On April 17, the Houston Astros’ Bud Norris had the worst start of any one in a rotation this year. Wednesday the Baltimore Orioles acquired him to prove they were still serious about winning the AL East.
The Astros put up five runs in a pitcher’s park in Oakland that day, and relievers gave him 7 1/3 strong innings allowing only one run. That meant Norris’ ERA Needed to win the game was 54.55, which he failed to get. Instead Norris lasted only 46 pitches, getting only two outs while walking three and giving up five hits and six runs.
Norris steadied his pitching after that, and is currently the 77th best starter in baseball according to Value Add – a solid No. 3 Starter (if all teams were equal, the 61st to 90th pitchers would be the No. 3 starters on the 30 teams. However, he has struggled in two of his recent starts (5 innings and seven earned runs allowed at St. Louis and 5 2/3 innings and 6 earned runs allowed in Houston verses St. Louis.)
Norris is the second upgrade the Orioles have made to their rotation after picking up Scott Feldman (ranked 60th) from the Cubs. They already had a solid 1-2 in the rotation with Chris Tillman (18th) and Miguel Gonzalez (36th). However, they needed Norris and Feldman to move in front of their starters Jason Hamill and Wei-Yin Chen (not in the top 100 and 95th respectively).