The Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of a battle for the AL wild card spots, but they're still not going to take any chances with the health of starter Bud Norris. Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the right-hander is dealing with discomfort in his throwing elbow and the Orioles have decided to skip his start on Friday night in the hope that the pain subsides. Norris said that there wasn't anything specific that had caused the problem.
"A fatigue and tightness kind of thing," Norris said of the elbow issue, which cropped up last month in Arizona. "There was no specific day. Obviously getting to this point in the season, we're adding up and so forth. I definitely felt it in my last couple [games], but I wanted to go out there and compete."
Manager Buck Showalter told Ghiroli that the decision was made as much to save Norris from going through his usual pre-start routine as it was the start itself. Norris apparently felt the discomfort resurface during Wednesday's work day. Showalter also seemed confident that rest should help the problem subside, as that approach worked before when the issue came up last month.
Jason Hammel will start instead of Norris on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hammel's numbers do not look good this season, both on the surface and in his peripherals. A 5.11 ERA and 1.50 WHIP is the result of a K/BB ratio of just 1.83, home run rate of 1.4/9 and 141 hits given up in just 125 innings. Hammel actually went on the DL with a flexor mass problem at the same time that the Orioles acquired Norris from the Astros and Norris went straight into Hammel's spot at the time.
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