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Paging Brad Lincoln: Charlie Morton May Be Sent Down by Pittsburgh Pirates

HOUSTON - APRIL 25:  Pitcher Charlie Morton #37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws in the first inning against the  Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 25, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Kevin BerthaCorrespondent IMay 28, 2010

Charlie Morton has not been exactly what you would call a "good pitcher" for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season.

In fact, Morton has been something you would call a "horrible pitcher that deserves to be sent to the minors" this season.

Morton, 26, was expected to become one of the Pirates' better pitchers this season after they acquired him in the Nate McLouth trade.

He has been the polar opposite.

Morton is 1-9 with a 9.35 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP. 

The numbers are horrible, far from what was expected of the hard-throwing righty.

Morton's best pitch (yes, he actually does have a good pitch) is his fastball. His heater usually ranges from 93 to 95 mph—not bad for a starter. His curve isn't half bad, and he also has a decent change-up.

Morton has stuff. The problem is, he doesn't know how to use it. Sometimes he fails to be aggressive with his above-average fastball. Other times he is too aggressive and walks a lot of batters.

And sometimes, Morton just can't avoid the big inning. That was the case last night, as the Pirates lost 8-2 to the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds scored seven of their eight runs in the first and second innings. Morton was pulled after the second.

Morton was making progress, inch by inch. His latest start set him back 10 yards. 

As of right now, Pirates manager John Russell is keeping Morton in the starting rotation.

But Brad Lincoln is knocking on Morton's door, and he seems to be the favorable option for Pirate fans right now.

Former first-round pick Lincoln, 25, is currently having a decent season with Triple-A Indianapolis. Lincoln is 5-2 with a 3.77 ERA and is scheduled to start tonight for the Indians against the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate.

Morton will hold on to his starting spot for a while, but if performances like last night's continue, expect Lincoln to be starting for the Pirates soon.

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