What does Bud Norris bring to the Cardinals Bullpen in 2018?
Today it was announced that the Cardinals signed veteran pitcher Bud Norris. Norris is an eight-year veteran who has been a starter and reliever for many different teams in the National and American Leagues.
This past year he made almost a full transition to the bullpen. He went 2-6 with a 4.21 Earned Run Average. He also had 19 saves last year. Even though those are not flashy numbers, he does bring a veteran presence to a fairly young and inconsistent Cardinals bullpen.
Over the course of his career, Norris has never really quite had an efficient season but has shown enough consistency to stay in the MLB. He has successfully kept a career ERA of 4.49 which is good but not great. The Cardinals are hoping he can improve for them this season.
There are many different positives that he brings to the club. The first one is his versatility. Since he has a experience as both a starter and a reliever, he can be a long reliever, an occupational starter, and a closer if needed.
The Cardinals have struggled to have a solid established long reliever, and Norris’s experience can really help the Cardinals. Also, most of the Cardinals starters and relievers are very young, so if they get injured Norris can fill in with more innings.
Another important part of his versatility is that he was a closer on the Angels last year. He was a closer for the first time in his career and was overall very successful in his first time trying out the closer role.
He not only can be a long reliever but also be put in an eighth-inning role in front of Gregerson who has announced the closer after he was signed. This signing is important because it gives the Cardinals the depth they need. Now if there is a game where three or four relievers are used, the next game there are still solid relievers available.
Another important part of this signing is that they only signed him for 3 million dollars. This is a pretty good amount for someone who has a lot of experience and had 19 saves last year. In the very slow offseason, it is important for the Cardinals to make a move, even if it is a small move like this one.
Even though it seems that the Norris to the Cardinals is a match made in heaven, there are many negatives of Norris’s career so far. He has a tendency of giving up a lot of runs and does not have many efficient years as a reliever under his belt.
He could very well be a bust for the Cardinals and not be efficient enough to deal with the surging Cubs and Brewers in the National League Central race. The Cardinals had a tendency of blowing leads last year, and Norris could definitely give up a lot of runs in relief.
Overall though, this is a solid move for the Cardinals because this is low risk and could potentially be high reward for the Cardinals. Bud Norris will be welcomed to a very shaky bullpen who needs all the help they can get right now.
Statistics Courtesy of ESPN and Baseball Reference
Photo Captured By: USA Today Sports- Richard Mackson