Daniel Norris Is “Not A Fan” Of The Attention, Just Wants To Play
The van-dwelling stories seem to be getting old for Daniel Norris.
Norris started for the Toronto Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday night against a star-studded Orioles lineup, and Jays GM Alex Anthopoulous – as well as other upper Blue Jays management – made the trip to Sarasota from Dunedin just to see him pitch.
The Orioles made solid contact contact against him early on, but he only surrendered one hit during one and two third scoreless innings. He managed to strike out a pair and only walk one batter.
Norris sat in the low to mid-90s during his appearance, and he flashed his vicious curveball while striking out Delmon Young.
Last season, Norris managed to be promote from A+ to AA to AAA, all while posting a combined ERA of 2.53 and averaging 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
The kid can pitch.
Norris’ biggest concern was his arm, and how it would fare this year in Dunedin. He was glad to be healthy.
“Thank god. I feel really good,” said Norris. “Going into spring training I was really curious to see how I feel. On a throwing program back home you’re not going 100 percent, so [there was] kind of the fear of the unknown.”
As the league has begun picking up steam up for the season, Norris has been the focus of many stories, nearly all of them about him and his van.
He’s been in the spotlight more than ever before, with most major media outlets carrying some form of the story. He was even featured on The Today Show because of it, and dubbed “the most interesting pitcher in baseball” by ESPN. But how has he felt about the attention?
“Not a huge fan of it. It’s kind of weird,” Norris said. “I understand at this point in time that it’s inevitable. It’s happened and it’s there, but I’d rather tuck away a little bit. Just play ball.”
And it looks like he’s ready to do just that. His location was strong already, and Norris was not shy about sharing his opinion on his own curveball.
“It’s pretty wicked,” Norris said. “I have faith in the difference in velocity, and the break on it. I can throw it right down the middle and you’re going to swing and miss.”