It’s rare a starting pitcher records a career year at the age of 35, but Charlie Morton bucked the trend. Signing a free agent deal with Tampa Bay, Morton tweaked his repertoire en route to 16 wins, a 3.05 ERA, 2.81 FIP, and 1.08 WHIP. More importantly, Morton notched a career high 240 strikeouts over his 194.2 innings. Morton’s an accumulator in regards to strikeouts, so any peak in innings will carry over to his strikeout total. 

Beneath his surface numbers, Morton averaged almost six innings per outing, an uptick compared to his more managed innings by Houston. Morton also raised his swinging strike percentage to 12.9, and his O-Swing rate to 33.5 percent. His contact percentage allowed and Z-Contact (in the strike zone) remained steady which bodes well for a repeat in the year ahead. 

According to Statcast, Morton allowed 481 batted ball events giving up 24 barrels (five percent) and an average launch angle of 9.1 degrees. Despite throwing fewer sinkers for the third...