Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Morton nearing return to Astros' rotation

Right-hander may not need third rehab start, could pitch Sunday
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Astros starter Charlie Morton threw 47 pitches in four scoreless innings in his second rehab start for Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday, then finished the outing with 15 pitches in the bullpen. The right-hander is progressing and has returned to Houston, manager A.J. Hinch said, but it is unclear whether he will need a third rehab start.

Morton went on the disabled list with a strained right lat on May 25. He completed the first three innings of Tuesday's start in 28 pitches, and was hitting 92-95 mph on his fastball, matching his average fastball velocity for this season of 95 mph, according to Statcast™.

View Full Game Coverage

HOUSTON -- Astros starter Charlie Morton threw 47 pitches in four scoreless innings in his second rehab start for Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday, then finished the outing with 15 pitches in the bullpen. The right-hander is progressing and has returned to Houston, manager A.J. Hinch said, but it is unclear whether he will need a third rehab start.

Morton went on the disabled list with a strained right lat on May 25. He completed the first three innings of Tuesday's start in 28 pitches, and was hitting 92-95 mph on his fastball, matching his average fastball velocity for this season of 95 mph, according to Statcast™.

View Full Game Coverage

"He was very efficient with his pitches, got exactly four innings and some extra innings in the bullpen -- all things that we had hoped would be the best-case scenario," Hinch said.

Video: HOU@NYY: Morton fans Castro, side in the 1st

Morton, who says he's feeling "no pain," will throw a bullpen session Thursday, and then is expected to pitch Sunday, his first available day since Tuesday's start. That will either be against the Yankees, or for Double-A Corpus Christi, because Fresno is on the road from June 30-July 3.

Does Morton feel well enough to return to the Majors?

"I do," Morton said. "I feel completely normal. I think we lucked out. I think it was the best-case scenario up to this point. So just try to do everything I've got to do, do the right thing and throw my 'pen tomorrow."

Lance McCullers Jr. will start Friday against the Yankees, and Francis Martes will start Saturday. Sunday's starter -- which will be Morton's day to pitch -- has yet to be decided, Hinch said.

"He's going to pitch somewhere, whether it's here or somewhere else," Hinch said of Morton. "We've got a lot to consider until then."

Morton is 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 10 starts.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros, Charlie Morton