09/04/12 7:55 PM ET
Milwaukee balancing playoff push, young players
By Tom Green / MLB.com
"For the next week, I think it will be easy," manager Ron Roenicke said. "After that, if we're really making a push, we're going to have to sit down and really talk about this."
The Brewers are 11-3 over their last 14 games and have won 13 of their last 18 dating back to Aug. 16. Entering Tuesday, they were 7 1/2 games behind the second NL Wild Card spot, with four teams still in front of them.
It's a position the Brewers didn't expect to be in when they traded Zack Greinke to the Angels on July 27, and were 12 games behind second NL Wild Card spot and 15 games back in the NL Central at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"At that time, the way we were playing, it wasn't good baseball," Roenicke said. "It was good series, bad series. It wasn't good. Wasn't good enough to lead anybody to believe we were going to make that push. We got a tremendous amount of work to do to get back. ... We've got some work to do."
While the Brewers still have a tall task ahead of them and a daunting September schedule that includes the Cardinals, Braves, Pirates, Nationals and Reds, Roenicke plans to stick with what's working for the club, at least for the next week or so. He added that the Brewers are unlikely to start up righty Mark Rogers again, but if they do, it would "probably be for one or two starts."
"We're going to go for [the Wild Card]," Roenicke said. "We're going to win as many games as we can. We're not just going to put a guy in to see him right now. We're trying to win."
Brewers working on rotation options for rest of year
MIAMI -- Ron Roenicke is toying with the idea of using six starters. He's just not sure how it's going to shape up yet.
The Brewers manager said Tuesday that he wants to get multiple starts for right-handers Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg, who were both recalled from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day. Peralta will start Wednesday's game against the Marlins in the rotation spot previously held by Mark Rogers, who was shut down for the season, while the exact plan for Thornburg is unclear at the moment.
Roenicke tossed around the idea of a six-man rotation, but said the Brewers' two upcoming off-days on Sept. 13 and 17 when they return to Milwaukee could make that difficult.
"When we get back home, we have two days off that are going to kind of mess with that, going to a six-man rotation, so we're still trying to figure that out," Roenicke said.
One possible scenario for the Brewers would be to stick with a traditional five-man rotation, but alternate between Peralta and Thornburg every fifth game so each gets a few starts without affecting the normal rest for the other starters.
"We want to be fair to both of them, so maybe the next start maybe it's Thornburg's time, so I don't know," Roenicke said. "We're trying to work that out. We want to see all those young guys and try to figure out how to do it."
While the Brewers would like to see both Peralta and Thornburg make multiple starts down the stretch, how Peralta fares Wednesday could affect the team's plan and make the decision easier if the righty struggles or pitches very well.
"We'll see how Peralta does, and that could change also on how we feel and what we do with Thornburg," Roenicke said. "We'll see how we go here in the next week. I think we'll know a lot more in the next week what's happening."
Kintzler impresses in long-awaited return
MIAMI -- Ron Roenicke was impressed with righty Brandon Kintzler's first big league appearance in nearly 16 months.
Before Monday, Kintzler hadn't pitched in the Majors since May 4, 2011. But the righty, who had his contract selected by the Brewers prior to their series opener with the Marlins, pitched one hitless, scoreless frame of relief in the seventh inning of the club's 7-3 loss on Labor Day.
"Really good," Roenicke said of Kintzler's outing. "Really good changeup, but the velocity looks like it's back. I saw 94 [mph], I saw 95 up there. I was real happy with him."
Kintzler had a chance to make the Brewers' bullpen entering Spring Training, but an elbow injury that took weeks to diagnose forced him to the disabled list in March. He worked his way up the Minors, starting with a rehab stint with Class A Brevard, but he was designated for assignment in June and outrighted two days later because he was unable to be effective with his slider, limiting him to just a changeup and fastball.
While Roenicke was impressed by Kintzler's outing overall Monday, he did notice the righty's slider -- which Kintzler said started to come back in the middle of August -- still needs some improvements.
"The breaking ball didn't look as good as when we had him before he was hurt, but the changeup and fastball looked real good," 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.