Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
Charlie Morton was diagnosed in mid-August with a sports hernia and is expected to require offseason surgery to correct it. But the right-hander is determined to pitch through the discomfort for now and was officially cleared this past weekend to return to the Pirates' starting rotation on Tuesday night against the Red Sox. He'll be a two-start pitcher in what is championship week for many fantasy baseball leagues. Morton owns a cool 3.84 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 120 strikeouts in 152 1/3 innings this season, and he gets to face two struggling offenses between Boston and Milwaukee. It would have made sense to drop Morton when he was placed on the disabled list August 17. Now it makes sense to pick him back up.