MIAMI -- Brandon Kintzler's road back to the Majors -- which has taken him from Class A Brevard and up through the Minors -- has been a humbling one.
The right-handed reliever, who had his contract selected by the Brewers prior to Monday's series opener with the Marlins, was a bullpen candidate entering Spring Training but was hindered by an elbow injury that forced him to the disabled list in March.
"That was depressing," Kintzler said. "It was very depressing. Everyone was looking at me wondering what was wrong. ... It was everyone against me. It was pretty hard. Spring Training was a mess, it was just a zoo."
After nursing the injury, Kintzler reported to Brevard for a rehab assignment in May and then worked his way to Double-A Huntsville to regain his form. But the righty struggled with his slider, which limited him to two pitches, and the Brewers took him off the 40-man roster on June 28 and outrighted him to Huntsville two days later.
"That was a very humbling experience," he said. "I didn't know if I was ever going to get out of there."
Kintzler eventually made it out of Huntsville in August, when he said things really started to click and he was promoted to Triple-A Nashville. His slider was back and his strikeouts were up -- 11 in 11 2/3 innings of relief with Nashville. His performance, and perseverance, earned him a spot back in the Brewers clubhouse, where he spent brief stints each of the past two seasons.
The Brewers considered bringing up Kintlzer on Sunday, but because he pitched three innings Saturday he was unavailable to pitch Sunday. Kintzler said he was available to throw Monday and manager Ron Roenicke said the righty could be used in the fifth or sixth inning before working into a setup role.
"When you have to go to Double-A and Triple-A to make it back, that's good," Roenicke said. "I think he's close to that guy we saw before he got hurt. ... He's got really good stuff."
Brewers plan to make more callups Tuesday
MIAMI -- The Brewers plan to add a few new faces to the clubhouse Tuesday against the Marlins, but manager Ron Roenicke didn't want to say which players would get the call after Triple-A Nashville's season ends Monday afternoon.
"Things change," Roenicke said. "Because things can happen those last couple days, we don't want to say who's coming and who's not and then something happens and then you're changing."
While Roenicke wouldn't say who would be joining the team, he did mention two players who aren't viable options as September callups: Double-A first-base prospect Hunter Morris and Triple-A outfielder Caleb Gindl.
Morris was named the MVP of the Southern League on Monday after hitting .303 with 28 homers and 113 RBIs for Huntsville this season.
"That's a heck of a year," Roenicke said.
Morris, MLB.com's No. 11 prospect in the Brewers system, is the first Stars player to earn the award since outfielder Corey Hart did so in 2003. Interestingly enough, Hart's current play is part of the reason Roenicke said Morris won't get a callup this month.
"I think what's hard is if you bring him up you want to give him an opportunity to play some, and with Corey the way it's been going, [Morris] isn't going to get much playing time," said Roenicke, who added that the Brewers didn't want to start Morris' Major League clock too soon.
As for Gindl, who was hitting .317 with a .423 on-base percentage for Triple-A Nashville, he won't get the nod due to back spasms that forced him off the field Saturday. Roenicke said the spasms were pretty severe and that Gindl is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks.
Crew gets to know pitcher-friendly Marlins Park
MIAMI -- The Brewers were presented with a new challenge when they arrived in Miami -- figuring out Marlins Park and adjusting to the pitcher-friendly stadium's cavernous dimensions.
The spacious outfield, which plays 344 feet down the left-field line, 418 feet to center and 335 feet down the right-field line, could present a bit of a hurdle for Milwaukee in its first trip to Marlins Park. The Brewers entered Monday's action leading the National League with 167 home runs on the season while Marlins Park ranks 26th out of 30 Major League ballparks in total home runs this year.
"We have some guys that can leap," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
While batting practice for early games is optional, many Brewers players took the opportunity to take the field before the start of Monday's series opener with the Marlins to take some cuts as well as explore the outfield.
"Any time you go to a new ballpark you want to get a little familiar with it," Roenicke said.
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.