Per The Athletic’s Will Sammon, LHP Eric Lauer will miss the start of the regular season after it was announced that the Brewers lefty is dealing with shoulder impingement.
Acquired by the Brewers in the offseason in a trade from the Padres in exchange for Zach Davies and Trent Grisham, left-handed pitcher Eric Lauer made his major league debut in 2018, making 23 starts. He has thrown 261 2/3 innings with a 4.40 ERA in his major league career, and had nine strikeouts and one walk allowed in spring camp.
Unfortunately, Lauer will start his season as a Brewer on the injured list after Craig Counsell told reporters that he’s dealing with an impingement on his left shoulder. It’s not major, but it will hold him back from being in the starting rotation come opening day.
There wasn’t anything said in regards to how much time he could miss, but there wasn’t really any conversation about him being sidelined for a period of time. It comes at an unfortunate time for Lauer as he’s trying to obtain the fifth starting rotation position for the season. However, the Brewers do have other options if Lauer isn’t the one selected for the fifth starter.
Impact On The Rotation
The question of where Lauer will land in the rotation once he returns from his injury is unknown, but the Brewers aren’t showing any concern to where they’re going to place him. Though, if he wants that fifth rotation over options such as Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta, he’s going to have to improve his pitching.
This development is beneficial to Burnes and Peralta as both are competing with Lauer for that fifth rotation spot. It was initially between Lauer and Peralta for the final spot, but now Peralta will have to compete with a surging Corbin Burnes for that spot.
Burnes, through four spring appearances, has pitched 10 innings, struck out 13, and has a 0.90 ERA. He looks like the 2018 version of Corbin Burnes that was dominant and his offseason changes seem to have helped so far.
Peralta, in three appearances to this point, has a 3.52 ERA, having given up three runs in 7.2 innings with seven strikeouts.
Both pitchers have looked good and the battle for the rotation will come down to the wire. Should Peralta make the rotation, Burnes is likely ticketed for Triple-A to continue to work as a starter. If Burnes makes the rotation, Peralta is likely headed to the bullpen as he recently signed a contract extension which makes a demotion to the minors unlikely.
Lauer shouldn’t miss a large chunk of the season, but by the time he’s ready to come back, his rotation spot could be claimed by someone else.