St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Bud Norris exited his most recent outing with a hamstring injury, and that likely ends his season.
Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals have seen the last of Bud Norris. While he has been struggling of late, his overall body of work for the team has been pretty good. The news of his likely season ending came from Jenifer Langosch.
Down the stretch, Norris has become fairly unreliable. Since the beginning of September, his ERA has has gone up to the mid threes after starting the month under three. However, for a long time he was one of the best options for the Cardinals.
Prior to the 2018 season, Norris had bounced around from team to team with minimal success. He was not even a full time reliever until 2017 with the Angels. So when the St. Louis Cardinals brought him in on a one year deal, it was a little alarming.
Norris responded by racking up nearly thirty saves this season. He put together one of the best first halves in recent memory. With a sub one WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 38.1 innings of work. This is when he racked up most of his saves, closing out 17 games in 19 tries.
In his second half, Norris still managed 11 saves in 14 opportunities. He struck out only 11 batters in 19 innings of work with an ERA close to five. That is largely due to his 13.50 ERA in the month of September.
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Overall, that first half from Norris was a breath of fresh air. In a time where the St. Louis Cardinals were struggling to find consistency at the back end of the bullpen, he was able to provide that. It seems like he might have just tired out towards the end of the year.
Either way, Norris was a good signing in my opinion. He provided reliability at the back end of the bullpen. For awhile, he was a consistent closer for the St. Louis Cardinals for a little while. He also provided a veteran presence for young arms like Jordan Hicks to gain experience before dropping into a true closer role.
The team likely won’t not sign him back, but based on what many expected, Norris was excellent during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals. By not bringing him back, the team can explore other relief options. Perhaps of the left handed variety.
If his season is truly done, we should all be saying ‘Thanks, Bud’ for the good moments he provided us this season. His scope of work reaches beyond just the recent struggles.