Injuries always happen throughout a 162 game regular season, but the Brewers are taking on a ton of them in the early going.
After a spot start that was cut short, the Brewers will place Zack Godley on the IL with a finger bruise suffered on a bunt attempt. Godley was replacing Brett Anderson in the rotation after Anderson left his previous start with a knee injury. Josh Lindblom was supposed to be the next man in line for the rotation, but he got hurt filling in for Anderson.
Now with Godley hurt, the Brewers will need another starter to fill that 4th spot in the rotation. Eric Lauer was a candidate for it, but he’s filling a completely new spot.
In the midst of a long stretch without an off day, Craig Counsell is going to a six man rotation for the Brewers.
Eric Lauer will now get the start on Thursday against the Dodgers and the rest of the rotation gets pushed back a day. So the rotation from front to back is now Woodruff-Burnes-Houser-whoever fills in for Godley-Lauer-Peralta.
The top three options to take a rotation spot are now out: Anderson, Lindblom, Godley. Lauer was the fourth option and he takes a spot in the rotation that was created for him. That means, whoever gets tabbed to fill in for Godley will be the 5th choice for the Crew, a.k.a. the 9th man on the rotation depth chart.
Suter and Rasmussen are already on the 26 man roster while only Bettinger of that remaining group is on the 40 man roster. Anyone else the Brewers would have to make a 40 man spot for.
When the Brewers planned on going to a six man rotation, which was right around this stretch anyways, they were simply planning on inserting Lindblom to the group that included Anderson, Peralta, Houser, Burnes, and Woodruff. Instead, there’s no Anderson or Lindblom and their next option after that is out. They’re down to 8th and 9th on the depth chart as they’re expanding the rotation.
That’s hardly an ideal scenario.
However, the Brewers have said before they believe the extra rest will be necessary to keep their top starting pitchers healthy. Fluke things have happened, but none of them suffered an arm injury. An awkward landing on a knee and a bunt attempt have been grabbing at these guys.
Even though Woodruff and Burnes will be going every sixth day instead of every fifth day for the time being, the important thing is that they’re going. Keeping them going is the primary objective behind the move to a six man rotation.
Should fans worry about Eric Lauer getting another shot in the Brewers rotation?
Last year did not go well for Eric Lauer. That’s an understatement. He pitched in four games, went 11 innings, and had a 13.09 ERA with 7.86 BB/9.
However, there is cause for optimism. Lauer suffered from a .417 BABIP against, which is nearly 100 points higher than his career average. Also, against the Dodgers, Lauer is lights out, posting a 5-0 record with a 2.11 ERA in seven starts covering 42.2 IP.
At just 25 years old, Lauer still has a bright future ahead of him. He’s had some struggles both last year and in spring training, but he’s not a lost cause.
Things looked rough for Urias last year, too. A lot of fans wrote him off. Now, Urias is winning over their hearts with his clutch hitting and strong defense.
Lauer has been good against the Dodgers in the past. He’s going to need to get opportunities in the rotation if the Brewers are going to see if he can pan out in the long run. That’s why they made room for Urias, and that’s why they’re giving Lauer a shot in the rotation now.
Perhaps Anderson can come back from injury sooner rather than later, and the Brewers don’t have to go with the 9th man on their depth chart for very long.
The Brewers will now have 13 players on the IL with Godley’s placement. That’s half a roster.