Norris, a free agent at season’s end, has struggled quite a bit this year, working to a 6.82 ERA entering tonight’s contest. His sub-par work in the rotation caused him to lose his starting spot, and the move to the bullpen hasn’t yielded better results (four runs in six relief innings, though he did work a scoreless inning with one strikeout in tonight’s game).
The good news for Norris is that he’s still averaging 93.4 mph on his fastball, and his 41.8 percent ground-ball rate is above his career mark. That’s not much of a silver lining when considering that his 6.7 K/9 is a career-low, his control has taken a step back, and he’s allowing homers at a higher rate than ever before. His 2015 struggles aside, though, Norris has a solid track record. From 2011-14, he averaged 174 innings per season with a 4.06 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 between Houston and Baltimore.
Moving Norris figures to be a difficult feat for Orioles general manager Dan Duquette; in addition to his struggles, Norris is still owed approximately $3.6MM of his $8.8MM salary. Duquette said earlier today that his team was a deadline buyer regardless of its record over the next week and a half, with his primary focus being to add an outfield bat and pitching depth.