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Spring Training with Bud Norris.

March 25, 2009

Ex-Knight Fights for Roster Spot with Astros

Spring Training with Bud Norris.

Spring Training is coming to a close and several Knights such as Tommy Hanson (pitcher, Atlanta), Bobby Scales (utility, Chicago Cubs), Chris Stewart (catcher, NY Yankees) and Houston Astros prospect Bud Norris (pictured) are fighting for MLB roster spots.

Norris starred for the Knights in 2005 following his sophomore season at Cal Poly.

He's made great progress towards his goal of pitching in the big leagues in just three short pro seasons.

When asked recently on the MLB Network to identify Houston's impact rookie for 2009, ex-big league closer Mitch Williams named Bud Norris.

Bud was gracious enough to give us an inside look at a day in camp as he battled for a position with the Astros. On Friday, March 27, Norris was reassigned to minor league camp.

Look for Bud to make his Major League debut this summer.

Monday, March 23
Bud's Life by Bud Norris
MLB Spring Training, Kissimmee, Florida

Today was aother good day. As we near the end of Spring Training the days get a little easier, but a little longer too. I usually get to the field around 8:00 am, dress down into shorts and make my way to the lunch room for breakfast. Half of our team is already there by then just hanging out because a lot of guys have young kids that wake them up early.

You can usually find Lance Berkman, Geoff Blum and David Newham working on their USA Today crossword puzzle together.

After a hearty breakfast, we all dress by 9:00 am and are on the field by 9:30 am. We do some light jogging and then go right into circle stretch. Next we separate with the position players on the practice field and the pitchers on the stadium field. We go through our throwing program and then report back to the practice field for that day's fundamental.

Today we did pick-offs and run-downs, basically working on run-downs between each set of bases and making sure everyone knows where they need to be.

After fundamentals, its off to BP which means shagging for the game day pitchers. Being the only young guy left in camp means a lot of bucket time, but that isn't a problem for me.

After BP, we head inside and shower and eat lunch before our 1:05 pm start.

Today was a special occasion because after BP I was walking in with Miguel Tejada and there inside the door was our former President, George Bush Sr. We shook his hand and he was very friendly. It caught us both off guard so we just laughed and went about our day.

I was scheduled to pitch, but didn't know what innings so you basically just wait in the bullpen until the phone rings and they call your name. The phone rang in the bottom of the 7th. They informed me that if the pitcher's spot came up then they would pinch-hit and I would be in. Indeed, the pitcher's spot came up and I was in the game.

I pitched 2 innings, allowed 2 hits and one walk and struck out a batter. One of the hits was a solo home run by Cody Ross (big league outfielder for the Florida Marlins), but I didn't let it phase me and I picked up the 2-inning save.

It was my first big league save and also the first of my career. It was pretty cool ending to the game, having the catcher run out to shake my hand in the middle of the diamond.