Eric Lauer’s Injury Opens The Door For Others
Milwaukee Brewers have their first major injury of the season. Eric Lauer, the Brewers starting pitcher, will be starting the year on the Injured List with a shoulder impingement. Unfortunately, Milwaukee’s two players acquired for Zach Davies and Trent Grisham both had injuries before the season. Since Lauer will be on the IL, the spot he had likely in the starting rotation is open. Who should get the first crack at taking his spot? There are two obvious solutions.
The two are names that Brewers’ fans are familiar with…Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. The two starting pitchers that made the rotation last year with strong Spring Training’s only to crumble in the regular season. Yet again, Burnes and Peralta are making strides in Spring Training. Burnes dazzled last night against Seattle with four innings pitched, six strikeouts, only one walk, and three hits allowed. The Brewers right-hander has an ERA under one in Spring Training. Peralta isn’t at Burnes’ level yet he’s still done some promising things this Spring. Roster Resource projects Peralta to be the starter over Burnes.
It is likely down to Peralta or Burnes for manager Craig Counsell. The Journal Sentinel seems to make Peralta the favorite as he was before Lauer’s injury. Peralta has a start against Los Angeles today that could potentially swing his decision. Dodgers aren’t an easy opponent to go against, and if Peralta comes out and makes a statement, he could grab that fifth spot. Now if the young Brewers right-hander struggles as he did against Cincinnati, Burnes might get another chance to make a case for the fifth option over Peralta.
Why is Peralta the favorite for the Brewers coaching staff? It is not the contract, rather, the ability for him to bounce back as a reliever multiple times last season. Burnes never got off the ground. While Burnes wants to be a starter, not a reliever, he struggled no matter what he played last season. It is not to say that Milwaukee doesn’t trust Burnes, rather, they would likely prefer Peralta with his limited success last year.
The fifth starter spot is the most intriguing storyline to wrap up Spring Training.