MILWAUKEE -- Francisco Rodriguez has gone through a lot of changes in the past couple of weeks. After being dealt to the Brewers, K-Rod's now focused on trying to adapt to his current eighth-inning role.
So far, it's been more difficult than his numbers would suggest. Rodriguez made his Miller Park debut on Tuesday night and pitched a perfect eighth inning. But that doesn't mean the transition has necessarily been an easy one.
"It's a big adjustment," Rodriguez said. "I've been a closer pretty much my whole career, so that transition hasn't been easy at all. But I'm trying to make the adjustments as quick as possible and just get the job done any time that I go out there."
Rodriguez said "pretty much everything" has to change in his preparations to head out onto the field in the eighth inning, as opposed to taking over in the ninth. The last time he had to go through a similar transition was in 2003 with the Angels.
"He's a guy that wants to be out there when you have one out left in the ninth inning to win a game. He wants to be that guy," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who was an Angels coach for all of Rodriguez's seven seasons with that team. "Mentally, he's a closer. He's not an eighth-inning guy. Can he do the eighth inning? Absolutely, he's a gamer, he'll do it. But it's hard, it's hard for me knowing what he's done in the past, and being with him and to ask him to do that."
Roenicke did admit that it's hard to take the ball out of closer John Axford's hand in the ninth. Axford converted his 25th consecutive save on Tuesday night, and Rodriguez said he enjoys watching the closer go to work.
"As long as we win, I can care less," Rodriguez said. "I just want to go out there and compete and get it done. Obviously, he's not going to be able to pitch every single day, and me neither. But whoever has opportunity to close out games will get it done."
After surgery, Kintzler won't rule out '11 return
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler visited Miller Park on Wednesday, a day after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right forearm. Kintzler had a small screw inserted near his elbow.
Doctors told him he could resume a throwing program as early as the second or third week in August.
"I'm definitely excited, if that's the case," Kintzler said.
Kintzler was originally diagnosed with a strained triceps, and the fracture was not found until he underwent a bone scan and CT scan earlier this month. He had been trying to rehab at the team's facility in Phoenix.
"It was a mental battle," he said. "They kept telling me, 'You're fine, keep pitching.' I understand, they have to go through their process. ... It stinks that we wasted the whole summer and I couldn't help the team."
In other injury news:
Left-handed reliever Mitch Stetter will undergo season-ending surgery for a left hip injury after a second opinion on Wednesday confirmed the Brewers' recommendation. Dr. William Raasch will repair a partially torn labrum in Stetter's hip and remove bone calcification, and may also have to shave down Stetter's femur to relieve irritation.
Left-hander Manny Parra was to resume a throwing program on Wednesday, Kintzler said. The teammates had been rehabbing together in Arizona before Kintzler left for surgery. Parra, who is on the disabled list with a left elbow injury, received platelet-rich-plasma therapy in an effort to avoid Tommy John surgery.
When Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez was scratched on Tuesday with a tight hamstring, he left Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder as the only Major Leaguer to start all of his team's games this season. Roenicke had a hard time feeling bad for the Pirates on Wednesday, a day after Pittsburgh lost a 19-inning marathon against the Braves on a missed call at the plate.
"For one, tag the guy better," Roenicke said, referring to Pirates catcher Michael McKenry's sweep tag of Julio Lugo. "On the replays, it's really hard to see if the guy did hit him. He's out easy, but ... just stick him with the glove so you don't have the controversy. As far as how it impacts anybody, I don't know. I mean, anytime it's somebody in the division that we're battling and they lose, it's going to help us."
Top Brewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers was scheduled to start for Class A Brevard County on Wednesday night. Rogers had been rehabbing at the team's facility in Phoenix from a case of carpal tunnel syndrome in his right wrist.
Minor League right-hander Michael Fiers, a 22nd round Draft pick in 2009 who has moved into prospect territory, was placed on Triple-A Nashville's disabled list with a bruised finger, according to Melvin.