MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' bullpen will be back to full strength Friday when right-handed setup man Brandon Kintzler is activated from the disabled list. Kintzler will have missed the minimum two weeks with a right rotator cuff strain.
Other Brewers relievers ably covered his absence, but Kintzler is very eager to get back in the mix.
"I'm dying," 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."
His final test came Wednesday, when Kintzler threw 40 pitches -- starting with 23 warmups, followed by 17 pitches to suspended Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado.
"He didn't hit the ball at all because he didn't swing," Kintzler joked. "That made me feel good about myself."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke would prefer to ease Kintzler back into eighth-inning duties, which have been shared over the past two weeks by right-handers Jim Henderson and Tyler Thornburg and left-hander Will Smith.
The team will have to make a roster move before Friday's series opener against the Cubs. Right-hander Alfredo Figaro is the most likely man to return to Triple-A Nashville.
"[Kintzler] is 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," Brewers manager Ron 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."