Norris on the DFA, his future and why he’ll never forget Baltimore
BALTIMORE— The Orioles designated Bud Norris for assignment on Friday, clearing a roster spot for new outfielder Gerardo Parra and cutting ties with one of their best starters during last year’s American League Championship Series run.
“I never got my mind right, and I’m physically still getting back to where I need to be,” said Norris, who pitched to a 6.79 ERA before being moved to the bullpen. “I know what I’m capable of. I want to get back to pitching and helping somebody. What happened in 2014 I won’t forget and I will take it with me forever.”
The 30-year-old Norris posted a career-high 15 wins last year, along with a 3.65 ERA . Norris went 8-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 13 second-half starts, helping the O’s win the AL East and earning a start in the AL Division Series. He pitched 6 /13 scoreless innings in the win against the Tigers and took the loss in the Championship Series against the Royals, giving up four runs over 4 1/3 innings as part of the O’s four-game sweep.
“Absolutely I needed to get out of Houston and came over to a great situation where they were playing meaningful games,” said Norris, a Trade Deadline pickup in 2013. “’13 didn’t go the way I envisioned and came back rejuvenated and had an amazing 2014. It was so much fun for the fanbase and the team and I’ll never forget it.”
Part of the O’s Opening Day rotation, Norris never looked in sync this spring and sickness —which caused him to lose considerable weight and go to the disabled list— didn’t help matters. He was moved to the ‘pen and made seven appearances, bringing his line to a combined 2-9 with a 7.06 ERA in 18 games (11 starts) with the Orioles this season.
“I got out of spring, it didn’t go great, wasn’t necessarily worried about that, but couple lopsided starts really inflated my numbers,” Norris said. “The past 2 1/2 years we’ve had six guys for five spots, and Gausman deserves to be in the Major League rotation all the time, not being back and forth from Tripe-A. Ubaldo [Jimenez] had to go last year, but he has a long-term deal. And this year I was kind of the odd man out.”
Norris said he doesn’t want to be a distraction and was planning on heading home to San Francisco to see his family while he waits for the next step. Several teams have expressed interest but it’s up to the Orioles now to determine whether to trade Norris.
“There are eight more free agents in that clubhouse, a lot of moving pieces,” Norris said. “I’m obviously going through some stuff, but I honestly wish them well and hope they can finish strong.”