Astros manager Bo Porter on Wednesday named right-hander Bud Norris as the team’s Opening Day starter. Norris will start March 31 against the Rangers, with Lucas Harrell pitching April 2 and Philip Humber going on April 3 in the series finale. It will be the first career Opening Day assignment for Norris, who went 7-13 with a 4.65 ERA in 29 starts for the Astros last year. “Bud Norris has done everything we’ve asked him to do from the time I’ve taken the job to being that leader that this organization needs,” Porter said. “You look at his home and road slips and how well he’s pitched at Minute Maid Park and how well he’s pitched in big games…I think he gets up for big games. Even as far back as last year, he had the second-best ERA in all of baseball pitching at home and the Opening Day starter, if you look at it, if they stay on turn and stay healthy, that guy will get three more starts at Minute Maid Park between now and All-Star break. It was all those factors, combined with the history that goes with it. He’s our most-veteran [starting] pitcher, outside of [Erik] Bedard.” The rest of the rotation is unknown, but the Astros did option right-handers Jordan Lyles and John Ely to Triple-A Oklahoma City, meaning Lyles won’t be in the rotation to start the year. Alex White, Brad Peacock, Edgar Gonzalez and Bedard are battling for the final two spots in the rotation, though it’s more likely Gonzalez will be used in long relief. Lyles had allowed 36 hits and 23 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings this spring.
Bud Norris named Opening Day starter, Lyles to Triple-A
MLB.com | Mar 20