Morton makes most of new opportunity

If you're a regular reader of mine, you're familiar with the phrase, "Consistency can be taught, talent can't." That describes Pirates starter Charlie Morton to a tee.

A third-round pick in 2002, Morton spent his first six years as pro with an ERA barely under five. Things just weren't clicking despite his good raw stuff, as he wasn't able to put things together and show any dominance for an extended stretch.

A major mechanical change in mid-2007 allowed him to take off, as he put up excellent numbers the past two seasons in Triple-A. He didn't carry it over to the big leagues last season -- posting an ERA over six -- but that was partly due to a minor shoulder injury, which affected the stability of the joint, that he tried to pitch through.