Taijuan Walker vs Charlie Morton
Walker: 1.6 projected 2024 fWAR
Morton: 2.2 projected 2024 fWAR
Both teams will be relying on a veteran pitcher in the fourth rotation spot in 2024. Taijuan Walker and Charlie Morton have had up and down careers, with periods of stellar performance followed by head-scratching stretches of mediocrity.
Morton has been in the league for 16 years and has spent the last three seasons with the Braves. He has a career ERA of 4.00, with a 1.305 WHIP, and 8.6 SO/9. Just overall solid, dependable, and consistent stuff that’s kept him in the league.
In 2023, he had a 3.64 ERA over 30 starts and gave the Braves all that they needed to run away with the best record in the regular season. He won't blow hitters away but knows how to use his repertoire to get through games and, most importantly, win games.
Taijuan Walker is actually very similar to Charlie Morton but without quite the same career longevity, yet. He has been in the majors for 11 years and has a career ERA of 3.97, with a 1.239 WHIP, and 7.9 SO/9. His teams have been able to rely on him to deliver innings and work deep into games.
His best season came in 2020 when he ended the year with a 2.70 ERA and 1.163 WHIP but hasn’t had the same success since. After signing a four-year deal for $72 million with the Phillies last year, he came in with high expectations but didn’t quite live up to it.
The right-hander ended the season with a 4.38 ERA, an elevated 4.53 FIP, and a high 1.309 WHIP. The Phillies are looking to get more out of their veteran pitcher for 2024 and hope he can provide the value they expected when they gave him $18 million a year.