The most recent loss by the Brewers on Wednesday ended up creating a hole in the rotation. Two young hurlers stand poised to claim the job opening.
The Brewers suffered their first true blowout loss of the season on Wednesday, getting clobbered by the Twins 12-2. The saw Eric Lauer give up 7 earned runs over just 3 2/3 innings. While his defense didn’t do him any favors, it was his second poor performance in as many starts.
Manger Craig Counsell mentioned after the game that Lauer’s status in the rotation would be reviewed. Well not only did that review result in not only being dropped from the rotation, but being sent to the alternate training site in a transaction that brought up a couple other young arms.
His demotion leaves an open spot in the starting rotation, with the most likely replacements being, to many fans’ delight, Corbin Burnes or Freddy Peralta. Both had their shots at starting earlier in the year before being shifted to the bullpen. So, who gets the gig this time?
The case for Burnes as Brewers starter
Burnes got the first crack at the rotation to begin the season as he started the second game of the season, a win over the Cubs. He gave up just a run and struck out six over 3 1/3 innings, but it took him 75 pitches to even get that far.
The bounceback candidate for 2020 has gotten increasingly better as the season has gone on and his most recent game was his finest performance yet. In that game, Burnes gave up just a hit, a run, and three walks over 5 1/3 innings of relief while striking out eight in a loss to the Reds.
Timing may work out in his favor. Burnes pitched in tandem with Brett Anderson back in Summer Camp and did so again last week. If he does so again on Thursday night, it would set him up with four days’ rest for what would have been Lauer’s next turn in the rotation.
The case for Peralta as Brewers starter
Peralta was more of a late add to the rotation when Anderson went on the IL right before the season began. Freddy’s only start didn’t go quite as well as it saw him give up four earned runs and three hits, all doubles, over three innings.
While his start didn’t go as well as Burnes’s did, he has looked even more impressive in relief. Peralta has pitched seven scoreless innings over two games out of the bullpen, giving up just two hits and two walks total. He has struck out 17 of the 41 batters that he has faced as a reliever.
For two players who have only had one chance to showcase themselves as a starter, Burnes put up the better numbers of the two. That said, Peralta’s overall stats on the season are just a little bit better. So who will be throwing Milwaukee’s first pitch when Lauer’s turn in the rotation comes around?
For me, the correct answer is Burnes. He had the better numbers in his start compared to Peralta, his last outing was the only one for either of the two to last at least five innings, which means he is more stretched out, and the timing works out perfectly based on when the start will be needed.
The pitcher who appears in tonight’s game will probably give some insight into who gets Lauer’s spot. Whichever of the two it happens to be, it will be up to them to get that spot in the rotation back on track.