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.
Rangers third baseman Adrián Beltré is dealing with a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring, marking the third time this season the 39-year-old has dealt with a hamstring issue. The injuries are weighing on Beltré, who sounds like he is mulling retirement.
Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that Beltré said, “It brings the question of is this going to keep happening more often? Is it worth it to fight back? Is it a sign that it’s getting closer to time to say good-bye to you guys?”
In 358 plate appearances this season, Beltré has hit .278/.335/.394 with seven home runs and 41 RBI. His .729 OPS would be his lowest since 2009, when he put up a .683 OPS with the Mariners. Beltré is a free agent after the season and turns 40 years old in April. It wouldn’t be surprising if he decided to call it quits after this season. If he does hang ’em up, Beltré will be — in this writer’s humble opinion — a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he is eligible five years from retirement.