BALTIMORE -- Veteran pitcher Bud Norris, who was traded from the Astros to the Orioles last July, has settled in nicely with his new club, he said Saturday. It didn't hurt that he's pitching pretty well, going 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA in his first six starts of the season for the first-place Orioles.
"It's been great," Norris said. "Getting down to my first [spring] camp in Sarasota was nice with new scenery, and they've got a great facility. There's a great work ethic from top to bottom from an organizational standpoint, and obviously it's a tight division race and being in first place has been great."
Norris was drafted and developed by the Astros and went 34-46 with a 4.33 ERA in five years in Houston, which dealt him to the Orioles in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes, Minor League pitcher Josh Hader and a competitive balance pick in this year's Draft. The trade was one of several the Astros made in which they shipped off an established player for younger players.
Norris admitted a change of scenery was probably needed.
"It was a great time for me and my career and we'll see what's next for me," he said. "I can't say thank you enough and express my gratitude for my years in Houston. They got me to the big leagues and I established myself in the big leagues and left it all on the field in the city for a bunch of years. I wouldn't change it, but things happen for a reason and I'm glad it did and this is where I'm supposed be, winning ballgames and hopefully helping this team win some more."
Norris said he keeps in touch with catcher Jason Castro and pitchers Jarred Cosart and Dallas Keuchel, and even some of the newer faces like pitchers Brad Peacock and Brett Oberholtzer. But he's very much put Houston in his rearview mirror.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.