Morton was one of several Rays pitchers nearing the end of their spring throwing programs before play was suspended, Josh Tolentino of The Athletic reports.
The veteran right-hander had only made two Grapefruit League appearances (3.1 innings) before spring training was suspended, but he'd also worked in multiple simulated games while getting stretched out. Morton continues to work out as much as he can on his own while play is paused, and he projects to serve as one of the team's top three starters whenever the regular season does begin.
Morton is slated to work multiple simulated games over the next week and make just one more Grapefruit League appearance in anticipation of a likely Opening Day start, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
The veteran right-hander was originally scheduled to make his next Grapefruit League start Sunday against his old Pirates squad, but he'll instead work four innings and build up to approximately 60 pitches in a simulated environment on the backfields of the Rays' spring training complex. Morton will then repeat the process approximately five or six days later, with the goal of reaching 75 pitches in that outing. That would leave Morton an opportunity to make a final spring start March 20 against the Nationals, and then have the benefit of six days rest before the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh.
Morton was credited with a win in a Grapefruit League victory over the Orioles on Tuesday, firing a scoreless first inning during which he issued one walk and recorded a strikeout.
The 36-year-old right-hander threw just 11 pitches overall, with the free pass he issued to Chris Davis his only hiccup. Morton ultimately threw one breaking pitch during the outing, a fact that Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports left the veteran pitcher displeased but manager Kevin Cash wholly unconcerned. "He's got how many years in the big leagues - 12? We're not going to value whether he throws one breaking ball or 10 in his first spring training outing," Cash said. Morton will have a chance to diversify his repertoire in a likely start at some point this coming weekend.
Morton appeared to be in "midseason form" during a 30-pitch live batting practice session Thursday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
The right-hander is coming off the best season of his career, one in which he established new career bests in innings (194.2), strikeouts (240), wins (16), ERA (3.05) and WHIP (1.08) across 33 starts. The fact Morton already looked exceedingly sharp during his first time facing hitters this spring is encouraging, and manager Kevin Cash emphasized the 36-year-old's breaking ball was especially effective during the session.
Morton will be available out of the bullpen for Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Astros on Thursday, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Manager Kevin Cash confirmed that the 35-year-old will be ready to pitch in relief Thursday after throwing 93 pitches in Monday's win. In two starts this postseason, Morton has allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits and five walks while recording 13 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched.
Manager Kevin Cash confirmed Morton would start Wednesday in the Rays' American League wild-card matchup with the Athletics, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Morton closed out a spectacular first season with Tampa Bay in style Wednesday, tossing six scoreless frames to lower his ERA to 3.05. He'll return to the rubber on six days' rest in a win-or-go-home matchup with the Athletics, who are likely to send Sean Manaea to the mound for the contest.
Morton, who last pitched Wednesday, is the likeliest candidate to draw a start for Wednesday's American League Wild Card Game, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Morton has been a stalwart of the Rays' traditional starting pitchers this season, as evidenced by a 16-6 record, 3.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and eye-popping 240 strikeouts across 194.2 innings. The right-hander thus shapes up as a natural candidate for a high-leverage scenario such as a one-game playoff, and both his 13.1 innings of one-run ball over two starts against the opposing Athletics this season and Morton's past postseason experience only serve to further his formidable case. Manager Kevin Cash is expected to make a final decision regarding the all-important matter by weekend's end, and if Morton does get the call, he'll do so on six days' rest.
Morton (16-6) picked up the win in Wednesday's 4-0 victory over the Yankees, allowing one hit and three walks over six scoreless innings while striking out nine.
The hit -- a two-out single in the sixth inning by DJ LeMahieu -- was the only one the Rays staff gave up on the night. Barring an appearance in a potential play-in game, Morton wraps up his 2019 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 240:57 K:BB through 194.2 innings, marking career-best performances across the board.
Morton allowed two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out eight over 6.1 innings Friday against the Red Sox. He didn't factor into the decision.
Morton made it through the first six innings unscathed, but he surrendered a two-run blast in the seventh inning before being lifted from the contest. The 35-year-old is 2-0 over his last four starts, allowing three or fewer runs in each outing. He owns a 3.15 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with a 231:54 K:BB over 188.2 frames this season for the Rays.
Morton (15-6) earned the win Friday, holding the Angels to three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four across six innings.
Aside from a two-run home run to Kole Calhoun in the third inning, Morton turned in yet another quality start en route to posting his second consecutive 15-win season. This time around, the right-hander has 18 more strikeouts with a similar ERA compared to his 2018 campaign with Houston. In his last three starts against the Angels, Morton has given up 11 runs across 16 innings, though it hardly mattered this time thanks to a mountain of run support from his offense. The 35-year-old will take a 3.16 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 223:53 K:BB into a tough matchup at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
Morton struck out 10 while allowing three runs on five hits with two walks across six innings in a no-decision against the Blue Jays on Saturday.
The right-hander posted 10 strikeouts for the third time in his last six outings, giving him 45 in 33.1 innings. Morton failed to win this outing, but he remains one victory shy of tying a career high. He is 14-6 with a 3.11 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 219 strikeouts in 176.1 innings this season. Morton will start on the road against the Rangers on Thursday.
Morton (14-6) earned the win Sunday, giving up one earned run on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings in the Rays' 8-2 victory over the Indians.
Morton guided the Rays to a huge series sweep against the Indians after he got shelled by the Astros in his previous outing. He let up an RBI double in the second inning and was in a bit of a jam but was able to escape and finish the rest of his outing cleanly. He needed 108 pitches to get through just 5.1 innings, which isn't spectacular, but the bullpen got the job done for the remainder of the game. Morton now sports a 3.06 ERA and a 209:50 K:BB ratio through 170.1 innings. He looks ahead to his next start at home against Toronto on Friday.
Morton (13-6) took the loss Tuesday, coughing up six runs on seven hits and two walks over four innings while striking out four as the Rays were trounced 15-1 by the Astros.
The right-hander got through the first two innings unscathed before the Houston offense erupted, and five of the seven hits Morton allowed went for extra bases. On the bright side, he did reach 200 strikeouts for the second straight season. Morton will carry a 3.11 ERA and 201:47 K:BB through 165 innings into his next start Sunday, at home against Cleveland.
Morton allowed three runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts across five innings during a no-decision against the Mariners on Wednesday.
The veteran right-hander probably pitched better than that line indicates, but three hits, a walk and hit batsman in the fourth frame led to three runs. The Rays reclaimed the lead before Morton left, but the bullpen coughed it up in the ninth, costing him a shot at the win. He remains 13-5 with a 2.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 197 strikeouts in 161 innings this season. Morton will pitch against one of his former teams, the Astros, next Tuesday in Houston.
Morton (13-5) took the loss Friday, giving up an unearned run on three hits over seven innings while striking out 10 as the Rays fell 2-0 to the Tigers.
A Matt Duffy error in the fourth inning led to the only blemish on Morton's line, and eventually stuck him with his second loss in three August starts. The right-hander has been outstanding since the beginning of July, fanning double-digit batters in five of his nine trips to the mound with a 3.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 74:9 K:BB through 56 innings. He'll look to get back in the win column in his next outing Wednesday, at home against the Mariners.
Morton (13-4) allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings, striking out 10 and earning the win in Saturday's 5-4 win over the Mariners.
It's the fifth time this season Morton has recorded double-digit whiffs, and Saturday also marks the sixth time he hasn't walked a batter. He did give up a homer to Omar Narvaez in the fifth inning, but the bullpen allowed just one baserunner over the final three innings to preserve Morton's win. The 35-year-old right-hander has a 2.90 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 184 strikeouts in 149 innings this season and is expected to draw the lowly Tigers on Friday for his next start.
Morton (12-4) gave up two runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out nine through seven innings to take the loss against the Blue Jays on Monday.
Morton delivered another quality performance, but he was tagged with the hard-luck loss. This was an encouraging performance because the right-hander has a 4.85 ERA and a 26:6 K:BB in his last four starts. The 35-year-old is having an impressive season overall, posting a 2.77 ERA with 174 strikeouts. Morton will make his next start Saturday against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
Morton allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts across 4.2 innings during a no-decision against the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Morton's last start was also against the Red Sox, and given he allowed just two runs on five hits with 11 strikeouts in that outing, it's clear Boston hitters made some adjustments. If Morton had recorded one more out, he would have been in line for the win, but instead, the Red Sox took a lead off a homer during the first at-bat against the Rays bullpen. Still, Morton is having a great season, as he is 12-3 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 165 strikeouts in 136 innings. He will make his next start at home against the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Morton (12-3) picked up the win in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Red Sox, giving up two runs on five hits over seven innings while striking out 11.
It's the fourth time this season Morton has fanned double-digit batters, with three of those performances coming in his last five starts. He'll take a 2.60 ERA and 163:41 K:BB through 131.1 innings into his next outing Tuesday, a road rematch with Boston.
Morton (11-3) took the loss in Game 2 of the Rays' doubleheader with the Yankees on Thursday, giving up five earned runs on five hits over 5.2 innings, striking out four and walking four as Tampa Bay fell 5-1.
The righty hit a bump in the road in this contest, uncharacteristically struggling with his control in issuing four free passes. Morton is still having a fantastic season, as his ERA stands at 2.61 to go along with a 1.06 WHIP and a 152:41 K:BB through 124.1 innings. He'll look to bounce back in his next start, which will see him take on the Red Sox at home on Tuesday.
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