A difficult start to the 2015 season didn’t get any better for Bud Norris in a rehab start at Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.
The Orioles pitcher surrendered nine earned runs and 12 hits in just 2 2/3 innings in an 11-4 loss to Rochester in the first game of a doubleheader. He gave up two home runs to Kennys Vargas, who was recently optioned to Triple A by the Minnesota Twins.
Norris was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday after he’d been dealing with a case of bronchitis and hadn’t pitched since May 10. The 30-year-old is eligible to be activated from the DL on Tuesday, but his latest poor outing may force the club to reevaluate what to do with the right-hander, who sports a 9.88 ERA in six starts for the Orioles this year after a poor spring.
Manager Buck Showalter was envisioning Norris as one of his starters for this Thursday’s doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, but his dramatic struggles with the Tides could signal the need for a longer rehab assignment. Minor-league rehab assignments for pitchers can last up to 30 days.
Norris has been particularly poor against left-handed hitters as they sport an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.174 this season. Right-handers have a .729 OPS against him in 2015.
Scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season, Norris is making $8.8 million this season. He went 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts last season and was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the 2014 American League Division Series as the Orioles swept Detroit.