Norris missed the Tigers' first full-squad workout of the spring Monday in order to receive a checkup in Philadelphia for the groin injury that hampered him for much of the 2017 season, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. The left-hander received a clean bill of health and was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday.
Despite missing a large portion of the second half with a strained groin, Norris finished the season on the field and stressed that he didn't have any renewed pain this offseason, suggesting his doctor visit Monday was merely precautionary. Norris added that he went through a training program to strengthen his groin during the offseason, which he hopes will help him avoid the disabled list and result in more start-to-start consistency. The 24-year-old looks to have an early line on one of the openings at the back of the Tigers' rotation but will probably need to produce during the regular season before he can be rostered with any confidence in most mixed leagues.
Norris (5-8) earned the win over the Royals on Thursday, giving up two hits over five scoreless innings. He struck out one batter and did not issue a walk.
At one point, Norris appeared in danger of being removed from the game with some sort of back or oblique issue, but the lefty convinced the training staff that he was good to continue on. Norris missed significant time due to a groin injury this season and struggled with walks throughout most of the year, although he did show improvement with his control following his return in September (five walks over 16.2 innings). There are questions about his viability as a starter in the big leagues, but Norris, a former top prospect, will have plenty of more chances to prove himself.
Norris (4-8) allowed five runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out two over 4.2 innings to take the loss Friday against the Twins.
Norris had a 2-1 lead before giving up three runs in the fourth inning, leading him to drop his eighth decision of the season. As a pitcher whose moved between the rotation and the bullpen, his 5.59 ERA to go along with a 1.68 WHIP has made him a player who is difficult to trust in fantasy lineups. His next start has yet to be determined.
Norris has been confirmed as the starter of Friday's game against the Twins, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
He actually has been better as a starter this year than out of the bullpen, but his 5.29 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 85 innings as a starter still don't inspire any confidence. Norris has had a rough go of things in 2017, but will still likely get a look as a starter again in 2018 as the Tigers embrace a youth movement.
Norris pitched a perfect inning of relief in Sunday's loss to the Blue Jays.
Norris was shifted to the bullpen at the beginning of September and he struggled in his first relief outing last Sunday, giving up two earned runs without recording an out. The Tigers still view the 24-year-old as a starter long term, but it would benefit Norris to pitch well in relief the rest of this season as he looks to earn a rotation spot in 2018.
|10/1/2017 vs Minnesota|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||R-Bluefield Blue Jays||2||3||7.97||11||10||0||0||0||35.0||44||35||31||4||2||13||38|
|2013||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||1||0||0.00||1||1||0||0||0||5.0||1||0||0||0||0||2||1|
|2014||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||6||0||1.22||13||13||0||0||0||66.1||50||11||9||0||0||18||76|
|2014||AA-New Hampshire Fisher||3||1||4.54||8||8||0||0||0||35.2||32||18||18||5||2||17||49|
|2016||AFA-Lakeland Flying Tige||0||0||4.50||2||2||0||0||0||6.0||9||3||3||0||1||1||7|
|2016||AAA-Toledo Mud Hens||5||7||4.54||14||14||0||0||0||73.1||78||40||37||2||1||28||77|