Brewers Wednesday: Kintzler set to come off DL soon
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler threw a simulated game prior to Wednesday night’s series finale with the San Diego Padres and is on track to be activated from the disabled list on Friday.
Kintzler estimated he threw 40 pitches Wednesday with somewhere between 17-23 coming with catcher Martin Maldonado standing in the box.
"I had no pain, which is the main thing," Kintzler said. "I was a little rusty, but you are going to be rusty. Other than that, the last pitch was probably my best pitch, so we’ll go off that one."
Placed on the disabled list on April 12 retroactive to April 9 with a mild strained right rotator cuff, Kintzler viewed the time off as more of a precautionary move to take care of the issue rather than let it linger.
Kintzler has allowed just two hits in five scoreless innings this season and is anxious to get back and join an oft-used but successful Brewers bullpen. He will come in and get evaluated Thursday before a final determination is made as to whether or not he is activated for Friday’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs.
"I’m dying (to get back)," Kintzler said. "I can’t deal with the stress of these games anymore. Half the time I can’t watch the pitches. It’s just tough when you can’t control it. I feel like I’m emotionally attached to everyone that is pitching. I want everyone to do good. I want to see them succeed. Hopefully I can get back and help out a bit."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke would like to ease Kintzler back into the mix, preferably using him in a few low-leverage situations before putting him in during the late innings of a game.
"He’s one of those guys who it doesn’t matter what inning I put him in, what situation I put him in, whether it’s left-handed, right-handed — he’s really good," Roenicke said. "He showed that last year. I think we did a nice job in putting other guys into that role that they covered really well for him.
"Right off the bat, I probably can’t pitch him like I’ve been pitching these other guys. We probably have to go a little slower with him. Hopefully, we’ll start to score some more runs and we won’t have to always use all these guys."
Garza preps for Cubs: With the Brewers sharing a division with the Cubs, Matt Garza knew the day would come in which he’d have to pitch against his former team.
That day is Friday, as Garza will take the mound against the Cubs at Miller Park. He made waves this spring by telling the Chicago Sun-Times that he is "going to try to kick their teeth in every time I get a chance."
"Not really," Garza said Wednesday when asked if there was anything different about facing his former team for the first time. "There’s your answer. It’s just another ballgame."
Garza is an emotional pitcher on the mound, leaving Roenicke hoping he isn’t too jacked up Friday.
"Hard to say," Roenicke said if he thinks Garza will be amped up. "I don’t know what he’s going to be like. It’s changed from outing to outing. The more we see him, the more we’ll understand. We saw that when he was on the other side and we were facing him, we know that when he was comfortable and in a groove, we were going to have a tough day. We hoped and tried to get him out of that groove."
Signed to a four-year, $50 million contract this winter, Garza is 0-2 with a 4.50 in his first four starts with the Brewers. He’s been a victim of a lack of run support and some shaky defense behind him, something Roenicke thinks the right-hander has handled fine.
"I think the last game where we didn’t play well behind him defensively and he had the tough inning, it may have gotten to him a little bit," Roenicke said. "But I thought he kept his composure and still tried to make pitches. Sometimes we’re not making plays, and sometimes he makes a good pitch and they roll one right between somebody. It’s always a little bit of both."
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