Just when you assume that all will be quiet for the Toronto Blue Jays leading up to the World Series, the team finds a way to get itself into the news. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the best news to convey.
According to a team statement, sent out via Twitter, top pitching prospect Daniel Norris underwent arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow this morning. The surgery was done in order to remove bone spurs and “loose bodies” from the elbow, and has an expected recovery time of six weeks, which will give him plenty of time to be ready for Spring Training.
The 21-year-old lefty vaulted himself to the top of the minor league pitching class in 2014 after dominating hitters on three levels before receiving a September call-up. In 26 minor league games (25 starts) between High-A Dunedin, Double-A New Hampshire, and Triple-A Buffalo, Norris went 12-2 with a 2.53 ERA, a 3.1 BB/9, and a 11.8 K/9 ratio.
The big jump garnered Norris all sorts of attention this summer. Aside from having his name come up in trade demands, Norris also found himself finishing at the 25th best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com.
Norris would also end the season enjoying a small cup of coffee with the Blue Jays in September. He would make 5 appearances with the big club, with all but one of them coming out of the bullpen in order to limit his innings. However, Major League hitters proved a bit tougher for his, as he surrendered 4 runs on 6 hits over 6.2 innings of work, striking out 4 and walking 5 in the process.
The caveat that he’ll be ready for Spring Training at least adds a bit of reassurance for Blue Jays fans that were hoping for Norris to make a larger impact on the big league club in 2015. The lefty is expected to start the season at Triple-A Buffalo, but has recently told hometown sports site TriCitySports.com that he plans to compete for a starting role next season.
Blue Jays fans are already dreaming of that day.