By most accounts, Eric Lauer has improved during his 2nd year in the big leagues. Although his ERA is essentially flat versus last year at 4.41, he’s decreased his WHIP from 1.545 to 1.376. He’s walking 1 full batter less which is impressive.
Unfortunately, he has to pitch at Coors Field.
The funny thing about your ERA is that 2 awful starts can take you from a 3.71 to a 4.41 instantly. Case and point? Eric Lauer.
He’s made 2 starts there this year, and both went about as poorly as possible. He’s thrown 5 2⁄3 innings while giving up 13 ER’s on 18 hits. We don’t even want to talk about last year.
True, you don’t just get to remove starts. However, if there was ever a case for advanced analytics it’s a situation like this. How can someone dominate a team like the Dodgers over and over again while getting lit up in Colorado?
Maybe it’s in his head. Maybe it’s a stroke of bad luck. Maybe it’s just Coors Field. Either way, Lauer is better than he looks on paper.
In reality he’ll never be a top of the rotation starter. Could he still project as a backend of the rotation guy? It’s possible. He’s shown flashes of masterful pitching ability. He’ll never overpower anyone, but has demonstrated pinpoint control at times.
Short answer? Ya, we’re rooting for the guy. We’d love to see him develop into a #4 or #5 starter on a playoff roster. He’ll need to learn how to finish hitters with 2 strikes, but that’s nearly all young pitchers.
For now, it’ll be interesting to see if he can find a way to have a quality start in Denver. That’s a nice first step for a pitcher that wants to prove he belongs.
Game time is 5:10 PM.