. RobertoForever says:

    Another trend. Walker is 3 for his last 17. That’s. 176.

    Let’s DFA Walker.

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    …master baiter….

    Perhaps the gem of all time for as long as this blog exists! Bravo NMR

  56. JRay3 says:

    @ Lucky – I appreciate the comments in post #28. I certainly hope I did not come off as negative as it was not my intent. I certainly aim to be respectful of everybody in the blog as I realize they do share one thing in common – a similar passion to the Pirates that I have.

    @ Roberto – if that is a trend on Barmes than it is the equivalent to saying the Pirates pitching staff of the 7.31 ERA in its last two games is trending way off from its early season success and we should be ringing out the fire alarms.

    @ Milo – Post #49, good stuff that would qualify as a trend.

    The one thing I am steamed about is learning that Barmes is once again being penciled into the lineup. I am a huge Clint Hurdle fan, but really am beginning to question this.

  57. JRay3 says:

    @ Roberto – close, move over an infield position and you may be on to something if your statement read -Let’s DFA Barmes.

    Consider this Walker is making $500,000 this year or 10% of Barmes’ $5,000,000 (yet the production Walker gives both offensively and defensively is vastly superior, yet he remains uncommitted to). If Barmes production is worth that in the eyes of the FO, it would make Walker a 20 Million dollar second baseman.

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