Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Brewers placed a trio of players on the Injured List, and all three players went on for reasons related to COVID-19. Infielder Luis Urias and left-hander Angel Perdomo both previously tested positive for the coronavirus and have been absent from camp; they will be laid up for however long it takes for them to test negative. As for Lauer, it was originally reported that he was on the IL for a “non-COVID related illness” but we later learned via Lauer himself that he had come into close contact with someone who has a positive case of COVID-19, meaning he had to quarantine and follow the protocol. Lauer has not tested positive for the virus.
While there is no way to know how soon Urias and Perdomo will be able to return as they continue to quarantine, Lauer should at least remain on track for Opening Day. He reported to camp a week later than everyone else and will throw his first bullpen session tomorrow. Lauer missed the final days of Spring Training in Maryvale before the shutdown with a shoulder impingement, but the time off allowed him that injury to heal and it shouldn’t cause him any kind of issue during Summer Camp.
Lauer was a regular member of the starting rotation for the Padres during the last two seasons, starting 52 games among 53 appearances and posting a 4.40 ERA across 261.2 innings pitched. He had been in competition with Freddy Peralta for the final spot in Milwaukee’s starting rotation and as should continue to compete for that role now in Summer Camp.
Said Craig Counsell: “Eric’s healthy. He has a chance to be ready for the start of the season. We’ll just see what kind of volume we can get to and where the rest of the health is of the staff and really, the best way to get him ready for 60 games. He’s on track. He just got slowed down a little bit.”
As for Urias, his snake-bitten 2020 continues. He arrived in the organization along with Lauer this past offseason, set to compete with Orlando Arcia for the starting shortstop job in Spring Training. But a hamate injury suffered during winter ball kept him out of the action in Maryvale, and now even though he’s recovered from that, he’s forced to stay away from Miller Park due to the coronavirus. A former top prospect for San Diego, Urias owns a .221/.318/.331 batting line in 83 games across parts of the last two MLB seasons.
Perdomo was added to the 40-man roster this past offseason to keep him from minor league free agency and is slated to serve as left-handed depth this season. He posted a 4.28 ERA in 69.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last season, striking out 107 batters versus 46 walks.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference