Astros right-hander Bud Norris has been so good against the Cardinals over the years–and so mediocre against just about everyone else–that St. Louis scribes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Matthew Leach of MLB.com have a running joke with fans on Twitter about his dominance using the hashtag #BudChuck.
Norris did it again last night, shutting out the Cardinals for 7.1 innings after coming into the game 5-13 with a 5.05 ERA this season, out-dueling Chris Carpenter while snapping an 18-start winless streak.
For his career Norris now has a 2.74 ERA in 15 starts versus St. Louis, compared to a 4.83 ERA in 81 starts versus all other teams. That includes yearly ERAs of 0.00, 3.38, 2.52, and now 3.52 against the Cardinals.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.