Morton to provide a veteran presence for young Rays starting rotation

Charlie Morton may be the newest addition to the Rays' starting rotation, but he is the most experienced.

"He's dealt with injuries, he's dealt with rough seasons, he's dealt with elite seasons, he's won a World Series, he's been on the mound to clinch," said manager Kevin Cash. 

He got the call up to the majors when most of the other starters were still in high school. Morton brings a veteran presence to the group, which excluding him, averages 26-years-old. At 35-years-young, he will be the eldest of the Rays starting rotation. 

"We want Charlie to come in and go about his leadership, his way," explained Cash. "Certainly he's going to be looked upon by our young pitchers and young players for that matter -- and our staff. He played for a pretty good team the last couple of years in the Astros and I'll pick his brain a lot." 

As an All-Star last year, Morton struck out 200-plus batters and had the highest winning percentage in all of baseball. 

"I mean, his numbers kind of speak for themselves," said pitcher Ryne Stanek. "The dude's nasty. Any time you add a guy like that, and with some playoff experience, he's got the biggest outs you can get in our game. He's proved he can do it, and to go along with [Blake] Snell, [Tyler] Glasnow, it's never going to hurt to add a guy like him at all." 

Alongside a Cy Young award winner in Snell and some offseason additions, Morton will look to continue the momentum of his All-Star season with the Rays. 

"I watched him pitch for the Astros, and I said, I really wanted this guy to come here," said pitcher Brent Honeywell, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery. "I really wanted that guy here." 

Even late into his career, Morton continues to be an inspiration for the youngest Rays.