Eric Lauer is a Brewer now, Milwaukee having acquired the 24-year-old left-hander from the Padres on Wednesday as part of a four-player swap. He remains a work in progress. Two years into his big-league career, Lauer is still refining a five-pitch mix that was good enough to make him a first round pick. San Diego drafted the Elyria, Ohio native 25th-overall out of Kent State University in 2016.
Lauer leaned heavily on his fastball and his cutter this past season. The former, which he threw 53% of the time, is a four-seamer that averaged 92.1 mph. The latter, which he threw 22.2% of the time, is four ticks slower and delivered without undue effort. Unlike his other secondaries, it comes naturally.
“The angle my hand is at when I deliver a pitch is very cutter-y,” Lauer explained. “It’s on the side of the ball, so I can cut it easily. That’s why my changeup has never been a great pitch for me; I throw on the outer side of the ball, rather than the inner side, or directly behind it.”
His changeup is a two-seam circle he used just 4.4% of the time. He wasn’t tinkering with the grip when I spoke to him this summer, but he was trying to find the right release point…