Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’

Facing Norris will be ‘weird’ for Astros

Tonight will be flat-out weird. The Astros are going to face off against former teammate Bud Norris, who was traded to the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes, left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader and a Competitive Balance Draft pick.

Norris has spent his whole career with the Astros and will be wearing orange and black tonight instead of orange and blue. He’s pitching in a pennant race for the first time in his career, so how will he respond? The Astros aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees, but on Wednesday they bashed out 15 hits and 11 runs. Wonder what Bud was thinking?

Astros catcher Jason Castro said tonight’s game will unusual.

“It will be interesting,” he said. “It’s kind of weird, kind of surreal, I think now just having caught him so much I don’t think I’m going to have to watch any video on him tomorrow, but we’ll see. It will be fun and hopefully we can put up something similar to what we did [Wednesday}. It would be nice. Keep swinging it. He’ll do just fine over there, but hopefully that starts after we’re out of here.”

When the Astros traded Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates last year, his first start came against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Rodriguez went six innings against the Astros and allowed six hits and three runs.

This feels different. Norris was in the Astros clubhouse yesterday, took the team bus to the ballpark. Now he’s on the other side.

“He’s going to definitely try to have a good day and hopefully we stay with our approaches sand everything that’s been working the last couple of days,” Castro said. “We know what to expect as far as the stuff that he’s gotten and how he’s going to attack a little bit. We’ll see how he’ll adjust, and it will be fun.”

Norris excited for opportunity in Baltimore

Bud Norris, one of the few remaining players from the Astros’ previous regime, is on his way to a pennant race.

The Astros finally pulled of a deal just minutes before Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending Norris to the Orioles in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes and another player.

“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Norris told MLB.com. “I’m very thankful for Houston and the organization for everything they’ve done for me and given to me. You get drafted by them and come through the Minor League system and play here for four years. Houston’s been my home for a long time. It will be hard to leave a lot of it behind me, but as I look forward I’m excited to play in Baltimore. They’ve got a great city and a great, young team. They play together and play very hard. I’m excited to go to postseason and make a run at something.”

Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts for the Astros, but was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday in Baltimore, only adding to speculation a trade was in the works. At a $3 million annual salary, Norris was the Astros’ highest-paid player and is under club control for two more years beyond 2013.

Norris, the longest current tenured member of the team, has seen more than 12 trades in the last few years, with many teammates leaving Houston for greener pastures. The list includes Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman, Michael Bourn, Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Chris Johnson, J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon.

“I really wanted to get an opportunity play in the postseason,” he said. “You play in the big leagues to go out there to win to be the best you can be. It’s been a tough stretch the last four years in Houston and I’ve seen a lot of people get traded from them. I’ve prepared for it and I’m really excited for the opportunity to pitch in Baltimore.”

The trade punches a huge hole in the Astros’ rotation, but they have some arms coming in the Minor Leagues. Jarred Cosart, one of their top pitching prospects, made his debut earlier this month and more young arms could follow.

With Norris off the books, the Astros’ highest-paid player is veteran left-hander Erik Bedard, who’s making $1.15 million. The only other player making more than $1 million is relief pitcher Wesley Wright at $1.025 million.

The Astros traded closer Jose Veras to the Tigers on Monday in chance for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later. Vasquez was the No. 4-ranked prospect in the Tigers system and was sent to Class A Quad Cities.

Norris scratched as three teams pursue him

The Astros scratched Bud Norris from his scheduled start Tuesday night against the Orioles and will instead send Lucas Harrell to the mound.

Norris, who’s on the trading block, has yet been dealt and was expected to be at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in an Astros uniform later in the day. The Astros are pulling him from the game as a precaution in advance of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline.

A source told MLB.com on Tuesday three teams were hard after Norris, including the Orioles, who are in contention in the American League East, but no deal is imminent.

Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts and is on pace to throw 200 innings for the first time in his career. He certainly could help plug a hole in the rotation of a contending team and the Astros are still trying to acquire as many prospects as they can.

Astros claim Steve Pearce off waivers

The Astros have claimed infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce off waivers from Baltimore, a source told MLB.com.

Pearce, 29, is a career .235 hitter with 12 homers and 66 RBIs in 536 Major League at-bats. He played with the Pirates from 2008-11 and appeared in 28 games this year for the Orioles, hitting .254 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 71 at-bats.

A right-handed hitter, Pearce can play the corner outfield spots and first base.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow didn’t want to comment.

Pearce was flying to Houston on Saturday night and could be activated prior to Sunday’s game against the Pirates. The Astros would need to remove someone from the 40-man roster to make room for Pearce.

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