ST. LOUIS -- Astros manager Bo Porter won't announce his rotation plans for the remainder of the first half until later this week, but he did reveal who won't start Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Porter said Bud Norris' Tuesday start against the Cardinals will likely be his last before the break. Norris is having the best year of any Astros starter, and Porter believes the right-hander is a candidate to be selected as an alternate for the American League All-Star squad. Per the new collective bargaining agreement, Sunday starters can pitch, at most, one inning in the All-Star Game, but Porter is hoping to keep Norris fresh should the opportunity arise.
"We feel like he's pitched well enough to be an All-Star," Porter said. "If it just so happened that he is selected as one of those reserves, we want him to be well-rested and be able to go in and pitch in the All-Star Game."
Porter said Norris will be ready to make the start Sunday if needed, but another off-day Thursday and the approaching break offers the Astros flexibility.
"He's been our best pitcher the whole year," Porter said. "If [AL manager] Jim Leyland feels like Bud Norris is one of those [alternates], I wouldn't want it to be hindered by the fact that he's going to pitch Sunday."
Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.