LHP Eric Lauer: F
Eric Lauer's season unfolded as a tale of profound disappointment. Coming into the year as a presumed fixture in the backend rotation, Lauer swiftly lost that role. In 2022, he had showcased promise with a 3.69 ERA in 29 starts, complete with a standout early-season performance that had fans buzzing. Despite a second-half cool-off, Lauer was respected as a reliable backend starter.
However, 2023 told a drastically different story. Lauer's contribution to the Brewers dwindled to just 10 appearances (9 starts), and the numbers were grim—a 6.56 ERA (7.41 FIP) and a 1.671 WHIP. His struggles prompted a stint on the IL, and he spent the majority of the season in Triple-A, where his performance further faltered, registering a 5.04 ERA in 13 appearances (10 starts).
This was far from meeting even the modest expectations set for a backend starter. In fact, recent news about the Brewers placing Lauer on waivers, followed by his outright assignment to Triple-A, serves as a stark exclamation point on this dismal performance.
LHP Wade Miley: A
Now, let's turn our attention to the next southpaw in the rotation, Wade Miley. His return to the Brewers had fans buzzing with excitement, despite some reservations about the 36-year-old's health. However, Miley, the crafty veteran, proved that age was just a number as he consistently delivered outs. Despite a couple of brief stints on the IL, Miley showcased his durability with 23 starts and an impressive 3.14 ERA (4.69 FIP), along with a 1.139 WHIP.
Miley was slotted in as the expected stellar fifth starter for the Brewers, and he not only met but exceeded those expectations. By the end of the season Miley was no longer considered a backend starter due to his performance. Honestly, there are no complaints to be had, and no substantial points to dock.