Oct. 29: Morton underwent surgery to repair the fracture, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training 2022.
Oct. 26: Braves starter Charlie Morton fractured his right fibula during tonight’s game against the Astros, the club announced. He’ll obviously miss the remainder of the World Series, but the team announced that he’s expected to be ready for Spring Training.
Morton got the start in tonight’s World Series opener. He was struck in the leg by a Yuli Gurriel comebacker that turned into a groundout to lead off the second inning. That ball evidently broke Morton’s leg, but he incredibly remained in the game to strike out Chas McCormick and induce a Martín Maldonado line out. Morton even returned to the mound to start the bottom of the third, punching out José Altuve before swelling in the area made it impossible for him to continue.
The Braves will have to rely on their bullpen to finish off what they hope to be a series-opening victory. A.J. Minter has worked a couple innings in relief of Morton, with Atlanta holding onto a 5-1 lead midway through tonight’s game.
Atlanta will obviously have to navigate the rest of the series without their top starter. Max Fried is already lined up to start tomorrow’s Game 2, with Ian Anderson the most likely candidate to take the ball in Game 3. The Braves added Kyle Wright to their World Series roster, and he’s capable of working multiple innings after starting for the entire season. Wright has worked almost exclusively in Triple-A this year, though, so he’s not an ideal option to start a World Series game. The Braves will also be able to add another arm to the roster as an injury replacement, but they were already reaching into their depth after fourth starter Huascar Ynoa suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last week.
It’s a relief that the Braves’ immediate announcement noted that Morton is expected to ready for the start of next season. Still, it’s a disappointing conclusion to another strong campaign for the well-respected hurler. Morton will be back in Atlanta in 2022, having signed a $20MM extension last month.