Bud Norris lands on disabled list with sprained left knee

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The Astros placed right-hander Bud Norris on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a sprained left knee and called up left-hander Dallas Keuchel from Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding roster move.

This according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.

Norris suffered the knee injury Tuesday during his start against the Giants. He’s hoping that the extended period of rest will help his performance.

“I’m frustrated,” Norris said Sunday. “Nobody wants to go on the DL, but I know I need to get this thing right, because once I get it right I can pitch the way I was capable of pitching the first 10, 15 starts. … I’ve been trying to go out there and pitch at 80 percent.”

The owner of a solid 3.77 ERA in 186 innings last year has registered a poor 4.81 ERA through 73 frames here in 2012. His K/9 is soaring at a would-be career-high 10.0, but the consistency has been lacking.

Keuchel is making his major league debut on Sunday afternoon against a dangerous Rangers team.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.