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Astros set to call up highly touted Norris

Astros set to call up prospect Norris

CHICAGO -- The Astros are preparing to call up top pitching prospect Bud Norris, who is 4-9 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A Round Rock.

Astros starter Roy Oswalt left Tuesday's game with a lower back strain, and the club announced it would call up Doug Brocail to join the team Wednesday. Manager Cecil Cooper said he was not sure what Norris' role will be, but he will be in uniform Wednesday.

"My parents are coming in from California, so it should be a great day, and I'm looking forward to it," said Norris, who was charting pitches in the stands during Round Rock's game in Memphis, Tenn., when he was told he was being called up.

Norris was ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the system prior to this season by Baseball America, which rated him as having the best fastball in the system among Minor Leaguers. He went 3-8 with a 4.05 ERA last year at Double-A Corpus Christi, and he was impressive in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 1.89 ERA in 12 games.

"When I realized they were in Chicago, one of the all-time great ballparks, I was excited. I'm looking forward to seeing the ivy on the wall in person."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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