The Los Angeles Dodgers were thrown a curveball in Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks as Bud Norris failed to make it out of the first inning. Norris threw just 13 pitches before being removed with what the Dodgers announced mid-game as back muscle tightness.
He was checked on after issuing a leadoff walk to Jean Segura but threw a couple warmup tosses and remained in the game. Norris was again paid a visit on the mound by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and head athletic trainer Nate Lucero after retiring Michael Bourn.
Still pitching through pain, a decision was made to remove Norris. He wasn’t sure if the issue arose on a pickoff throw first base or pitch to Bourn when his landing foot slid from under him. Regardless, it caused the area behind Norris’ right shoulder blade to tighten.
“He has something with the lat. Talked to the trainers and he’ll be fine,” Roberts said after his club’s 14-3 victory. “We expect him to make his next start.”
Norris has previous experience in pitching with a lat strain but wasn’t ready to commit to taking his next turn in the rotation. “I don’t know yet. I don’t want to speculate too much,” Norris said. “That’s obviously my goal.”
Norris expects to have a better idea of his availability once he’s able to complete a side session. An encouraging sign is Norris said the “achy, dead pain” had already subsided after receiving treatment that included icing and massaging.
He acknowledged there was some frustration with needing to be pulled but conceded it was the correct decision. As it currently stands Norris is presumed to start Friday on regular rest in the opener of a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox.
Of course, that could change in light of the Dodgers acquiring Rich Hill, who is eligible to be reinstated from the disabled list Thursday. With the recent off-days that have filled their schedule the Dodgers have kept a four-man rotation since July 22. That will need to change come Saturday.