San Diego Padres: Eric Lauer Hits a Roadblock Again
By Tim Ryder
Eric Lauer keeps hitting speed bumps at inopportune times for the San Diego Padres. Overall though, the positives have outweighed the negatives and he has shown a lot of promise.
San Diego Padres’ rookie left-hander Eric Lauer got through his first inning of work against the Pirates in quick fashion, retiring the side in order. He used his four-seam fastball on nine of his thirteen pitches, and three others were cutters, which is simply a variation of a fastball. So much for mixing it up.
His straight-forward approach was effective and efficient through the second inning, as well (12 pitches, nine four-seamers, five cutters, one curve; three consecutive outs). Sean Rodriguez got the Buccos’ first hit of the game to lead off the third (Manuel Margot‘s injury), but Lauer retired the next three to leave him stranded.
The 22-year-old lefty is really coming into his own. Unfortunately, he still can’t escape that one bad inning per outing. That was the fourth for Lauer last night. After a string of walks and singles and doubles and sacrifices, the Pirates ended the inning with a 3-2 lead.
Once three out of four Pittsburgh hitters reached base to begin the fifth, Eric Lauer’s night was complete. His final line of 4.2 innings, six hits, four earned does absolutely no justice to how effective Lauer was to begin the game.
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Eric Lauer can be a force for the San Diego Padres soon
Of course, in order to succeed at the major league level, a starting pitcher must be able to navigate through those middle innings and work his way out of jams.
There’s room for improvement, indeed. But there’s a lot to look forward too, as well.
Over his first five MLB starts, the Elyria, OH native has pitched to an 8.14 earned-run average with eighteen strikeouts and eleven walks.
His 6.10 fielding independent rating (FIP) is nearly two runs lower than his true-ERA, which signifies that he has pitched a little better than his traditional stats indicate.
In nearly all of his starts this season, aside from his first start and his implosion on May 11, Lauer has shown a ton of guile and craftiness, even while using his fastball over 60 percent of the time (60.9%).
Next: Fernando Tatis Jr. Heating Up in San Antonio
As I stated yesterday, once Lauer gets a little more comfortable facing MLB hitters, he’s gonna be just fine.