Bud Norris – Los Angeles Angels
Emerging as a surprising weapon in the Los Angeles Angels bullpen, Bud Norris may have finally found a home as a reliever.
After eight years with varying degrees of success, mainly as a starter, Norris signed a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He impressed during Cactus League play, making the bullpen. Then, as injuries piled up, Norris was forced into the closer role out of necessity. There, he has been a revelation. thriving in that opportunity.
Relying on his cutter more than ever before, Norris appears to have found a home as a dominant reliever. In addition to his 11 saves thus far, Norris has posted a 2.51 ERA and a 1.113 WHiP, striking out 41 batters in 32.1 innings of work. Norris has also improved his always tenuous command, issuing just 13 walks this season.
While Norris would not close for the Tampa Bay Rays, he would provide insurance in the event that Brad Boxberger is not able to return to form. After all, Boxberger did struggle in his 27 outings last season, posting a 4.81 ERA and a 1.726 WHiP, walking 22 batters in 24.1 innings. Norris would certainly be a solid option if Boxberger once again struggles when he returns from the disabled list.
Bud Norris would be a perfect option in either the seventh or the eighth inning for the Rays. The perfect insurance policy should Boxberger struggle, Norris would be an excellent fit for the Rays.