Bud 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.
Norris agreed to a minor league deal with the Angels on Monday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Norris struggled on the mound last year, splitting time between the Braves and Dodgers while posting a 5.10 ERA across 113 innings in the process. The 31-year-old also accumulated a 102/49 K/BB rate, another number he will need to improve upon if he hopes to make the Angels' Opening Day roster.
Norris was released by the Dodgers on Wednesday, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. Norris did not provide the Dodgers with anywhere near the quality innings he logged for the Braves earlier this season. He posted a 6.54 ERA in 42.2 innings for the Dodgers, and it soon became clear that he was perhaps a worse option than some of the team's inexperienced rookie starters, which led to him being designated for assignment earlier this month. Norris will look to catch on with another team, likely as a non-roster invitee to spring training.
Norris was designated for assignment Tuesday. The Dodgers needed to make room on the 40-man roster for Alex Wood, and they decided that it was finally time to cut Norris. Since being acquired from the Braves, the veteran right-hander hasn't done much to cement his spot on Los Angeles' roster, sporting a paltry 6.54 ERA and 1.62 WHIP with the Dodgers. He'll likely be looking for a team in need of a veteran starter in the offseason once his contract expires at the end of the season.
Norris will not start Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Brock Stewart is set to take the ball for a spot start Saturday in place of Norris, who has reportedly been demoted to bullpen duty for the time being according to Gurnick. With the season winding down, it's unclear whether Norris will get another start this year.
Norris will rejoin the rotation to start Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks, Andy McCullough of the LA Times reports. Norris was lit up for six runs (five earned) in just three innings in his last start two weeks ago and allowed two runs in less than an inning in his lone relief appearance since then. With rookie Julio Urias moving to the bullpen in an attempt to monitor the number of innings he throws, Norris will rejoin the rotation for at least one time through. The results have been mixed thus far, as the 31-year-old holds a 5.42 ERA in 19 starts this season with both the Braves and Dodgers.