Aug. 4: The Brewers announced yet another positive test: lefty Eric Lauer. He’ll head to the Covid list and be subject to a 10-day quarantine, at minimum. That move opens roster space to add righty Sal Romano, whom the Brewers claimed off waivers from the Yankees this week.
Lauer, acquired alongside Luis Urias in the trade that sent Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to San Diego, has quietly enjoyed a strong season in Milwaukee. He’s made 15 appearances — 11 starts, four bullpen outings — and notched a 3.50 ERA with a 22.9 percent strikeout rate and an 8.9 percent walk rate. He’s been brilliant as of late, too, making even a brief departure a tough blow to the Brewers. Over Lauer’s past seven outings (six starts, one relief appearance), he’s pitched to a 1.98 ERA with a 31-to-13 K/BB ratio through 36 1/3 frames.
Aug. 3: Milwaukee has also placed infielder Keston Hiura on the COVID-19 list, the team announced.
Aug. 2, 4:50pm: Hader indeed tested positive, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. He’ll be out a minimum of 10 days.
3:38pm: The Brewers have placed lefty Josh Hader on the Covid-19-related injured list, per a club announcement. Newly added righty John Axford has been selected to the Major League roster in a corresponding move. The team did not specify whether Hader has tested positive or was a close contact. Individuals who test positive are subject to a 10-day quarantine, while close contacts are subject to seven-day absences.
It’s been another dominant season for the 21-year-old Hader, who has pitched to a sterling 1.83 ERA while striking out 45 percent of his opponents against a 9.4 percent walk rate through 39 1/3 innings thus far in 2021. Hader is the latest in a growing number of Brewers to hit the Covid IL, joining bullpen-mates Hunter Strickland, Jandel Gustave and Jake Cousins as well as right fielder Christian Yelich.
With Hader sidelined for a yet-unknown period of time, right-hander Devin Williams figures to step in as the primary option in save situations for manager Craig Counsell. Brent Suter, Brad Boxberger and the recently acquired John Curtiss will be among the first names up for setup work.