Long Road Back For Kintzler
MILWAUKEE — When the season began, Brandon Kintzler couldn't envision himself pitching in a playoff race for the Brewers, yet there he was in September, doing exactly that.
The 28-year-old reliever began the season on the Brewers' disabled list, unable to pitch. He had surgery in late July 2011 to have a screw inserted in his forearm near the elbow to address a lingering stress fracture and by spring still wasn't able to pitch. At the time, his frustration level was at a peak.
After being activated several weeks later, he was sent to high Class A Brevard County to get his feet back on the ground, then eventually moved up to Double-A Huntsville. But he struggled in the early weeks with the Stars and the Brewers removed him from the 40-man roster.
"It was tough when they took me off the 40-man, but that gave me some motivation," recalled Kintzler, who was signed out of the independent American Association in 2009 and made nine appearances for the Brewers in 2011 before getting injured.
Kintzler got his act together and posted a 3.28 ERA in 36 appearances with Huntsville, earning a promotion to Triple-A Nashville. He posted a 1.54 ERA in 12 innings and was added to the Brewers' September callups. Once he showed he was dependable, Kintzler was thrust into more important situations. Through eight outings he was 3-0, 2.61.
"They're giving me opportunities and that's all you can ask," Kintzler said.
Beyond helping the Brewers with their late-season surge, Kintzler wanted to get a foot in the door for 2013. And he certainly appeared to be doing so.
• Outfielder Victor Roache, selected in the first round of the 2012 draft but unable to perform because of a wrist injury, was cleared to play in instructional league.
• Shortstop Orlando Arcia, 18, who missed the entire season after badly breaking an ankle in spring training, had recovered enough to play in instructional league games.