Blue Jays prospect Norris promoted to triple-A

Daniel Norris has a 2.20 ERA in 24 minor league starts this year. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

TORONTO – Highly touted Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Daniel Norris is headed to his third level of baseball this season after being promoted to triple-A Buffalo from double-A New Hampshire on Wednesday night.

The move comes after the 21-year-old left-hander struck out eight batters over 6.2 innings of one-run ball Sunday against Reading. In eight starts with the Fisher Cats, he’s 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA, striking out 49 batters in 35.2 innings.

A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Norris started the year at single-A Dunedin where he was 6-0 with a 1.22 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 76 in 66.1 innings.

His pitching this season also earned him a spot in the Futures Game showcase during all-star week, during which he threw a clean inning.

Norris is the third of the club’s pitching prospects to reach Buffalo this season. Marcus Stroman opened the season with the Bisons before being promoted to the Blue Jays while Aaron Sanchez opened the year at New Hampshire before a stop in Buffalo en route to Toronto.

Meanwhile, with catcher A.J. Jimenez battling elbow issues again, Canadian free agent George Kottaras signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays to join the Bisons. The organization was thin behind the plate after Erik Kratz was part of the deal to get Danny Valencia from the Royals.

Outfielder Cole Gillespie, outrighted off the 40-man roster Sunday by the Blue Jays, is also expected to join the Bisons on Thursday.

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