Bud Norris leaves start with shoulder discomfort

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Some potentially bad news for one of the few bright spots for the last-place Astros this season.

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that Bud Norris left tonight’s start against the Reds in the third inning with right shoulder discomfort.

Norris gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings before being pulled from the game. He was scheduled to make one more start before the end of the season, but the Astros will likely decide to play it safe and shut him down for the year.

Norris, 26, has emerged as a solid building block for the starting rotation this season, posting a 3.79 ERA and 175/69 K/BB ratio over 185 1/3 innings.

Pirates set to promote top prospect Mitch Keller

Mitch Keller
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MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Pirates will promote top pitching prospect Mitch Keller in advance of their doubleheader against the Reds on Monday. Confirmation of the move is still pending an official announcement, but Keller will reportedly face off against Sonny Gray in Game 2.

Keller, 23, is currently listed as the Pirates’ no. 1 prospect and the no. 16 overall prospect in the league, per MLB.com. He was selected in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft and has spent the last six years refining his technique in Pittsburgh’s farm system, where he recently made the jump to Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018. So far this season, he’s 5-0 in nine starts with a 3.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 10.7 SO/9 through 47 innings.

It’s not clear how long of a leash the Pirates will give Keller, though given the current state of their rotation — down to four serviceable starters with Jameson Taillon on the 60-day injured list (right elbow flexor strain), Trevor Williams on the 10-day IL (right side strain), and a handful of replacements yet to impress — they may be inclined to keep him on a little longer than his spot start requires.