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Bud Norris to make O’s debut Thursday … vs. Astros

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As first reported by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, new Orioles starter Bud Norris will make his debut on Thursday night against the team that just traded him, the Houston Astros. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

Norris was dealt to the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for outfield prospect L.J. Hoes, left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader and a competitive balance pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.

The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts this season and he’s fanned 90 batters in 126 innings. He’s making a $3 million salary this year and is arbitration-eligible in both 2014 and 2015.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!