Weather permitting, the San Diego Padres will begin a four-game series tonight at PNC Park in Pittsburgh with the 25-17 Pirates. Eric Lauer hopes to regain the form that earned him his first win on May 6.
After taking a bit of a beating in his last outing, San Diego Padres 22-year-old left-hander Eric Lauer is certainly looking to get things back in order against a talented Pirates team.
With not a whole lot of video for the Bucs to scout and the advantage of unfamiliarity on his side, as well as the deceitful off-speed stuff he throws, things could work in Lauer’s favor tonight against Pittsburgh.
The Pirates have a few extremely tough outs littered throughout their lineup. Corey Dickerson is having a terrific season so far, hitting .318 with a .870 OPS, five home runs, and 27 runs batted in. This is a guy who was DFA’d by the Rays just before the season. Yeesh.
Starling Marte is still doing Starling Marte things. His .308/.366/.503 slash line is awfully impressive. Add ten stolen bases and fifteen extra-base hits to that (five doubles, four triples, and six homers) and you get an incredibly intriguing player who’s still (barely) in his twenties (29).
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Other potential threats in PIT’s lineup
Francisco Cervelli has been hitting the ball very well so far this year. After 106 at-bats (33 games), he’s got a .302 batting average with a .981 OPS.
He’s got six doubles, six home runs, and, believe it or not, he’s already got two triples on the season (his career high for a season is five, 2015).
Lauer will have to tread lightly. When he’s confident, and it’s easy to see when he is cruising (as we saw on May 6), Eric Lauer’s stuff alone will get him by.
Once he gets a feel for how to use his arsenal in the most effective ways against specific hitters (once or twice through the league should help him considerably), Lauer has every chance to be an absolute beast, in this writer’s estimation.