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.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.