MILWAUKEE -- Bud Norris has had a mixed-bag career, as well as a curious season. But under the circumstances, manager Dave Roberts said he's glad the Dodgers traded for the veteran right-hander, who pitched briefly last year for San Diego when Roberts was a bench coach there.
"I had him in San Diego for a bit, and he's really thrown well lately," Roberts said of Norris, an emergency acquisition after the Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list for a mild herniated disc on Thursday. "To give us a guy to go deep and eat innings was huge. He'll be our starter tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted."
The Dodgers acquired Norris, outfielder Dian Toscano, a player to be named later and cash considerations from the Braves for Minor League pitchers Caleb Dirks and Philip Pfeifer on Thursday.
"His mound presence, he's a competitor, he has a plus fastball, works at top of zone," Roberts said after the Dodgers' 8-1 win over the Brewers. "He has a curveball, change, cut fastball. A guy who gets righties and lefties, he's been around, he's won, always had good stuff. I know he's excited to be in Los Angeles. His last three, four, five turns have been as good as anyone in baseball. Nice job by our guys."
Norris is 3-7 with a 4.22 ERA on the season, but he's 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in six June appearances (five starts). Norris pitched seven innings on Sunday, so Friday is his regular turn to pitch.
The deal comes on the same day the club announced that Kershaw was being placed on the DL with a back injury that won't require surgery. Kershaw received an epidural injection for pain relief, but it's uncertain when he will return.
Kershaw joins starting pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood and Frankie Montas on the DL.
Norris, a 31-year-old right-hander, had his best year in 2014, when he went 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA for Baltimore. Last year, he went 3-11 with a 6.72 ERA, splitting time between Baltimore (which released him) and San Diego.
The Dodgers acquired Dirks and Jordan Paroubeck from the Braves last summer for an international slot bonus of $249,000. They drafted the left-handed Pfeifer, who was at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, in the third round last year out of Vanderbilt. Dirks was pitching for Double-A Tulsa.
Toscano, a 27-year-old left-handed hitter from Cuba, is hitting .226 in 58 games at Double-A Mississippi.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated pitcher Ian Thomas for assignment.