The months of April and May seem like so long ago, that they aren’t even part of the same regular season. The Brewers were sticking right around .500, not really doing much offensively, and it was a frustrating struggle to win games.
But from late May onward (specifically May 22nd, when Willy Adames arrived) the Brewers have been winning and winning and winning, and it’s all seemed to come so easily.
Right now, the Brewers have just about everything working. The pitching staff is lights out, the bullpen is lights out, and the offense has been hot and is getting hotter. Milwaukee is a franchise record 34 games above .500, have posted their most road wins ever, and are on pace for a potential 100 win season.
With the Crew’s magic number already down to 5 with three weeks left in the regular season, let’s look back at some hot takes Brewers fans had back in April and May and how silly they look now.
Brewers Bad Early Season Take #1. That the Luis Urias/Eric Lauer trade was a complete bust
Have to stick the hand up and take the heat for this one. Yes, I believed the Urias – Lauer trade was a bust from the moment it was announced Milwaukee traded for yet another shortstop in Willy Adames.
It was hard not to at the time. Urias was coming off a down year, was given six weeks as the starting shortstop, and he made so many errors and was underperforming offensively, that the Brewers felt they needed to make a change.
If Urias was going to be a utility guy, as they said the plan was, then that likely wasn’t going to be enough value to match what they gave up in Trent Grisham and Zach Davies. Grisham at the time was hitting well for the Padres, who were lighting the baseball world on fire in April and May while Davies was sent to the rival Cubs for ace Yu Darvish.
The other part of that return, Eric Lauer, in mid-May also was coming off a poor and injury-riddled 2020 season. He had a few outings, but was slated to go back and forth between the majors and minors most of the year.
My, how the tables have turned.
Urias, after losing his starting job, somehow started playing better and thriving after moving out of the starting shortstop job. He now has 20 home runs on the season, is hitting a productive .251/.340/.448, and has cut his strikeout rate down to 20%. Eric Lauer has been a revelation as the 6th starter, posting a 3.10 ERA overall on the year. Since June 27th, Lauer has 11 outings, and he’s posted a 1.84 ERA in that time.
Meanwhile, Grisham has struggled with the Padres in the second half and Davies is on a Cubs team that’s a complete afterthought right now. Urias has actually posted better numbers than Grisham this season. Grisham is hitting .244/.333/.417 with 14 homers and a 23% strikeout rate.
In 2021, the Brewers are the winners of this trade.