Sure, some of his stats are ugly: 10 losses, 1.51 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, 1.45 K/BB, his BBRef WAR is 4th among Pirates starters, and he's shown some inconsistency this season as a starter.
Some of his numbers are average/perfectly acceptable: 10 wins, 3.67 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 105 ERA+, almost 6 IP/GS, and a couple of complete games (with one shutout).
Some of his numbers are above average to exceptional: 3.14 GB/FB ratio, 18.6% FB, 6.1%FB/HR, 6 homeruns given up all season (never more than one in a game, league-leading 0.3 HR/9, his FanGraphs WAR (2.2) leads the Pirates staff, and the $441k he made as a starter this year.
Morton hasn't had a great season, but he's been decent. There have been countless articles written about how he's mimicking Roy Halladay's delivery and he's showing some results with all the ground balls. He seems to have traded his K's for some control, but he's still walking everybody. Whatever he's done, his numbers are unlike anything he's ever done before in the GB/FB department. He's not young, but he's not exactly old (turns 28 this offseason). His BABIP (.316) says he's been a little unlucky, but wouldn't one expect it to be much lower due to his groundball rate? The same logic applies to anyone concerned that his ERA is well below his xFIP (3.67/4.03).
Basically, I like what I see from Charlie Morton. Cot's has his MLB service time at 2.010; does anyone know if he's arb-eligible this offseason or not until next? His 2011 is so different from his career numbers that it seems prudent to let this experiment play out and see if he develops into one of those later-career starters. With time and polish, it seems his ceiling might be Cliff Lee without the K's.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.