PHOENIX -- A disconsolate Brandon Kintzler said Saturday he is still experiencing significant discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow, a blow to his bid for a job in the Brewers' bullpen.
Kintzler, a leading candidate for one of two open bullpen spots, sat at his locker with his head down while teammates prepared for a busy day in Brewers camp -- split-squad games against the Cubs and Giants. Kintzler was hoping to make his Cactus League debut on Sunday against the Rockies, but Friday's round of live batting practice did not go well, and the elbow was feeling even worse Saturday morning.
"Like I never had surgery in the first place," Kintzler said.
He was to be examined Saturday by Dr. William Raasch, the Brewers' head physician who performed Kintzler's surgery
The elbow has given Kintzler trouble for nearly a year. He missed most of last season with an injury that was eventually diagnosed as a fracture, and required surgery in late July to insert a screw. Kintzler reported to Spring Training healthy, and an X-ray of his elbow taken as part of Kintzler's standard physical exam revealed no red flags.
He has had a series of setbacks since then, the latest on Saturday. Kintzler's arm felt "electric" warming up in the bullpen, but that changed when he took the mound at a back field at Maryvale Baseball Park and pitched to group of hitters that included Caleb Gindl and Anderson De La Rosa.
"It just wasn't the same," Kintzler said. "Even [Paul] Phillips, the catcher, said it wasn't the same. I felt great coming in from the 'pen. Words can't explain the confusion right now."