After being acquired during the 2019-2020 off season, Eric Lauer had a dreadful 2020 season. This initially caused fear of a potential rare miss on a trade by David Stearns. In 2021, Lauer has not only turned the missed trade notion around but is quietly enjoying a great season.
Lauer was acquired along with Luis Urias in exchange for Zach Davies and Trent Grisham. In 2020 the Padres had a successful season that included Grisham winning a gold glove. As for Lauer and Urias, neither one showed a substantially long period of success in the shortened season.
In 2021, Lauer joined the team near the end of April. He made a few starts as well as bullpen appearances, but he eventually would join the starting rotation permanently as the teams sixth starter. His results were initially mixed and by mid June he had an ERA of 5.21 after nine appearances.
Since his June 27th start against the Colorado Rockies, Lauer has been near lights out. He has made nine starts and covered 51.1 innings with an impressive 2.10 ERA. Opposing batter are hitting a measly .197 against him as well.
It is fair to say that Lauer has been a key piece to the starting rotation. He is making a case to continue to receive opportunities the remainder of the regular season as well as post season.
Other pitchers who are pleading their own cases to remain in the starting rotation should a fourth starter be needed in the play-offs are Adrian Houser, Brett Anderson, and Aaron Ashby. Houser most recently threw the teams first complete game shutout since 2014. Anderson is currently on the IL and Ashby has been used both as a starter and a bullpen pitcher.
It is possible that the Brewers stick with a six man rotation throughout the remainder of the season. It has been successful to this point and the depth of organization has made that possible. With a tough September schedule, it will be fun to watch them all pitch against play-off contenders.
Lauer is slated to start his next game on September 7th against the Philadelphia Phillies.
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