Everything was up for grabs this year in Houston Astros spring training camp. Two of those things certainly were which pitchers would fill out the starting rotation and which pitcher would lead the team onto the field on opening day. Bo Porter has announced that career Astros pitcher Bud Norris will get the ball on day one. Norris is honored to have been chosen for the first game of their new team’s season. Is it the right move?
There actually are a few good choices for opening day starter for the Astros. The pitching staff might be the strength of this young team going into 2013. Bud Norris hasn’t had the greatest spring of any pitcher on record but he has done the right things to show Porter and the Astros staff that he should get the ball.
First off, he is an Astros pitcher for life. He was drafted by the Astros in 2006 and remained in the system throughout his minor league career. Now he starts his fifth season in the major leagues as a complete product of the Astros franchise. I think that is important symbolism as they embark this entirely new season in a new league.
His numbers have been deceptively good for a couple of years now. This spring his WHIP is riding low around 1.100. That is a really good sign as is the movement on his pitches that is showing up as of his last start. I don’t know if he’ll be the best pitcher in the American League or even on the Astros roster. What I do know is that this is the right choice for opening day starter.