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Milwaukee Brewers select contract of Hoby Milner, option Eric Lauer

A swap of lefties to keep Lauer ready for a starting role.

Oakland Athletics v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers have swapped out left-handed hurlers before tonight’s game two against Atlanta, sending Eric Lauer down to Triple-A Nashville and giving minor league signee Hoby Milner an opportunity to return to the big leagues:

Lauer has looked much better during his big league opportunities so far this year than he did in 2020, making a pair of starts across four appearances while pitching to a 2.81 ERA in 16.0 innings. He’s punched out 16 versus just two walks and seems to have impressed Milwaukee with his work this season. Manager Craig Counsell told reporters that the thinking behind sending Lauer back down to the minors was to get him back into a starting role and keep him on a regular routine with multiple off-days upcoming for the Brewers. The Brewers have an upcoming stretch of games where they plan to utilize a six-man rotation, and Lauer is one of the primary candidates for those starts. “I think Eric’s in a really good place,” the manager said.

Hoby Milner, 30, has made appearances at the game’s highest level in each of the past four seasons. He owns a 4.53 ERA in 74 outings and 55.2 innings pitched, but after authoring a 2.01 ERA in 37 games for the Phillies as a rookie in 2017, he’s yielded 21 earned runs in 24.1 innings (7.77 ERA) from 2018-20 with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, and Anaheim while bouncing back and forth between the minor leagues.

After Lauer threw 55 pitches across 3.0 innings of relief last night, this move gives the Brewers a fresh arm for the bullpen tonight and makes another left-hander available for Counsell to play matchups with. Milner does have two minor league options remaining according to Fangraphs, so he could become a shuttle candidate in the bullpen from here on out for the rest of the season if he shows enough to hang on to his 40-man roster spot.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference