"I felt pretty good," he said. "I was letting the ball go at game speed."
Norris will likely need at least one more bullpen session before he's cleared for game action. From there, manager Brad Ausmus said he could use a rehab assignment, at least for one start, to get him back to game intensity before the Tigers insert him back into their playoff chase.
The same goes for Zimmermann, who's a little behind Norris in his path back from a neck strain. Zimmermann said he received an adjustment from a chiropractor Friday, then played catch at 90-100 feet by his estimation for the first time since the injury forced him onto the 15-day DL last week.
"I didn't feel anything. It felt good," Zimmermann said. "Just take it day by day and stretch it a little bit longer tomorrow. Today was a big test to see if I felt anything in my shoulder or my back. I felt pretty good for the most part."
Zimmermann did not throw over the All-Star break back home in Wisconsin per request from the Tigers, who wanted him to take a break rather than risk further injury.
Neither will be ready by next week, so Matt Boyd and Anibal Sanchez will remain in the Tigers' rotation to face the Twins on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
For Norris, who left his last start at Cleveland after lunging for a comebacker, the frustration was evident. This is his second DL stint of the season, having missed the beginning of the regular season with a back issue, and his third DL stint in just under a year as a Tiger, having missed a month down the stretch last year with an oblique injury.
"I'm sick of it. I hate it. I hate being hurt," he said. "I hate being on the DL, flying back and forth. I'm done with it. I've had enough of that.
"The only thing for me that's frustrating is I worked so hard in the offseason to prepare for this. I researched workouts, I did everything. Everything I do is mindful of staying on the field and being the best athlete I can be. It hasn't really worked."
The next idea is a little unconventional.
"They want me to gain some weight," he said. "I'm trying. They said you need to start eating cheeseburgers and stuff."
Norris, who said he came into Spring Training with 3.5 percent body fat, isn't making a fast-food run anytime soon. He still plans on eating healthy, just eating more of it.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.