03/10/12 2:55 PM ET
Marcum ready to return to bullpen mound
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Kintzler seeking answers to elbow pain
PHOENIX -- A disconsolate Brandon Kintzler said Saturday he is still experiencing significant discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow, a blow to his bid for a job in the Brewers' bullpen.Kintzler, a leading candidate for one of two open bullpen spots, sat at his locker with his head down while teammates prepared for a busy day in Brewers camp -- split-squad games against the Cubs and Giants. Kintzler was hoping to make his Cactus League debut on Sunday against the Rockies, but Friday's round of live batting practice did not go well, and the elbow was feeling even worse Saturday morning. "Like I never had surgery in the first place," Kintzler said. He was to be examined Saturday by Dr. William Raasch, the Brewers' head physician who performed Kintzler's surgery The elbow has given Kintzler trouble for nearly a year. He missed most of last season with an injury that was eventually diagnosed as a fracture, and required surgery in late July to insert a screw. Kintzler reported to Spring Training healthy, and an X-ray of his elbow taken as part of Kintzler's standard physical exam revealed no red flags. He has had a series of setbacks since then, the latest on Saturday. Kintzler's arm felt "electric" warming up in the bullpen, but that changed when he took the mound at a back field at Maryvale Baseball Park and pitched to group of hitters that included Caleb Gindl and Anderson De La Rosa. "It just wasn't the same," Kintzler said. "Even [Paul] Phillips, the catcher, said it wasn't the same. I felt great coming in from the 'pen. Words can't explain the confusion right now."
Dillard, Perez in the mix for bullpen
PHOENIX -- Side-arming right-hander Tim Dillard and hard-throwing left-hander Juan Perez have been very impressive in the early part of the Cactus League schedule and are solidly under consideration for Opening Day jobs, manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday.Assuming swingman Marco Estrada is not needed in the starting rotation, the Brewers have two open relief roles. Besides Dillard, other right-handed candidates include Brandon Kintzler and Mike McClendon. Other lefties competing with Perez are Manny Parra and Zack Braddock. Dillard is a particularly interesting case. Two years ago in Spring Training, he dramatically altered his mechanics to revive a stalled career, switching from an over-the-top delivery to a sidearm sling. Dillard posted a 4.12 ERA in 2010 while adjusting to the change in the Minors, then a 3.58 ERA and .221 opponents' batting average in 2011 as his command improved. He also returned to the big leagues for the first time since '09, pitching twice out of the Brewers' bullpen. "He's got very good velocity for a guy down under," Roenicke said. "That 88 [mph], when you talk to guys, it looks 95. ... What I see of him, I really like what he's doing. He can get a strikeout on a really good hitter." Does Dillard have a chance to make the team? "He's got a good chance to make our team," Roenicke said. Perez qualifies as something of a spring surprise, a non-roster invitee who signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee just before Christmas. He's pitched professionally since 1999 but only has 32 Major League appearances to his credit. He touched 95 mph on the radar gun Wednesday against the White Sox, then worked 1 1/3 hitless innings against the Indians on Friday. "We're not looking just, is he performing well? We're looking at what kind of stuff he has," Roenicke said. "He has good stuff. I didn't realize he had that good stuff."
Right fielder Corey Hart was already off his crutches Saturday, four days after surgery to repair cartilage tears in his knee. His flexibility in the joint is farther along than doctors expected, manager Ron Roenicke said.