Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’15 – #53 Brandon Kintzler

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We roll along on “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” as the temperatures dip in Wisconsin. Hopefully knowing that we’re one day closer to Opening Day on April 6 helps warm your soul.

Today’s profile is on a player who is one of the best stories of perseverance and eventual success currently on the roster…

Brandon Kintzler.

BrandonKintzler

Brandon Lee Kintzler is no stranger to the BBtJN countdown series. As such, if you really want his full backstory of overcoming injury, persevering through non-affiliated ball, working his way to the big leagues, and overcoming more injuries to stick…hit the search box and enter “Brandon Kintzler BBtJN” and scroll through the previous accounts.

After you do that, however, realize that 2014 contains another chapter in his saga. After once working his way into a prominent setup role in Ron Roenicke’s 2013 bullpen, Kintlzer dealt at times with ineffectiveness due to, perhaps worse, some inconsistency last season. The inconsistency was brought on by physical limitation as Kintzler wound up requiring off-season surgery on his left patellar tendon to correct an issue which had progressively gotten worse over the course of two years.

The 5’10” right-hander from Nevada is no stranger to overcoming odds though, as I mentioned. He was still able to figure out a way to pitch relatively effectively, including being a secret weapon (as much as any statistic can be a secret these days) against opposing left-handed hitters, who he collectively held to a .648 OPS in 88 plate appearances. .250/.310/.338 slash line. Believe it or not, that’s actually worse than he career split against lefties. Speaking of career splits, Kintlzer was markedly worse against right-handers in 2014 when compared to his full MLB career.

Kintzler looks to return to a middle relief role to begin 2015, though he could pitch his way back into the later innings if his knee proves to be as troublesome in 2014 as he felt it was. Higher-leverage situations will be harder to come by for Kintzler should the Brewers do what many people expect and add another piece to their bullpen before camp breaks.

We haven’t been given an official update on Kintzler in some time, but the fact that it wasn’t a point of discussion at Brewers On Deck back on January 25 in Milwaukee makes me think that he should be a full participant in camp from the first day on. Then again, they could very well ease him back if they want to monitor the knee to see how it reacts to more consistent pitching.

All that said, I expect Kintzler to rebound and once again contribute to a bullpen that could be a strength for this edition of the Brewers.

Catch up on the countdown!

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