Norris to pitch home opener for O's

Norris to pitch home opener for O's

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles have tabbed Bud Norris as their home opener starter, the fourth game of the year, on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

O's manager Buck Showalter made the announcement, which had been long-speculated, prior to Friday's game vs. the Braves. Norris hasn't had a particularly good spring, pitching to a 9.26 ERA, but Showalter didn't seem too concerned.

"It's funny. We tell them one thing, and something else happens. He's healthy. His arm strength is there. He had a good outing last time out," Showalter said.

"Sometimes the guys that have the worst statistical spring end up having the best season. There's no blueprint for it. You tell them to get their work in and … they do that, and you base the whole thing on, did they get some Triple-A hitter out in the fourth inning? To be continued, to be determined. I never heard somebody after a bad season reach back and talk about the spring he had."

Norris went 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 2014.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.