The recent success of Braves right-hander Bud Norris could make him an attractive option to playoff contenders as the Aug. 1 trade deadline nears, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Norris dominated the Mets on Sunday over seven innings, surrendering just four hits while striking out eight. The 31-year-old lowered his ERA to 4.22 along the way and improved his strikeout and walk rates to 7.68 and 3.58, respectively, per nine innings. After a nightmarish April and a May spent in the bullpen, Norris has made six starts this month, allowing seven earned runs and collecting 29 strikeouts against eight walks over 29 1/3 innings. Norris is playing on an affordable salary ($2.5MM) this year and will be a free agent at season’s end. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported earlier this week that multiple teams, including the NL East rival Marlins, are interested in Norris.
More from the National League:
- Infielder Jose Reyes might be more than a 2016 stopgap for the Mets, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.com. The contract Reyes, 33, inked with the Mets on Saturday also includes a team option at a league-minimum cost for 2017, according to Rubin. It’s worth noting that, thanks to third baseman David Wright’s injury troubles and second baseman Neil Walker’s status as a pending free agent, multiple positions in New York’s infield are unsettled beyond this season.
- Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler has worked out of the rotation and bullpen this year, struggling in both roles, but the club isn’t bailing on his chances to serve as a long-term starting option. “For Eddie, his stuff is plus. You don’t want to give up on that,” manager Walt Weiss told Ben Weinrib of MLB.com. “We’ve seen him good as a starter. We’re not there yet where we’re going to give up on him as a starter.” A former high-end prospect, the 25-year-old Butler has racked up 42 1/3 innings as a starter this season and compiled a 6.54 ERA, 5.91 K/9 and 2.53 BB/9. Those numbers have contributed to his unimpressive career totals from the rotation (138 innings, 6.20 ERA, 4.89 K/9 and 3.98 BB/9).
- The Rockies’ best current pitching prospect is righty Jeff Hoffman, whom they acquired from Toronto in the Troy Tulowitzki deal last year. Hoffman is faring well with Triple-A Alburquerque of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, as Nick Groke of the Denver Post details, but general manager Jeff Bridich told Groke that the Rockies aren’t going to rush the onetime Tommy John surgery recipient to the majors. For now, the 23-year-old Hoffman will continue sharpening his arsenal in Albuquerque. “He’s had all four pitches available to him and he’s using them,” Triple-A pitching coach Darryl Scott said. “He’s starting to recognize hitters. He’s coming into games now with a scouting report he put together, for a plan of attack. Not very many young pitchers take that step so early.”