In the immediate aftermath of losing Clayton Kershaw to the 15-day disabled list with a back injury, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Bud Norris in a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves.
Norris took Kershaw’s slot in the rotation, starting July 1 against the Colorado Rockies. He turned in six shutout innings with eight strikeouts to earn a win. But from that point forward, Norris was largely disappointing in his short stint with the team.
The right-hander battled inconsistency and landed on the 15-day disabled list in August with a mild back strain. Norris returned in the middle of the month and saw his role diminished.
In 13 appearances (nine starts), he posted a 6.54 ERA in 44.2 innings. At the time of being traded to the Dodgers, Norris had a 4.22 ERA and 3.83 FIP. The Dodgers designated the 31-year-old for assignment on Sept. 20 and released him nine days later.
In eerily similar fashion to Mat Latos’ joining the Dodgers in July 2015, Norris’ best outing came immediately after the trade. After holding the Rockies scoreless over six innings, he pitched at least six innings just one more time over his ensuing 12 games.
What’s more, Norris allowed 13 earned runs in 15 innings in the three starts that followed his Dodgers debut. Just about the only positive to take away from Norris’ tenure with the Dodgers was that he was a starting pitcher at a time the club desperately needed one.
While it’s unlikely Norris returns on a new contract with the Dodgers, he should manage to latch on with another club. The eight-year veteran spent the majority of his career working as a starting pitcher but proved in 2016 he’s capable of pitching out of the bullpen.