Norris in 2013
|Baltimore Orioles – No. 25|
March 2, 1985 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|July 29, 2009 for the Houston Astros|
(through May 28, 2014)
|Earned run average||4.34|
Minor league career
From Cal Poly, Norris was selected by the Houston Astros in the sixth round (189th overall) of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. In 2009, Norris received an invitation to the Astros' spring training camp. Baseball America ranked him as the number two prospect in the Astros' system. In August 2009, he was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with a 2.63 earned run average.
Major league career
In July 2009, Norris was called up to pitch for the Astros following an injury to pitcher Roy Oswalt. He made his major league debut on July 29, pitching three innings of relief against the Chicago Cubs. In his first major league start on August 2, 2009, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and pitched seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals to earn his first career victory. In his rookie season overall, Norris went 6–3 with a 4.53 ERA in ten starts. He was shut down near the end of the season to prevent potential injury.
Norris had a shaky start in 2010, with a 2–6 record and 5.97 ERA up to the All-Star break. After the All-Star break he was much better, posting a 7–4 record with a 4.18 ERA. He finished the 2010 season at 9–10 with a 4.92 ERA.
On June 8, 2011, Norris took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before former Astro Lance Berkman broke it up with his 14th home run of the season, and his fourth of the season against Houston. Norris was still able to earn the win. He finished 2011 with a win–loss record of 6–11, even though he actually pitched well, as evidenced by his 3.77 ERA. Houston's poor offense in 2011 resulted in many low-scoring losses.
Norris went 7–13 with a 4.65 ERA in 2012. He began the season well, going 5-1 and 3.12 through May 21, but as Houston's season went rapidly downhill so did Norris'. He proceeded to go 0-12 with a 6.34 ERA during a streak of 18 starts while he battled injuries and inconsistencies. He finally ended the streak of futility on September 26 with a scoreless start on his way to a win at home against the St. Louis Cardinals and wrapped up his season with another scoreless effort and win at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Just before the deadline for clubs and players to exchange numbers for arbitration on January 18, 2013 Norris agreed to $3 million for the 2013 season.
Norris was ejected on May 12, 2014, when he hit Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter in the ribs with a pitch at Camden Yards, prompting both the Orioles' and Tigers' benches and bullpens to clear. Norris had also had run-ins earlier in the season with Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross and Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Neil Walker, but the Hunter incident was his first major-league ejection. At the time of his ejection, Norris was tied for second in the American League with 5 hit batters in 43 innings, an average of 1 hit batter every 8.6 innings. In his prior career spanning 740 innings pitched since 2009, Norris had hit only 27 batters, an average of one every 27.4 innings.
Norris throws five pitches, although against right-handers he uses only his four-seam fastball (91–94 mph) and slider (83–87). Against lefties, he adds a changeup (85–87). Especially against righties, the slider is his favorite two-strike pitch. It also carries a whiff rate of 38%. Norris also throws a sinker and a curveball. Norris had a win-loss record of 38-49 at the end of the 2013 season. He allowed 1.1 home runs for each nine innings and a 1.411 WHIP ratio of baserunners. He also has a high strikeouts per nine innings ratio. He has finished in the top 10 among National League pitchers in 2011 and 2012.
- Metcalfe, Ryan (June 8, 2006). "MLB draft: Three Marin players picked". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- Footer, Alyson (March 25, 2009). "Future full of possibilites [sic] for Norris". mlb.com. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- McTaggart, Brian (April 3, 2009). "How was camp? Not bad for these two: After making solid impression, Johnson, Norris are a phone call away from Astros". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- McTaggart, Brian (March 1, 2009). "This bud starts to bloom: Dazzling stuff makes Norris the system’s top pitching prospect". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- "PCL announces postseason All-Star team". milb.com. August 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
- McTaggart, Brian (July 29, 2009). "Astros set to call up highly touted Norris". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- McTaggart, Brian (July 29, 2009). "Norris soaks up scene in MLB debut". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- McTaggart, Brian (August 2, 2009). "Norris' gem in first start gives Astros lift". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- "Norris Ejected in Eighth as O's Fall to Tigers". MLB.com. May 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Bud Norris". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Bud Norris Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Bud Norris on Twitter