As Charlie Morton continues to recover from a fractured fibula, the veteran righty said last week that he is “mostly caught up” to where he’d be physically at this point in a normal offseason, The Athletic’s David O’Brien writes. Morton did caution that he wouldn’t know for sure until he actually got back to regular action in a Spring Training environment, though for now, all seems good for Morton as he approaches his 15th Major League season. Still in fine form last year, Morton was a big contributor to the Braves’ championship team, though the righty’s participation in the World Series was limited to just 2 1/3 innings after he was hit in the leg by a ball off the bat of Yuli Gurriel during Game One. Three of Morton’s seven outs were recorded after the injury, as Morton gutted out the pain as long as he could.
Assuming Morton is healthy, he’ll represent one less question mark for an Atlanta roster that is already largely set (with the obvious exception of first base and the Freddie Freeman situation). With the lockout now forcing some type of shortened or even a rushed Spring Training, this could play to the Braves’ favor, as they already have a familiar chemistry between the coaching staff and the players, plus most of the World Series-winning core group will be returning.
More from the NL East…
- Mets prospect Matt Allan underwent ulnar nerve transposition surgery in January, the right-hander told The New York Daily News’ Deesha Thosar and other reporters. The procedure shouldn’t have much impact on Allan’s overall timeline for getting back onto the mound, as Allan was already expected to miss most or possibly all of the 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. There is still a chance Allan could make it back this year, and he is making good progress in his TJ recovery, with Allan slated to start playing catch in about two weeks’ time. Allan (who turns 21 in April) was a third-round pick in the 2019 draft and was included in several top-100 prospects lists prior to the start of the 2021 season.
- With Ryan Zimmerman’s retirement, the Nationals have a need for another first baseman to complement Josh Bell, and MASNsports.com’s Bobby Blanco figures the team will replace Zimmerman with another veteran free agent. There’s a chance Washington might look at an internal option but none really stand out. Mike Ford is a player who somewhat bridges both worlds, as he was a National before the club non-tendered him in November, and Blanco wonders if the Nats might re-sign Ford at a lower price tag when the lockout is over.