After initial success at plate, Norris learns to adjust

After initial success at plate, Norris learns to adjust

OAKLAND -- After hitting at a scorching pace to open his career, rookie catcher Derek Norris has found the going a lot rougher in recent days.

The backstop failed to record a hit in his last seven games and was in the midst of an 0-for-28 stretch overall entering Friday. It's a far cry from when Norris hit .333 over his first eight big league games after being called up on June 21, a period headlined by the June 24 game against the Giants when Norris hit a walk-off for his first career home run.

As to the reason for Norris' woes at the plate, A's manager Bob Melvin said before Friday's game against the Yankees that he thought the catcher was just pressing. Norris said nothing was wrong mechanically and noted that he's always been streaky.

He chalked his struggles up to simply being cold, made worse by the difference in quality between the Triple-A pitching he was used to and the Majors.

"You miss your good pitch to hit, [big league pitchers] execute the next one, and the odds aren't in your favor when they execute their pitches," Norris said. "It just comes down to when I get my pitch, just quit missing it."

Importantly, though, the catcher's defense hasn't suffered along with his offense. Norris said he used to be "real bad" at letting his performance at the plate negatively affect his defense and his game-calling, but he learned to keep from doing that through maturation.

With his defense still more than solid for a rookie, the question becomes when Norris' offense will catch back up.

"It's just going to come down to that one hit and getting it out of the way, and then I'll just roll from there," Norris said.