The Astros might not be done trading big leaguers.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, starting pitcher Bud Norris “is available and drawing interest” from opposing teams. The Astros will hope to get a prospect or two in return for the right-hander, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and is under contractual control through 2015.
Norris posted an underwhelming 4.65 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over 168 1/3 innings last summer for Houston, but he owns a promising 8.8 career K/9 and would be capable of eating innings at the back end of a contending teams’ starting rotation.
The Orioles, Padres and Cardinals have been linked to Norris at different points this offseason.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.
Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.
Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.
Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.
The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.