The Tigers announced today that left-hander Daniel Norris has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a left groin strain. Manager Ron Gardenhire further explained to reporters that Norris will undergo surgery to alleviate pressure in the area, and Norris himself revealed that he’ll miss the next eight to 12 weeks as a result of the procedure (Twitter links via MLB.com’s Jason Beck). He’ll have the surgery Thursday, tweets Katie Strang of The Athletic. Left-hander Chad Bell was recalled from Triple-A to take Norris’ spot on the roster for now.
Norris, who turned 25 last week, was a feel-good story back in 2016 when he returned from thyroid cancer and tossed 69 1/3 innings of 3.38 ERA ball in 13 starts with Detroit. The Tigers originally picked up Norris, Matthew Boyd and Jairo Labourt in the 2015 David Price blockbuster with the Blue Jays in hopes of landing multiple long-term rotation pieces. Norris at one point looked to be on his way to become that mid-rotation fixture they’d coveted, but he’s stalled out a bit over the past 13 months. Since Opening Day 2017, he’s posted an unsightly 5.38 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 117 innings (20 starts, seven relief appearances). Norris also missed time last season with a strained left groin, so it stands to reason that the injury has been a significant part of his recent struggles.
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While the injury could sideline Norris into July or even August, there’s till ample time for him to rebound back to health and prove he can be a viable piece of the pitching staff moving forward. The Tigers control Norris all the way through the 2021 season, although he will be out of minor league options next year, so he’ll need to stick in the Majors beginning next spring at the latest. Nonetheless, given the upside the former top prospect possesses and given the Tigers’ rebuilding status, there’s no reason to think he won’t be given every opportunity to solidify himself as a Major League contributor once he returns from injury.