Norris named PCL Pitcher of Year

Norris named PCL Pitcher of Year

CHICAGO -- Astros pitcher Bud Norris received some much-needed good news Wednesday morning when Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey called to inform him he had been named the league's Pitcher of the Year.

Norris, who's 3-3 with a 6.61 ERA in seven games (six starts) since being called up by the Astros, went 4-9 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Round Rock. He led the league in ERA before he was promoted to the Astros on July 29.

The PCL Pitcher of the Year is an honor annually chosen by the league's managers and media representatives in recognition of a pitcher's outstanding achievements on the mound.

"It's obviously a great honor because managers and GMs vote on it, and they go off a lot more than just the numbers and the fact that I was 4-9 down there," Norris said Wednesday at Wrigley Field, the site of his Major League debut. "It's a great honor. That's a level I was just at and I worked very hard down there, and hopefully those numbers can transfer up here."

Norris is scheduled to make his next start Sunday at Minute Maid Park against the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. He went 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his first three starts, but is 0-3 with a 13.11 ERA in his past three starts.

He threw a bullpen session Wednesday and will do that again Friday in anticipation of making his first start in more than a week.

"Now that the newness has worn off and the hitters know about him and have seen enough video of him, the bottom line is making pitches, especially command of his fastball," Houston pitching coach Dewey Robinson said. "If you can command your fastball, that's the No. 1 objective."

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