The Astros got some good news today. The injury to Bud Norris is not as serious as some of us may have thought. Norris was examined in Houston today and diagnosed with right biceps tendinitis. Norris left his last start Tuesday in the third inning with right shoulder discomfort. Norris was 6-11 with a 3.77 ERA in 31 starts for the Astros this season. Norris pitched better than his record would indicate. The Astros lost four of his starts by the score of 1-0. In his third big league season Norris achieved career bests in innings, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, and K/BB ratio.
Another piece of good news came in the form of clinching the number one overall pick in next year’s draft. Scouting Director Bobby Heck faces the challenge of drafting a player with both star potential and signability. There isn’t a Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper in the draft class 2012. Right-handed pitcher Mark Appel of Stanford, Arizona State SS Deven Marrero, and Georgia high schooler Byron Buxton are among several players Heck and the Astros must take into consideration. The last time the Astros had the number one overall selection was in 1992. That time around Houston took Cal State Fullerton SS Phil Nevin. I liked the pick at the time but Nevin flopped in a brief audition with the Astros and was traded to Detroit. Nevin went on to have a 12 year career in the big leagues that included two All-Star appearances as a member of the San Diego Padres.