The Brewers have had some fortunate injury luck to start the 2014 season, but were forced to make their first disabled list move of the year following Saturday’s win over Pittsburgh. Reliever Brandon Kintzler heads to the DL after being unavailable the past few days with rotator cuff soreness. Rob Wooten, the last reliever cut from spring camp, comes up to take his place. The move is retroactive to April 9th, meaning the soonest Kintzler could be back is the Brewers’ game against the Cubs on April 25th (the team is off on the 24th).
The words “rotator cuff” are always scary when you’re talking about a pitcher, especially one that’s been so good and so important over the last couple of years. The Brewers’ bullpen has played a large role in the the team’s early-season winning streak, and Kintzler is no different, having allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings of work to this point.
Despite it being a rotator cuff injury, the Brewers don’t seem to be too concerned and the soreness is apparently something Kintzler has been fighting through since they broke camp. He says it’s sore near his armpit, and while he’s been able to get loose and pitch effectively with it, he and the Brewers seem to agree that there isn’t much point in putting in that much work just to feel good for a game in April. With the bullpen seeing as much work as it has to start the year, the team couldn’t afford to be short in the bullpen for a few more days while Kintzler sits out, especially with one spot already being taken by a Rule 5 pick that hasn’t been trusted to pitch in any of the Brewers’ first 11 games.
Wooten was once again serving as Nashville’s closer this year, going 3-for-3 in save chances so far with four strikeouts and no walks issued in three innings of work. He had a 3.19 FIP in 27 appearances with the Brewers last season.