Originally written on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 5/15/13
Following his exit from Monday night’s 7-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers due to lower back spasms, Houston Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris’ stock for the July trade deadline is now in question. Coming into Monday night’s contest, Norris had been sporting relatively good numbers for the struggling Houston club, holding onto a 4-3 record, 31/17 strikeout to walk ratio, and a respectable 3.40 ERA. Up until his injury (Norris felt the back spasms while throwing warm-up pitches before the start of the sixth inning), Norris had given up seven runs on five hits and two walks over 5 innings of work, four of such runs coming off of a fourth inning grand slam by Detroit outfielder Andy Dirks. The Houston ace now finds himself the owner of a 4-4 record and 4.32 ERA. Although mediocre numbers, they still remain the best on the underachieving pitching staff. While Norris’ back spasms are currently being treated as a day-to-day injury, Houston must hope that the spasms are nothing more than temporary discomfort and not a serious and/or persistent problem. Houston needs offensive help and Norris, as well as starter Lucas Harrell, serves as the club’s best deadline trade-bait. Norris, currently the club’s highest paid player at $3 million per year, would serve as a great option for contending clubs to add depth to the backend of their rotations. Injuries permitting, Norris may be able to succeed on a club with increased run support. In turn, the Astros would be able to add salary space and land a key bat to a struggling lineup. Houston Astros Fantasy News Jose Altuve is expected to return from the bereavement list on Saturday. After clearing waivers the Astros sent RHP Philip Humber outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
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