How Bud Norris Affects Baltimore Orioles' Playoff Push

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How Bud Norris Affects Baltimore Orioles' Playoff Push
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Bud Norris provides Baltimore with the pitching depth

The 2013 Major League Trade Deadline is in the books, and many fans have been left disappointed by the lack of action.

However, despite the fact that no superstars were on the move, a few teams made moves that will definitely have an impact on their postseason chances.

One of those teams is currently in possession of an AL Wildcard spot, as the Baltimore Orioles made a move for Houston starter Bud Norris. 

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Chris Tillman has been Baltimore's most consistent starter this season

While the 28-year-old Norris isn't exactly a marquee name, the Orioles have made a move to fill a major hole in their current roster: pitching.

Despite being 11 games over .500, the Orioles currently find themselves towards the bottom of the league when it comes to pitching. Baltimore is currently 26th in ERA (4.30), 25th in opposing batting average (.261) and 20th in quality starts (53 in 107 games).

The Orioles have three bonafide starters in Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Hammel. However, Baltimore has 29 divisional games left in the always competitive AL East, which means the playoff race could come down to which team can get the most out of its pitchers.

With the acquisition of Bud Norris, is Baltimore a playoff team?

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While Norris isn't a top line arm, he can slot in nicely in the number four spot in the Orioles rotation. Norris currently has an ERA (3.93)  below the Orioles' team average, while also having 90 total strikeouts, almost double the K's recorded by current Orioles fourth starter, Wei-Yin Chen.

Overall, both the AL East and Wildcard races could come down to which team has the deepest starting rotation. With the Red Sox already making their move by acquiring Jake Peavy, Baltimore countered admirably with the acquisition of Norris.

Look for Norris to help the Orioles stay in contention, as earning a playoff spot in the American League will, as always, be a battle.

What do you think of the Orioles acquisition of Bud Norris? Comment below or tweet @R_tolmich with your opinion!

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