Royals Rumors: Target Starter Bud Norris

Jun 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bud Norris (20) pitches against the New York Mets during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bud Norris (20) pitches against the New York Mets during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Royals rumors are popping up on a daily biases. Not a day goes by that someone says the Royals need starting pitching. Bud Norris can help the Royals starting rotation if Kansas City can make a deal with Atlanta.

The Kansas City Royals have given up a lot of home runs this season. The Royals as a team have given up 100 home runs this season. It’s not even half way through the season yet. The team is in desperate need for a ground ball starting pitcher.

Bud Norris played for the Baltimore Orioles and the San Diego Padres last season. He struggled in the big leagues posting a 6.72 earned run average (ERA) through 83 innings. He got traded to Atlanta to be a stop-gap starter for the Braves while the team develops young pitchers.

More from Royals Rumors

The beginning of the 2016 season didn’t go well for Norris. He allowed six runs in 1.1 innings against the Boston Red Sox on April 27th at Fenway Park.

Since that dreadful day in Boston, he’s looked much better. In his last five starts he’s put up epic numbers.

On June 10th, Norris beat the mighty Chicago Cubs. He pitched seven innings allowed one earned run off of four hits. He struck out six Cubs batters and walked none.

If that game wasn’t proof enough Norris has found something, take a look at what he’s done in during his last five starts.

Those numbers are impressive to say the least. Four of the five teams Norris faced have above .500 records. The combined record of the Dodgers, Cubs, Reds, Marlins and Mets is 203-183. The combined record includes a below .500 Reds team. The Reds added 49 losses to the total alone.

It’s safe to say Norris has pitched well in his five starts. He’s beating playoff contending teams in the National League. Could he help the American League Royals?

The American League could be an issue for Norris. Having to deal with the designated hitter three or more times could present a problem for him. He’s pitched in the league before and hasn’t had much success.

The good news is Norris is a new type of pitcher now. He’s become more of a ground ball pitcher. The Royals are in need of a ground ball pitcher due to the amount of home runs given up by the team this season. They need a guy that can use the great infield defense and go deep into games.

Ground ball pitchers can pitch in every ball park. The home run totals for ground ball pitchers are lower than fly ball pitchers on average.

In 70 1/3 innings, Norris gave up six home runs. He hasn’t allow a home run since April 27th. He’s got nearly a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio with 60 strikeouts to 28 walks this season. In his last five starts, he’s got a 30 strikeout to eight walks. That’s better than a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

He’s doing better because he added more cutters to his arsenal and less changeups. Here is a chart that shows where Norris pitches his cutter most often.

More from KC Kingdom

Norris likes to pitch the cutter in the middle of the plate both high and low. The cutter helps Norris induce ground balls.

The Braves signed Norris to a team friendly deal. He signed with Atlanta for $2.5 million for one year. After this season is over, he will be eligible for free agency.

With that kind of deal, almost every team that has a chance at making the playoffs will take a look at trading for him. He’s pitched more consistently lately. He also won’t cost as much talent as Julio Teheran or other guys like Sonny Gray would cost.

The Royals should target Norris because he’s cheap and has looked great lately. This should be considered a low risk, high reward situation Kansas City would love to be a part of.

The Royals front office has a great relationship with the Braves front office. Both Dayton Moore and Ned Yost worked for the Braves at one point in their respective careers. This relationship should give Kansas City a slight edge over other teams interested in trading for Norris.

If Norris does become a Royal. I think he replaces Chris Young in the starting rotation. Young has a 6.54 ERA this season. He’s also given up 21 home runs in 53 2/3 innings pitched. Young needs to go back to the bullpen were he excels as a change of pace reliever.

Next: Kansas City Royals: Top 15 Pitchers In Wins

The Kansas City Royals rumors should become louder as we get closer to the All-Star break. The trade deadline is quickly approaching. It will arrive July 31st this year and the Royals should be buyers. Hopefully they will get a good stater sooner rather than later.