Charlie Morton may be the perfect type of pitcher for the Phillies to have added to their rotation. His propensity for getting groundballs has led teammates to give him the nickname Ground Chuck, which will work perfectly in Citizens Bank Park, where flyballs can become souveneirs very quickly. In his career, which spans eight major league seasons, Morton has gotten just under two groundballs [1.94] for every flyball that he's allowed just 0.7 home runs per nine innings.
Hopefully, a change of scenery will help to get Morton back to the numbers that he posted in 2013 and 2014 with Pittsburgh, when he posted a combined 3.52 ERA in 46 starts. Last season, Morton saw his ERA climb to 4.81 in 23 starts with the Pirates. The 32-year old is in the final season of a three-year, $21-million deal that will pay him $8-million this season. The contract also includes a mutual option for 2017 at $9.5-million with a $1-million buyout.
To get Morton, the Phillies gave up pitching prospect David Whitehead, 23, who pitched at Clearwater in 2015, going 9-11 with a 4.44 ERA. The Phillies selected the right-handed throwing Whitehead in the 34th round of the 2013 Draft out of Elon University. In two professional seasons, Whitehead is a combined 13-15, 3.65, having pitched the 2014 season at Williamsport.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Morton, the Phillies designated pitcher A.J. Achter for assignment.