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Report: Cardinals interested in Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris

Mar 16, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

Now that Rafael Furcal is done for the season following Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, it’s not surprising to hear that the Cardinals are asking around about shortstops. But this report from MLB Network’s Peter Gammons indicates that they are also in the market for a starting pitcher.

This one is a bit of a head-scratcher, as the Cardinals have more starters than rotation spots at the moment, even after the loss of Chris Carpenter. While Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook are set to occupy the first four spots in the rotation, Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller are currently competing for the fifth spot. Trevor Rosenthal was sent to the bullpen last week, but he’s also capable of starting. And that’s not even including top prospects like Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, who could be options later this year. Still, if the Cardinals wanted either pitcher, they certainly have the prospect inventory to get a deal done.

Harrell, 27, posted a 3.76 ERA and 140/78 K/BB ratio over 193 2/3 innings last season and won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2015. Norris has shown some potential at times, but he’s coming off a disappointing 4.65 ERA in 29 starts last year. The 28-year-old right-hander was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and can become a free agent after 2015. As I noted on Twitter earlier this week, Norris has a 2.74 ERA in 15 career starts against the Cardinals and a 4.77 ERA in 83 games against everybody else.

  1. bigdognaj - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Not buying it…

  2. thekingdave - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    One thing is for sure. Both pitchers will be moved this season.

    • stex52 - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      Maybe so, especially Harrell. But I don’t see it being the Cards. Unless they need to move pitching talent to get a SS. Might be tempting for Luhnow to deal with his old organization. But the Cards’ pitching right now is better than those two guys.

      • okwhitefalcon - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        I hope the likes of (at least) Garcia and Westbrook are better than Norris/Harrell but that’s the rub, I’m not sure the Cards think they will be.

        Realistically speaking, I think we’re going to see a season where the Cards may use 8-10 starting pitchers due to injury or lack of performance.

        It’s going to be interesting to see how things shake out.

      • jeffa43 - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Stex you have no business commenting on Astro headlines anymore. Not only was Lucas Harrell 5 innings shy of 200 ip, but he did it with a team that could not score, and that is impressive.

        Even more impressive is that he gave up only 185 hits.

        More impressive he had 2 complete games where he lost and won 1-0.

        Most impressive he had 17 starts of 2… TWO runs or less!

        All you are good at is kicking a team that’s down, do you kick your dog as well?

        Astro nation, ya all 5 of us kindly ask you to leave.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        All he said was that the Cardinals likely have better options already in house…which is true. Harrell is almost 28 and finally had significant time in the majors last year…he isn’t bad, but he doesn’t have the upside of Kelly, or Rosenthal, or Miller….he is just as likely to be a down grade as an upgrade over any of those guys.

      • stex52 - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Whoo died and made you king, Jeffy? You said you’ve been Astros fan for 30 years.

        Kind of a short timer to be ordering other people around, don’t you think? I’ve got you by 20 years.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Not advocating the names mentioned but not surprised either.

    It’s obvious the Cards don’t trust the vets behind Waino (Garcia/Westbrook/Lynn) and aren’t comfy with what they’ll get by stretching the kids too far innings wise.

  4. tuberippin - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    I’ve been saying for quite some time now that I feel Bud Norris would be perfect for a Cardinals uniform. Many of the Cards fans I have met are in disagreement with me, preferring to opt for Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly. Understandable, but if you’re looking for a one-year stopgap you can’t go too wrong with Norris. Lucas Harrell on the other hand…

    • paperlions - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      If Bud got to pitch to the Cardinal line up, yeah, that’d be great….as noted in the post, he’s be a FAR below average pitcher when pitching against any non-Cardinal team (for reference, league average ERA has hovered around 4.00 during Norris’ career and Norris is 3/4 run worse than that against the rest of MLB).

      • garythebat - Mar 17, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        This myth that Norris only performs well against the Cards is simply untrue. If you go beyond ERA, his peripherals actually look pretty good, regardless of the opponent. Case in point, his WAR last year was 1.2 (higher than both Westbrook and Waino, for reference). And his ZIPS projection for 2013 is a more than respectable 2.0. Paper, I reckon you’re a loyal reader of Miklasz, who has made of habit of cheap-shotting the Cards every time they get beat by Norris. Fact is, the dude is a good pitcher, no matter who he’s playing against. Further proof? His ERA against StL last year was 3.52. His ERA against Cincy and Pittsburgh? 2.95 and 1.38, respectively.

      • paperlions - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        First, I don’t read any StL papers, haven’t lived there since I was 18.

        Second, you appear to be using Bref WAR, which is pretty crappy as it is based on outcomes and not pitcher performance. fWAR has Wainwright at 4.4, Westsbrook at 2.3, and Norris at 1.5.

        Third, the splits you are using for one season represent tiny sample sizes. Over the coarse of his career, Norris has been a FAR below average pitcher when not facing the Cardinals, that isn’t a Myth, just a fact. The Cardinal have 7 options better than Norris already on the roster….there is no reason to give up anything to get him.

  5. evanwins - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    They should call the Phillies who have Yuniesky Betancourt, hitting .412 and playing fantastic defense this spring, and Aaron Cook who is pitching great this spring.

    Neither of which I think the Phils have use for because their homegrown talent is doing so well.

    • paperlions - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      That is brilliant sarcasm….well done.

  6. westcoastredbird - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    It looks like someone hacked into Andrew Jackson’s twitter account!

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