Updates from Saturday, July 5
Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun has the latest on Norris:
Bud Norris will pitch 2-inning sim game on field between games of doubleheader. #orioles— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) July 5, 2014
Norris will go 2-3 innings in sim game today. Buck said looking at Norris as possibility to fill Wednesday start. Wait and see. #orioles— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) July 5, 2014
The Baltimore Orioles have been a pleasant surprise in the American League East thus far, but the club will have to replace one of its more dependable starting pitchers with Bud Norris hitting the disabled list.
According to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, Norris tweaked his groin during a bullpen session Wednesday.
During his bullpen Wed Norris said he felt discomfort again in right groin. MRI confirmed strain. Hopes for minimum time but no guarantee— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) June 27, 2014
Connolly also noted that Norris wasn't happy about landing on the disabled list but understood the proactive approach for the benefit of himself and the team.
Norris said he's "bummed" that he is going DL especially w him pitching well and the team in race. But he needs to look at full season— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) June 27, 2014
Norris came to Baltimore in a deal with the Houston Astros last July and was inconsistent down the stretch. He posted a 4.80 ERA and allowed 61 hits in 50.2 innings, failing to ignite the Orioles pitching staff in ways the team hoped.
However, this season has been a big improvement for the 29-year-old right-hander. He's still giving up a lot of home runs (10 in 87 innings), but he has cut his hit rate down to 7.6 per nine innings and has the best walk rate of his career (2.9 per nine innings).
There is a positive spin on this for the Orioles. Norris' absence will allow the team to get a longer look at top prospect Kevin Gausman, who has been impressive in four starts with a 2.74 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 23 innings.
If Norris is able to return after 15 days, while Gausman remains on his current trajectory, the Orioles will find themselves with more starting pitching depth as they enter the second half of the season.
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