Stats Corner: Pirates' Morton plunking batters at historic rate
On a pitching staff that frequently bruises opposing batters, Charlie Morton inflicts the most pain.
Morton leads the majors in hit by pitches after finishing second during a partial 2013 season, plunking far more hitters (13) than second-place Bud Norris and Scott Feldman (eight apiece). Overall, the Pirates pace the big leagues in HBPs (37 entering Saturday) for a second consecutive year.
Morton's stuff is leaving imprints on hitters like no other Pirate during the Expansion Era (1961-present). The right-hander has thrown a bean ball to about every 47th batter that he has faced during his Pirates career. That's the highest rate among any Expansion-Era pitcher facing at least 2,500 hitters with the Pirates and nearly twice as often as the next hurler on the list, Kip Wells.
Putting a hurt on 'em
Pitcher Years BF per HBP
Charlie Morton 2009-14 46.5
Kip Wells 2002-06 91.6
Paul Maholm 2005-11 93.2
Josh Fogg 2002-05 95.8
Bruce Kison 1971-79 109.4
Morton has been dramatically more HBP-prone since returning from Tommy John surgery last June. He has nicked a batter every 28 plate appearances post-Tommy John compared to every 73.6 plate appearances before the procedure. Overall, MLB pitchers have hit a batter every 118 plate appearances since 2013.
Including his lone season with the Atlanta Braves in 2008, Morton has plunked a batter every 50.8 plate appearances during his MLB career. That's the seventh-highest HBP rate for any Expansion-Era pitcher facing at least 2,500 batters, behind only Jack Hamilton (36.8), Rolando Arrojo (45.4), Byung-Hyun Kim (46.1), Carlos Marmol (49.4), Brian Fuentes (50.4) and Victor Zambrano (50.6).
David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- Pirates SS prospect Tucker making progress after thumb surgery
- Pirates shift times on 5 games, including rescheduling 2 fireworks nights
- Pirates’ Burnett aims to defy age curve
- For Pirates, NL Central test just got tougher
- Pirates’ voluntary minicamp opens up without Pedro Alvarez
- Pirates notebook: For Holdzkom, a whole new world
- Pirates officially sign Korean shortstop Kang
- Korean star Kang could be financial windfall for Pirates