Norris to have surgery to remove cancerous growth from thyroid

Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris announced Monday that he’ll undergo surgery after being diagnosed with a cancerous growth on his thyroid earlier this year.

“I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer,” Norris said on his Instagram account, where he revealed his challenge Monday afternoon. “So now, I’m asking for prayers.”

The 22-year-old Norris said a growth was found on his thyroid soon after he was optioned from Toronto to Triple-A Buffalo in May. After a series of tests, the growth was diagnosed as malignant.

“Meaning it contained the C word .. cancer,” Norris explained on Instagram. “Hearing this was alarming, yeah. Weird, yea, that too. “I was given the option to shut my year down and get it removed immediately. However, seeing another doctor that determined I could wait until the end of the season reassured my gut feeling. Just Keep Playing.”

The Blue Jays traded Norris to the Tigers as part of the David Price trade July 30, one of the final trades Dave Dombrowski made as Detroit president/general manager. Al Avila, Dombrowski’s assistant GM at the time, said in an email Monday that the Tigers knew about Norris’ condition when the trade was made.

“This is a personal matter with Daniel,” Avila said. “Yes, we did know about it before the trade. We expect him to have a full recovery and be with us in Spring Training.”

Manager Brad Ausmus confirmed Monday night he was aware of the condition as well, and said he hopes everything goes well for Norris. Ausmus did not want to comment in detail on a personal issue, noting medical privacy.

Norris not only kept pitching, he pitched well with the Tigers. He became the first American League pitcher to hit a home run at Wrigley Field during an Interleague game against the Cubs in August, before going on the disabled list with an oblique strain. He returned to make four starts in September, including 10 scoreless innings over two starts against the White Sox.

Though the Tigers were out of postseason contention, Norris insisted he wanted to keep pitching, even through a 54-pitch first inning in his next-to-last start against the Rangers.

“Baseball kept me sane,” he said Monday. “Regardless of results on the field, I forgot about it when I was between the lines. After all, I was just trying to get the heck out of AAA. And I did. I was revived with an opportunity, a blessing from God, with the Tigers back in the big leagues.”

Norris briefly returned to Detroit at the end of the season to work on a mechanical tweak with pitching coach Jeff Jones, who announced his retirement on Monday. Before he left, he said he planned on traveling this offseason, heading out west, maybe going to Nicaragua, maybe Hawaii. He never disclosed the fight he has ahead.

“Now that [the season is] over, it’s time to get this thing out,” he said, “so please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I undergo surgery and come out 100% cancer free! As always … #justkeeplivin”

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According to the American Cancer Society web site, the five-year relative survival rate is high for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in its early stages — near 100 percent for Stages I and II, as long as the cancer doesn’t spread to the lymph nodes. Even the stage III survival rate is high, depending on the type of thyroid cancer. Surgery usually involves removal of part or all of the thyroid. The fact that doctors allowed Norris to keep pitching raises hope that the cancer was caught early.

38 Comments

All we can do is wish you the very best Daniel. I am pretty sure from what I have seen you have the character to see yourself through this. I obviously wish to see Daniel in a Tiger uni but more important is that he just gets well.

Daniel, good luck on your journey! Early detection, early removal, positive attitude, prayers, family & friends support are key as well as a solid team of specialists, surgeon, nurses & oncologist!! You have our thoughts & prayers throughout!

I am a (3) time survivor so I wish you all the best on your journey!!

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My prayers go out to you, Daniel, for a speedy recovery.

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Wow, that is a lot to weigh on a mind, not sure I could have played out a season with that looming. All the best to him, he seems like an all around good guy and hope all goes well for him

God bless you Daniel. I’ll be praying. Hey, you were traded to us on July 30th, my birthday. I wasn’t particularly happy then, but I think it was a pretty nice present now.

Off Season Outlook @ MLBTR:
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

BTW, I really like what we are seeing with Dixon’s performance in winter bal. His BA is extremely healthy .366 and in 50 plate appearnances he has walked 6 times and only struck out ONCE!
Jacoby Jones has also been impressive but in a much smaller sample size.
I would expect we will see one of the above or possibly even Iggy traded over the winter.

Not sure about Dixon but I would hang onto Jones for awhile. His performance so far has been impressive. They need some stronger position players and he will not cost like a FA. I know, I know. He is not likely a 2016 contributor but there has to be a future, also.

JaCoby Jones could be an above average CF. They need both him and Machado since Iglesias still has to play a full season

If the Tigers are serious about winning, Iggy is going nowhere. He is special and is a core player. Machado is unproven and looks like one of a dime a dozen other players in comparison. Jones is intriguing, but also unproven. He could be a difference maker. But he is still very raw and would have enhanced value as an infielder.

Grandyman is brighting on the big stage. While Cespedes has faded and Price is paying the price for the 220 IP. Price best performance in a postseason was ruined by the lack of run support by the Tigers

Caracas came to town. Danry Váquez on third, Bernard on 1B and Machado hit the ball into the wall ( not an easy task at the Luis Aparicio Stadium) . Bernard scored from 1B.
Don’t read that much into the numbers , the roster are still in complete and always in flux. Not to mention that it was an open game.But Bernard is showing the same speed you witnessed from Cespedes and Machado is making an easy swing. A big ,confident swing

I left early, they were down 0-8 . So just noticed. Machado ended with a HR and 4 RBI. It takes power to take the ball out there

Reality check…Winter leagues in Venezuela and elsewhere are mostly for fringe MLB and minor league players looking to develop. The competition is not even close to MLB level and the results are small samples, which should be given little weight.

Like JD Martinez and Evan Gattis that came here just before becoming regulars in MLB.
Of course it is not like the old times when Pete Rose, Ron Guidry, Greg Maddux(Mike was better here) , Dave Parker, Cecil Fielder, Ryne Sanberg, Barry Bonds played .
And it had nothing to do with the development of a fringe prospect called Miguel Cabrera , he kept playing here until the Tigers asked him not to. Or the 200 plus players from the DR and 200 plus from Venezuela .
JL and Sparky Anderson failed here as managers, Sparky began 0-8 and was fired after 1-10. JL replaced Gates brown and then abandoned the team that Carrasquel took to the Caribbean Series title.

Winter leagues are for the DEVELOPMENTt of PROSPECTS. Established players seldom participate unless it is for rehab purposes. None of the players you mentioned play there since they proved their worth. It is what it is and to consider the performance level very high is delusional. Just check the rosters. The competition level is nowhere close to that of MLB.

And it’s not just about Venezuela. These developmental leagues are in Puerto Rico, the Dominican, Mexico and Arizona (which is a premier prospect league). Rosters are filled mostly with unknowns trying to get better. Many of them are even now coming from Europe, particularly Italy.

Italy? the has been in Venezuela go there. Not the other way

In fact, MLB had to ban MLB players from coming. Bowi Kuhn forbade players with 4 or more years from playing in the Caribbean
Miguel played until December 2007. The Tigers conditioned the extension to his retirement from the league.
Sandoval,( his problem began when not allowed to play here) Andrus, Salvador Pérez, Alcides Escobar, Asdrubal Cabrerra have played in recent seasons
And in the DR, it is matter of pride for Major leaguers to play Winter Baseball

The championships have just begun. In a month a I will show the rosters in DR

Miguel looks slimmer:
https://t.co/UJ2HXwgLv1
And Messi must be standing on a bench

“The competition level is nowhere close to that of MLB.” Nobody denies that, but we are talking about a strong AAA league, especially in the DR.
And I have seen MLB players ready crushed by the pressure here. Tori Hunter lasted a week before being fired. Deer was chased out before hitting 33 HR in MLB. Bonds struggled badly and when he finally found his game , he left.

Once again, established players seldom play in the Winter Leagues.,The names you bring up are players who generally played as prospects. And yes, players from Italy are dotting rosters. For instance, Alex Liddi is playing for Cardenales de Lara… .

I wonder if you have a Google translation problem. You seem to miss the gist of some comments and I certainly don’t consider you dim.

Also, you referenced posting rosters for the Dominican League. Passan is on record with his belief it is the biggest and best of the lot.

Plus, several other players from different nations who played in European Leagues are now playing in the offseason Winter Leagues..

Not in Venezuela. Venezuelans players that go there yes.

The calibre of Venezuelan ball is very good. Regardless, of where and when it is played. There is a reason the Tigers have had an academy down there.
Judging from the performance and play we witnessed from our boys in Detroit I would suggest that a little development wouldn’t hurt. I will be following such this winter for sure.

Yes, Winter League baseball talent is good and is a venue for development. It is NOT MLB comparable. Results should be measured with a grain of salt.

Al, please don’t forget to look at guys like Olver Perez, Sipp, Lackey, Happ and Kazmir.
Guys like Estrada, Clippard, Bucholz will take a lot of bread.

And ElT, when I said fringe MLB players I was thinking about guys like Jacobs who are just hanging on to the game. Heck, he once could really pound the ball and put up a 32 HR season.

thanks for the Venezuelan insights, ElTigre. good to hear that Machado is hitting well…if he can generate a bit of power with his bat and manage .250, he should become a regular MLB SS

Thanks

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