Bud Norris
Bud Norris
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
St. Louis Cardinals
Injury Finger
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The Angels did what many teams should have: permanently convert Norris into a relief pitcher. His tantalizing skills produced many seasons with heavy strikeout production as a starter, but also fantasy-killing ERAs and WHIPs. To fill innings for an injury-peppered bullpen, Norris started 2017 in a late-inning role and eventually locked down the closer role, earning the first 19 saves of his career. After several months of utility, he lost the gig in August and subsequently landed on the disabled list with an aggravated knee injury. Despite falling out of favor, Norris proved he could at least hold down a high-leverage role, which should interest a major-league club as he heads into free agency. The right-hander could wind up in a role that could aid AL- or NL-only fantasy players, especially in holds leagues. A club that's ready to gamble could return him to a starting role, though that's less exciting for his statistical future. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Cardinals in February of 2018.
Remains out Tuesday
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 18, 2018
Norris (finger) is unavailable Tuesday against the Braves, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
Norris will remain sidelined for a second straight game as he continues to nurse a blister on his right middle finger. Consider the reliever day-to-day. Jordan Hicks and Dakota Hudson will handle setup duties in his absence.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .237 462 116 62 93 19 2 10
Since 2016vs Right .259 537 126 33 127 13 1 20
2018vs Left .180 127 38 13 20 4 0 2
2018vs Right .286 110 28 6 28 0 0 6
2017vs Left .188 115 35 18 18 3 0 0
2017vs Right .270 152 39 9 38 3 1 8
2016vs Left .297 220 43 31 55 12 2 8
2016vs Right .242 275 59 18 61 10 0 6
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 3.36 1.11 120.2 7 9 22 9.5 2.8 0.7
Since 2016Away 5.68 1.63 110.0 4 12 25 9.2 4.6 1.6
2018Home 4.67 1.15 27.0 2 2 11 10.0 2.0 1.3
2018Away 2.43 1.21 29.2 1 3 17 10.9 3.9 1.2
2017Home 3.24 1.23 33.1 1 3 11 10.0 3.0 0.8
2017Away 5.34 1.47 28.2 1 3 8 11.6 5.0 1.6
2016Home 2.83 1.03 60.1 4 4 0 9.1 3.1 0.4
2016Away 7.69 1.96 52.2 2 6 0 7.0 4.8 1.9
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Stat Review
How does Bud Norris compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
94.6 mph
Strand %
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Norris' 2016 campaign was a far cry from his solid 28-start season he produced just two years before. Last season, the veteran starter latched on with the Braves to be the veteran presence in their rotation, but he was relegated to the bullpen after just one month of dreadful pitching. A few solid starts in June prompted Atlanta to sell high and ship him to the Dodgers, where he struggled even more. The final tallies of his tumultuous season: a 5.10 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP, and a 3.9 BB/9. His decent strikeout totals helped him land a minor league contract with the Angels where he'll compete for a rotation spot. However, the 31-year-old has a lot to prove before he can be trusted with a rotation spot or a fantasy roster spot again.
After a career-best season in 2014, Norris was tendered a contract by the Orioles, a decision the team grew to regret almost instantly. The right-hander was rocked for eight runs over just three innings in his 2015 debut and he failed to right the ship, finishing 2-7 with a 6.79 ERA over the first three months of the season. Following a move to the bullpen, Norris was eventually designated for assignment and released, landing in San Diego on a major-league deal shortly thereafter. He pitched exclusively out of the bullpen with the Padres, seeing a big uptick in strikeouts while working in shorter stints, but Norris is expected to return to a starting role after signing with the Braves in the offseason. Even in a favorable division and home park, Norris still comes with significant downside on a start-by-start basis, making him nothing more than a desperation stream option in NL-only leagues.
Even on the heels of arguably his best season yet, Norris still feels like a better fit for the bullpen. While we all know that his 15-8 record isn’t an indicator of his raw talent, it will still earn him a spot in the rotation to start season, especially since he achieved the mark with a run of dominance that helped catapult the O’s as they ran away with the division. He had a 4.41 ERA through his first 11 starts with a 4-5 record, but then reeled off a 3.12 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 3.1 K/BB ratio with an 11-3 record in his final 17 starts. His slider took a big step forward and drove this newfound success, but he also refined his changeup to help him stop lefties, who have been a nemesis throughout his career. Is the improvement to his changeup bankable after just 250 thrown? If not, we are right back to that bullpen outlook. Tread lightly here and pass if your league charges full price on that hot finish to 2014.
The Astros grew tired of Norris' inconsistency and shipped him to the Orioles in the second half. Norris struck out 57 in 50.2 innings, but a 4.80 ERA and 1.68 WHIP after the trade were not what the Orioles were looking for. A .333 BABIP suggests some bad luck, but Norris has had a line drive percentage over 21% each of the last three years, a level of hard contact that supports the elevated BABIP. The Orioles will have plenty of rotation competition this spring and for the first time in recent years Norris will have to pitch well in Grapefruit League action to secure a spot.
The Astros desperately hoped Norris would establish himself as the go-to guy at the top of the rotation, but he did not rise to the occasion. He is maddeningly inconsistent from game-to-game, prone to big innings and fragile on the mound. Strikeouts have never been the problem for Norris, who has averaged over 8.8 K/9 over his first four major league seasons. The 27-year-old still struggles to limit walks and the long ball, which makes 2013 a pivotal year in his career. If the breakout does not happen in 2013, it is probably not going to happen at all for Norris.
With a slider, a change-up and a fastball that ranges from 91-93 mph, Norris pitched well for the Astros last season, striking out nearly a batter an inning and doing a decent job of limiting the walks. In fact, his improved control (2.05 K/BB in 2010 to 2.51 K/BB in 2011) coupled with his first season with a sub-1.350 WHIP suggests an improvement on his 6-11 record is in store. As one of the few homegrown, young talents remaining on the Astros, Norris figures to be with the team for a while. He should continue to show growth in 2012, even if the wins don't come in bunches.
Norris had a very up-and-down 2010, starting off cold then posting an excellent July, before pitching on-again / off-again to close out the year. End of season numbers aside, he has far more potential than he has shown thus far -- but like many young pitchers with power arms, he's an injury risk and needs to improve his control. Norris is something of a sleeper entering 2011, but the true breakout may still be another year away. Still, an opportunity to log 185-190 innings paired with an excellent strikeout rate (9.3 K/9IP) makes it difficult to pass him up as an endgame option for your rotation.
Norris found his way into the Astros' rotation when the team released Russ Ortiz in July. He did an admirable job down the stretch as the fourth starter, posting a 1.57 ERA and 1.173 WHIP in September. He's got a live fastball, touching the upper 90s when he's on top of his game, but he needs to develop a third pitch to remain a starting option long term. There's some upside here as a fifth starter, if he can figure out how to keep the ball in the park, while the lack of depth in the Houston rotation could ultimately miscast him as a middle-of-the-rotation type.
Norris went 3-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 19 starts with Double-A Corpus Christi last season, despite being limited by an elbow strain. He flashed good strikeout stuff, fanning 84 batters in 80 innings, but he was very hittable -- due in part to a .364 BABIP -- with .286 batting average against and eight homers allowed. He may return to Corpus Christi to begin 2009, but a late-season callup to Houston is within reason provided that he transitions well to Triple-A Round Rock. Norris is one of a few intriguing prospects in a mostly barren Houston farm system. The Astros may eventually decide to shift him into a relief role, where he may have a future as an eventual closer with a late-moving fastball touching 97 mph.
More Fantasy News
Unavailable Monday
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 17, 2018
Norris (finger) is unavailable Monday against the Braves, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
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Departs with blister issue
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 16, 2018
Norris exited Sunday's game against the Dodgers because a blister on his right hand was bothering him.
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Officially loses closer's role
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 10, 2018
Norris has officially been removed from the closer's role, and his slotting in the bullpen is being "reshuffled" according to manager Mike Shildt, Tyler Fenwick of MLB.com reports.
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Likely unavailable until Friday
PSt. Louis Cardinals
Coach's Decision
September 4, 2018
Manager Mike Shildt said Norris is likely unavailable until Friday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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Blows fifth save
PSt. Louis Cardinals
September 3, 2018
Norris took his fifth blown save of the season Monday against the Nationals, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in just two-thirds of an inning.
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