Brewers lefty Eric Lauer will open the season on the injured list, manager Craig Counsell told reporters including Jake Rill of MLB.com (via Twitter). He’s dealing with an impingement in his pitching shoulder.
Fortunately, it seems there’s not much worry within the Milwaukee organization. The specifics of Lauer’s potential timeline aren’t yet evident, but there’s no indication he will be sidelined for a significant stretch of the season.
It’s still a shame to see Lauer hit the shelf just now. He had run up nine strikeouts against just one walk and one earned run in his 5 1/3 innings in camp. The recently acquired southpaw has thrown 261 2/3 innings of 4.40 ERA ball to this point in his MLB career.
Having prioritized depth and flexibility in constructing their pitching staff, the Brewers have options on hand. Recently extended hurler Freddy Peralta is a candidate, as is Corbin Burnes. Veterans Jake Faria and Shelby Miller are in camp on non-roster deals, though neither seems likely to command a rotation spot. Trey Supak is the other possibility on the 40-man roster.
Just what will happen when Lauer is ready to return isn’t yet clear, but the Brewers surely aren’t all that concerned. No doubt the southpaw will have ample chances to log innings so long as he’s up to the task. Under Counsell and GM David Stearns, the club has deployed its staff as circumstances warrant, without much regard to formal roles.