Norris (0-2) allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks in one inning, taking the loss versus Seattle on Wednesday. Norris was on the mound for all of Seattle's five-run rally in the top of the 11th, and Detroit wasn't able to cover the damage. It's been a difficult year for the southpaw, who has a 6.65 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 25:10 K:BB across 23 innings. He's added five holds and two blown saves, but his inconsistent pitching will likely keep him from earning more high-leverage work.
Norris (0-1) allowed four earned runs on four hits across 1.2 innings to take the loss in Sunday's game against Cleveland. He struck out one. Norris came on in the sixth inning and allowed an inherited runner to score to make it 3-2 in favor of Detroit, but the lefty really ran into trouble in the seventh. He started the frame by allowing three straight hits and two runs, then was tagged for a two-run home run by Jordan Luplow with one out that made it 6-3 in favor of Cleveland. Norris was effective in long relief for the Tigers last season, posting a 3.25 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across 27.2 innings, so he should be able to bounce back from the rough outing.
Norris worked around a hit and walk to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings and record a hold in Thursday's win over Cleveland. He struck out one. Norris got the last out of the seventh, then worked the eighth before handing the game over to Gregory Soto. A former starter, Norris pitched multiple innings in all but one of his 14 appearances in 2020, and he kicked off 2021 by giving the Tigers valuable length in a game they won by a run. That makes the lefty a valuable option for new manager A.J. Hinch, though it won't translate into much fantasy value outside of leagues that count holds.
Norris will likely fill a long-relief role for the Tigers this season, Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic reports. After dealing with injuries the past few seasons and a bout with COVID-19 in 2020, Norris settled in as a primary pitcher last year, posting a 2.77 ERA across 13 multi-inning relief appearances. A similar role seems to be on tap for the lefty in 2021, which curtails his fantasy appeal but could make him a solid real-life option for the Tigers, especially as they look to monitor the workloads of starters such as Michael Fulmer, Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal.
Norris and the Tigers agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.475 million deal Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. Norris had the best season of his seven-year career in 2020, posting a 3.25 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, though it came in a small sample of just 27.2 innings. That ERA was backed by a solid combination of a 24.1 percent strikeout rate, 6.0 percent walk rate and 55.7 percent groundball rate, setting him up to be a useful member of the Tigers' pitching staff in 2021.
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