LA Angels relief pitcher Bud Norris is new to the team this season, after having signed a minor league deal with the team in January of this year. Once a well regarded prospect, Norris has become somewhat of a journeyman pitcher .
The LA Angels and Norris both hope that the pitcher can re-discover the stuff that netted him a 1.9 WAR in 2013 as a starter with Baltimore. In fact, it is a feat he also accomplished the three seasons prior to that in Houston.
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Norris offers a good K/9 rate (7.9 the last two seasons) while mixing in mostly a standard Fastball and Slider. He will throw in the occasional Cut Fastball or Two-Seam Fastball, but not very often. Norris’ .321 avg for balls in play, coupled with a 1.3 HR per nine innings is reason enough to want to keep him on a short leash.
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Norris made the team out of Spring Training as a relief pitcher and has already had his ups and downs. For Norris’ LA Angels debut, he pitched a scoreless inning of relief. However, in his second appearance he gave up 2 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning of work. For his efforts, Norris was hung with a blown save. Multiple teams have tried Norris in the bullpen over the last two seasons and it has not succeeded. However, if Norris can keep the ball in the park and lower his walk rate he can be a nice long arm in the bullpen (and emergency starter.) With Andrelton Simmons at SS, increasing his ground ball rate will surely lower his BAIP. As a veteran player, he can offer stability and experience to a team looking to get younger.
All things considered, Norris was signed to see how he could help the team. The risk and the cost are both minimal. The potential and past upside exists, now Morris must tap into it. Surely team, player, and fan alike are all hoping for a return to form. Only time will tell how it goes for Norris and the Angels in 2017.