Knowing the Unknowable: Bud Norris and Injuries

My second entry in this series is one we've talked about before. Heck, Stephen and Evan both wrote a veritable book on the question back in the day. We are at the point with Norris that his overuse stops becoming about his age and just becomes about, well, usage.

Still, it's worth looking at his innings pitched: 

2009: 175 2/3 innings (betwen majors and minors)

2010: 168 1/3 innings (between majors and minors)

2011: 186 innings

So, he's got no jumps of 30 or more innings in the past three years. To get into his injury risk period, we have to go back to 2008, when he only pitched 80 innings due to an injury.

At the time he was called up in 2009, Ed Wade said Norris wouldn't be as affected by the innings jump because of his body type and general durability. So far, he's been correct. Norris has been mostly healthy, only missing a month in 2010 and a few starts this season.

The problem is the injury last season and this was the same one, a tendinitis in his biceps. I'm not saying its a recurring thing, but it should be watched. After all, every pitcher can have his arm fly off at any time by the nature of their profession. 

Norris has proven this year more than any that he's not going to be just a reliever. He can be an effective starter who eats innings (valuable even on a bad team). There is a chance his late-season injury is worse than the team let on, but we won't even find that out for a while. If Norris does need surgery, that won't be released now until the team knows more, which means November, December or later. 

What do you think? Should Norris' injuries be concerning? Should his innings totals make him more vulnerable to a major injury?

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