MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brewers owner Mark Attanasio thinks the team's rebuilding is farther along than he envisioned at the season's start.
Attanasio gave high marks to first-year general manager David Stearns and said he is pleased with the overall performance of manager Craig Counsell.
Milwaukee began Thursday 68-84 after finishing last season 68-94. The Brewers have not reached the postseason since 2011.
"We don't have a schedule for what we're trying to do in terms of getting back to the playoffs, but we had more positive performances from younger players this year than I was expecting," said Attanasio, the Los Angeles businessman who has been the team's principal owner since 2005.
"I want to get David's assessment on Craig, but from an owner's seat, it was important for our guys to play with enthusiasm and with an edge, and they've certainly done that," Attanasio said.
Counsell has one season remaining in the deal he signed when he replaced the fired Ron Roenicke in May 2015.
"Once the season is over, David is going to address a number of things, and that's, obviously, on the list," Attanasio said.
Asked when he thought the Brewers could compete for a playoff spot again, Attanasio said "there are more guys on the field right now, and on this roster now, that can be part of that winning effort."
Attanasio pointed to performances of outfielder Keon Broxton, infielder Jonathan Villar and the highly versatile Hernan Perez, who has seen time at every position this season except pitcher and catcher.
"It feels very good to finish strong," Attanasio said. "You want to see progress demonstrated. It was very difficult last season to see us fade badly."