Charlie Morton Undergoes Tommy John Surgery, Out 12-18 Months

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton underwent Tommy John surgery today and is expected to miss between 12 and 18 months.

Morton had a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his pitching elbow, which was discovered after the righty complained of discomfort in during a bullpen session on Sunday.

After posting a 3.83 ERA over a team high 171.2 innings in 2011, Morton had struggled so far in 2012. He’s 2-6 with an ERA over 4.6.

The sinkerballer’s sinker simply isn’t sinking. He had no movement on the pitch this year after showing the league one of the best sinkers in the game last season. Morton’s current results are about what one could expect out of a pitcher dependent on one pitch when that pitch loses any effectiveness.

He’s already given up five home runs in nine starts after allowing just six home runs in 29 starts last year.

The first reports of the team potentially shutting down Morton’s season surfaced this morning on the Pittsburgh airwaves.

The Pirates meet the Baltimore Orioles tonight for the series finale at Camden Yards. The Pirates have lost the first two games of the series, but haven’t been swept since the team’s first road series of the year.

Erik Bedard gets the rock for the Bucs against Baltimore’s Tommy Hunter.

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