Astros name Bud Norris as Opening Day starter

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Bud Norris will start on Opening Day for the Astros, who chose him over Lucas Harrell for the Game 1 assignment.

Harrell was better last season, with a 3.76 ERA in 194 innings compared to a 4.65 ERA in 168 innings for Norris, but Norris has been with the Astros for four seasons and that makes him the longest-tenured member of the rotation.

Along with announcing Norris as the Opening Day starter the Astros also announced that Jordan Lyles will begin the season at Triple-A, which was the speculation two weeks ago because he was getting knocked around in spring training.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.