It's probably going to feel very strange for Bud Norris when he takes the mound for the first time as an Oriole tonight. Not only will he be trying to make a strong first impression for his new team, but he'll try to do it against his old team.
The 28-year-old Norris was drafted by Houston in round six of 2006. Since 2009, he has made 118 starts for the Astros. Tonight he tries to beat them.
Norris has allowed 16 runs and 21 hits in 17 innings over his last three starts. Maybe the constant trade deadline stories were a distraction for him because he had pitched much better before that. He went 1-1 with 3.27 ERA in five May starts and was 1-3 with a 2.77 ERA over six starts in June.
Norris was pulled from his scheduled start here on Tuesday, so tonight he is working on seven day's rest since his last outing a week from yesterday when he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 vs. Oakland.
Jason Castro has been Norris' catcher with Houston and tonight he'll bat against a right-hander he knows quite well.
"I have to try to just not get caught up with trying to guess what's coming and stick with my normal approach at the plate while still having an understanding of how he attacks hitters. There is a fine line there," Castro said this afternoon in the Astros' clubhouse.
"He's got really good stuff. He's really made some good strides this year in becoming a more complete pitcher. He's developed some additional pitches outside of his slider that has kind of been the pitch to which you can attribute some of his success. He was the ace of our staff and the Orioles got a good pitcher," he said.
Minor league notes: Single-A Delmarva shortstop Adrian Marin, the Orioles third round pick last June, hasn't played since Sunday. He's been dealing with some back soreness but is not on the disabled list.
The 19-year-old Marin has played in 89 Shorebirds' games batting .279 with two homers, 36 RBIs and a .685 OPS. He hit .321 in 22 games in July.
Double-A Bowie manager Gary Kendall is going to manage in the Arizona Fall League that begins October 8.
Kendall will manage the Surprise Saguaros with players from the Orioles, Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Texas organizations.