The Chicago Cubs put James Norwood, a 24-year-old rookie, into the game during extra innings tonight against the San Francisco Giants. Norwood, a New York-native, hit 99 MPH on his first career strikeout only to surrender the loss in his 1 2/3 innings of work.
The Cubs didn’t have any arms left in the 12th inning of today’s game besides the rookie. Both teams had tired bullpens already given the extra inning game two days ago and the fact that neither starter made it past the fifth inning. In his first career outing he struck out two, gave up one walk, and three hits, including the walk-off hit to Buster Posey.
As disappointing of a loss this is for the Cubs, Norwood showed some promise in his velocity and we can try and contribute the loss to the rookie jitters. This year while playing for the Cubs’ minor league affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies (AA, 25 games) and the Iowa Cubs (AAA, 4 games), he held a 2.13 ERA in 38 innings pitched while striking out 44 (MiLB.com). His K/9 ratio is 10.4, which is excellent, for those of you who are new to the game.
Norwood, who wasn’t even on the top 20 prospect list at the beginning of the season, will likely not stay too much longer at the major league level. His first career loss came at the hands of a challenging Giants offense in a tight extra inning game. Regardless, Norwood showed some great velocity and some nice looking off-speed pitches in today’s game.
When the Cubs send Norwood back to AAA Iowa, he will continue to work on his stuff, and depending on whether he can stay consistent at the AAA level will determine how quickly we will see him again at the major league level. Gomez’ Guess says we see him within the next month.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Lynn
Photo Credit: MiLB.com
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