Kintzler impresses in long-awaited return

Kintzler impresses in long-awaited return

MIAMI -- Ron Roenicke was impressed with righty Brandon Kintzler's first big league appearance in nearly 16 months.

Before Monday, Kintzler hadn't pitched in the Majors since May 4, 2011. But the righty, who had his contract selected by the Brewers prior to their series opener with the Marlins, pitched one hitless, scoreless frame of relief in the seventh inning of the club's 7-3 loss on Labor Day.

"Really good," Roenicke said of Kintzler's outing. "Really good changeup, but the velocity looks like it's back. I saw 94 [mph], I saw 95 up there. I was real happy with him."

Kintzler had a chance to make the Brewers' bullpen entering Spring Training, but an elbow injury that took weeks to diagnose forced him to the disabled list in March. He worked his way up the Minors, starting with a rehab stint with Class A Brevard, but he was designated for assignment in June and outrighted two days later because he was unable to be effective with his slider, limiting him to just a changeup and fastball.

While Roenicke was impressed by Kintzler's outing overall Monday, he did notice the righty's slider -- which Kintzler said started to come back in the middle of August -- still needs some improvements.

"The breaking ball didn't look as good as when we had him before he was hurt, but the changeup and fastball looked real good," Roenicke said.