Bud Norris
Bud Norris (35868100724) (cropped).jpg
Norris with the Los Angeles Angels in 2017
Free agent
Born: (1985-03-02) March 2, 1985 (age 37)
Greenbrae, California
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 29, 2009, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
(through 2018 season)
Win–loss record67–90
Earned run average4.45

David Stefan "Bud" Norris (March 2, 1985) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher who is currently a free agent. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and St. Louis Cardinals.[1]

Amateur career

Originally from Novato, California, Norris attended Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, California, later transferring and graduating from San Marin High School in Novato, California, and later California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. At Cal Poly, Norris was a roommate as well as a teammate of fellow major league pitcher Casey Fien.[2]

Professional career

Minor leagues

Norris was selected by the Houston Astros in the sixth round (189th overall) of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft.[3] In 2009, Norris received an invitation to the Astros' spring training camp.[4][5] Baseball America ranked him as the number two prospect in the Astros' system.[6] In August 2009, he was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with a 2.63 earned run average.[7]

Houston Astros

Norris with the Houston Astros in 2010
Norris with the Houston Astros in 2010

In July 2009, Norris was called up to pitch for the Astros following an injury to pitcher Roy Oswalt.[8] He made his major league debut on July 29, pitching three innings of relief against the Chicago Cubs.[9] In his first major league start on August 2, 2009, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and pitched seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals to earn his first career victory.[10] In his rookie season overall, Norris went 6–3 with a 4.53 ERA in ten starts. He was shut down near the end of the season to prevent potential injury.

Norris had a shaky start in 2010, with a 2–6 record and 5.97 ERA up to the All-Star break. After the All-Star break he was much better, posting a 7–4 record with a 4.18 ERA. He finished the 2010 season at 9–10 with a 4.92 ERA.

On June 8, 2011, Norris took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before former Astro Lance Berkman broke it up with his 14th home run of the season, and his fourth of the season against Houston. Norris was still able to earn the win. He finished 2011 with a win–loss record of 6–11, even though he actually pitched well, as evidenced by his 3.77 ERA. Houston's poor offense in 2011 resulted in many low-scoring losses.

Norris went 7–13 with a 4.65 ERA in 2012. He began the season well, going 5–1 and 3.12 through May 21, but as Houston's season went rapidly downhill so did Norris'. He proceeded to go 0–12 with a 6.34 ERA during a streak of 18 starts while he battled injuries and inconsistencies. He finally ended the streak of futility on September 26 with a scoreless start on his way to a win at home against the St. Louis Cardinals and wrapped up his season with another scoreless effort and win at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. He was the last pitcher to bat at Minute Maid Park prior to the Astros' transfer to the American League for the 2013 season.

Just before the deadline for clubs and players to exchange numbers for arbitration on January 18, 2013, Norris agreed to $3 million for the 2013 season.[11]

Baltimore Orioles

Norris was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on July 31, 2013 for L. J. Hoes and minor league pitcher Josh Hader.[12] On the day after the trade, the Astros were already in Baltimore playing the Orioles, so Norris switched dugouts and won the game.[13]

Norris was ejected on May 12, 2014, when he hit Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter in the ribs with a pitch at Camden Yards, prompting both the Orioles' and Tigers' benches and bullpens to clear. Norris had also had run-ins earlier in the season with Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross and Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Neil Walker, but the Hunter incident resulted in his first major-league ejection.[14] At the time of his ejection, Norris was tied for second in the American League (AL) with 5 hit batters in 43 innings, an average of 1 hit batter every 8.6 innings. In his prior career spanning 740 innings pitched since 2009, Norris had hit only 27 batters, an average of one every 27.4 innings.[1]

On January 26, 2015, Norris and the Orioles agreed to a $8.8 million contract. He would get a $25,000 bonus for 180 innings and $50,000 more for 200 under Monday's agreement. Norris also would earn $50,000 each for making the All-Star Game or winning a Gold Glove.[15] Norris was designated for assignment on July 31,[16] and released on August 8.[17]

San Diego Padres

On August 11, 2015, Norris signed with the San Diego Padres for the remainder of the 2015 season.[18][19]

Atlanta Braves

On November 25, 2015, Norris signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.[20] He began the 2016 season in the Braves rotation, but had been moved to the bullpen by the end of April, as he had compiled a 1–4 record and 8.74 ERA in five starts.[21][22] By May 20, Norris had made seven relief appearances for the team and recorded a 1.32 ERA.[23] He returned to the rotation on June 4, in a spot start, as Mike Foltynewicz was placed on the disabled list.[24][25]

Los Angeles Dodgers

On June 30, 2016, Norris was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with minor leaguers Dian Toscano and Alex Grosser and cash considerations) in exchange for minor league pitchers Caleb Dirks and Philip Pfeifer.[26]

On July 26, 2016, Norris recorded his 1,000th strikeout, in a 3–2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.[27] He made nine starts for the Dodgers, four relief appearances, while posting a 3–3 record, and a 6.54 ERA.[28] For the 2016 season — combining Norris’ overall stats from the Braves and Dodgers — he tied (with Clay Buchholz) for the major league lead in grand slams allowed, with three.[29]

Norris was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on September 20, 2016[30] and he was released one week later.[31]

Los Angeles Angels

On January 30, 2017, Norris signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels.[32] After a strong performance in spring training, Norris won a spot in the Angels bullpen as their long reliever. After a rash of injuries to begin the season, including to closer Cam Bedrosian, Norris was entrusted as the Angels acting closer.

On July 30, 2017 Norris surrendered a walk-off grand slam to Steve Pearce to cap a seven-run ninth inning that lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to an 11–10 victory over the Angels. This made him the first pitcher to allow two walk-off grand slams in one season since Francisco Rodriguez did in 2009 (six days prior on July 24, Norris surrendered a grand slam to Edwin Encarnación with the score tied in the bottom of the eleventh that gave the Cleveland Indians and 11–7 win over the Angels). From April 22 to August 4, Norris collected 18 saves for the Angels. He was relieved from the closer role after August 4 in favor of Bedrosian.

St. Louis Cardinals

On February 14, 2018, Norris signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.[33] On May 1, 2018, Norris was named the Cardinals closer.[34] He finished his 2018 campaign with a 3-6 record and a 3.59 ERA along with going 28-for-33 in save opportunities in 64 games.[35]

Toronto Blue Jays

On March 6, 2019, Norris signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays that included an invitation to spring training.[36] Norris was released on April 2, 2019.[1]

Philadelphia Phillies

On January 21, 2020, Norris signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.[37] Norris did not play in a game in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[38] He was released by the Phillies organization on July 16.

Sugar Land Skeeters

In July 2020, Norris signed on to play for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Constellation Energy League (a makeshift 4-team independent league created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) for the 2020 season.[39]

Winnipeg Goldeyes

On July 10, 2021, Norris signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association of Professional Baseball.[40] Norris recorded a 0-0 record, 0.00 ERA, and 9 strikeouts in 6 appearances with the Goldeyes. On August 10, 2021, Norris was released by the Goldeyes

Pitching style

Norris throws five pitches, although against right-handers he uses only his four-seam fastball (91–94 mph) and slider (83–87). Against lefties, he adds a changeup (85–87). Especially against righties, the slider is his favorite two-strike pitch. It also carries a whiff rate of 38%. Norris also throws a sinker and a curveball.[41] Norris had a win–loss record of 38–49 at the end of the 2013 season. He allowed 1.1 home runs for each nine innings and a 1.411 WHIP ratio of baserunners. He also has a high strikeouts per nine innings ratio. He has finished in the top 10 among National League pitchers in 2011 and 2012.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Bud Norris Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Bud Norris' college roommate looking to make splash with Astros". KHOU. February 7, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  3. ^ Metcalfe, Ryan (June 8, 2006). "MLB draft: Three Marin players picked". marinij.com. Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Footer, Alyson (March 25, 2009). "Future full of possibilites [sic] for Norris". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  5. ^ McTaggart, Brian (April 3, 2009). "How was camp? Not bad for these two: After making solid impression, Johnson, Norris are a phone call away from Astros". chronicles.com. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  6. ^ McTaggart, Brian (March 1, 2009). "This bud starts to bloom: Dazzling stuff makes Norris the system's top pitching prospect". chronicles.com. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  7. ^ Davis, Shawn E. (August 31, 2009). "PCL announces postseason All-Star team". MiLB.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  8. ^ McTaggart, Brian (July 29, 2009). "Astros set to call up highly touted Norris". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  9. ^ McTaggart, Brian (July 29, 2009). "Norris soaks up scene in MLB debut". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  10. ^ McTaggart, Brian (August 2, 2009). "Norris' gem in first start gives Astros lift". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
  11. ^ McTaggert, Brian (January 18, 2013). "Lowrie, Norris, Wright agree; Astros avoid arbitration". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  12. ^ White, Paul (July 31, 2013). "Orioles deal for Bud Norris at deadline". usatoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  13. ^ Bateman, Oliver Lee (July 28, 2016). "How Traded Players Reconfigure Their Lives at a Moment's Notice". vice.com. Vice Media. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Norris Ejected in Eighth as O's Fall to Tigers". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Bud Norris, O's agree to $8.8M deal". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  16. ^ Kubatko, Roch (July 31, 2015). "Bud Norris: "I was looking way too much into distractions this year"". masnsports.com. MASN. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  17. ^ Kubatko, Roch (August 8, 2015). "Orioles release Bud Norris (Chris Parmelee clears waivers)". masnsports.com. MASN. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  18. ^ "Padres sign former Orioles pitcher Bud Norris for relief role". foxsports.com. Fox Sports. August 12, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  19. ^ Lin, Dennis (August 11, 2015). "Padres sign Bud Norris to pitch in relief". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  20. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 25, 2015). "Braves bolster young rotation with vet Norris". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  21. ^ O'Brien, David (April 30, 2016). "After rainout, Braves don't need Norris replacement Monday". ajc.com. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  22. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 29, 2016). "Braves' moves point to potential Folty promotion". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  23. ^ Bowman, Mark (May 21, 2016). "Norris now late-inning bullpen option". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  24. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 4, 2016). "Foltynewicz lands on DL with sore right elbow". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  25. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 5, 2016). "Norris' effort provides a silver lining". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  26. ^ Gurnick, Ken (June 30, 2016). "Dodgers deal for Bud Norris from Braves". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  27. ^ Duarte, Michael (July 27, 2016). "Bud Norris Outduels Chris Archer as Dodgers hold on to beat Rays 3-2". nbclosangeles.com. KNBC. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  28. ^ "2016 Los Angeles Dodgers Pitching Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  29. ^ "2016 Major League Baseball Baserunning/Situ". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  30. ^ Stephen, Eric (September 20, 2016). "Dodgers activate Alex Wood from DL, DFA Bud Norris". truebluela.com. SB Nation. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  31. ^ "Bud Norris: Released by Dodgers". cbssports.com. CBS Sports. Rotowire. September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  32. ^ Adams, Steve (January 30, 2017). "Angels, Bud Norris Agree To Minor League Deal". mlbtraderumors.com. MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  33. ^ "Cardinals officially sign RHP Norris to one-year deal". sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo Sports. Reuters. February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  34. ^ "Holland out, Norris in as Cardinals' closer". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  35. ^ Schaeffer, Brenden (October 4, 2018). "St. Louis Cardinals 2018 player grades: Bullpen". kmov.com. KMOV. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  36. ^ "Blue Jays officially sign reliever Bud Norris to minor-league contract". sportsnet.ca. Sportsnet. Canadian Press. March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  37. ^ "Phillies add Francisco Liriano, Bud Norris, Drew Storen, Neil Walker on minors deals". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. January 22, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  38. ^ "2020 Minor League Season Canceled". mlb traderumors.com.
  39. ^ Dunsmore, Ryan (July 9, 2020). "Skeeters set rosters for summer league". Fort Bend Herald. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  40. ^ "American Association of Professional Baseball - 2021 Transactions".
  41. ^ "Player Card: Bud Norris". brooksbaseball.net. Brooks Baseball. Retrieved August 10, 2012.