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Derek Norris Going Easier in 2016

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Derek Norris says he's opening to getting more rest and starting less in the coming season.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with Padres beat writer Dennis Lin, Derek Norris revealed he's open to taking more rest days in the coming season to prevent the wear and tear he endured last season. As we all know, Derek started the season on a tear, hitting well throughout April and May before going the all-dingers with no average route in June. Though Norris found his swing in irrelevant games in September, he'll be the last to admit he was overused throughout the season.

Per Norris via Lin:

I don't think it was so much me wearing down, because I didn't feel like physically that I was just worn down. I don't want to sit here and say injuries is why I lacked production, because that's an excuse, and I'm not a big excuse guy.

The memory of Norris taking a full-on slide from Adrian Beltre comes to mind when I read this. Though I can appreciate Derek being a gamer and a scrapper (he returned only a few games later), I'm on board with him platooning more with either Austin Hedges or Christian Bethancourt. Allowing Hedges to call more games (and thus bat more) would be a welcome development for the once-touted catcher of the future should he remain with the big league club after Spring Training.

Norris via Lin again:

Overall, everyone plays through injuries, but I think if it's serious enough to where it's affecting your performance, you need to take that extra day. That's probably what I would lean more towards, maybe taking that extra day.

With Norris also being waved off of first base duties by Andy Green, it would serve the team better to have Norris in better condition as the season wanes on. Norris fulfills both the Padres requirements of hustle (not on hand since Chris Denorfia) and facial hair. In actual stats that matter, Norris could prove to be an offensive key behind the dish should Hedges/Bethancourt still be defense-first gamecallers. A healthier Norris also makes for a better trade chip should the totally not-rebuilding super competitive gonna win the West Padres look into takers for the 27 year old come June.

You can read the full Derek Norris story by Dennis Lin here.