DETROIT -- Daniel Norris' recovery is going better than expected, even for him. On Sunday he threw what was supposed to be a light bullpen, roughly somewhere around 15 pitches. If he keeps this up, the Detroit Tigers could have him back before a month's time.
Norris was feeling so good and he had no pain that he ended up throwing "around" 30 pitches in all. Considering he was supposed to be lost for a minimum of a month and it's been just over two weeks, Norris' progression is moving at lightning speed.
"I was feeling pretty good," Norris said. "It was good, really encouraging and towards the end I simulated a couple hitters and let it go pretty good. Especially on the curveball, it's the pitch I felt it on."
Being as the rotation and the bullpen are severely strapped for help, getting Norris back ahead of schedule would be a huge relief. The team could call up more pitchers from the minors, but that's not going to provide the stability that Norris would bring. Before he went on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 19 with the right oblique strain, Norris had four starts with Detroit. His first start resulted in 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball and his third yielded 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball. The other two weren't so pretty as Norris gave up five runs over 3 1/3 innings in his second start, and then had to be taken out of his fourth start in the fifth inning with the injury.
Overall, though, his body of work was encouraging, and the centerpiece deal in the David Price trade has shown his worth. Whether he'll be back on the mound in a live game has yet to be seen, but for Norris, he's just relieved that he's progressed so well in his recovery.
"Yeah it's pretty crazy, I didn't know what to expect," Norris said. "They were giving me an idea that it would be a while. But I got in every day and did my work and got healthy. They're a really good staff, strength training and medical guys. Expedited the process to get back out there."