Orioles starting pitcher Bud Norris is going to be forced to miss an entire turn in the rotation, as he's dealing with soreness in his right (pitching) elbow. Jason Hammel will take his spot in the rotation Friday against the Blue Jays. Both the Orioles and Norris are hoping that he'll take back his spot after that.
“I've been battling it for a couple starts. It's this time of year," Norris said (baltimoresun.com). "I definitely didn't want to miss any time but I figure it'll just be this one and go from there. Definitely give it some time to kind of heal. It's about pitching in October and through it. I'm kinda bummed about it, but like I said, I gotta let it heal and get back out there when I'm ready to go.”
Norris, 28, is 4-2 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.60 WHIP since being traded to the Orioles on July 31 from the Astros. It has to kill him to miss any time at all, considering this is the first playoff race he's ever been in after previously spending four seasons with the Astros.
Hammel, 31, recently came off the DL and is going through a rough season. He's 7-8 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He did throw two shutout innings against the White Sox in his only outing since being activated from the disabled list, so maybe that's something to build on.
The Orioles head into Thursday down 1.5 games in the race for the second AL wild card to the Rays, with the Yankees (one game back) in between. The O's are tied with the Indians and the Royals are just two games behind the Rays in the crowded field.