Brewers’ GM says new spring training facility is having an impact: ‘Players like being here’

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers head into their 2019 season with high expectations after the team came within a game of the World Series in 2018. FOX6 News spoke with General Manager David Stearns about how he works with Manager Craig Counsell.

“The great thing about Craig is that we are in constant communication. He obviously lives in Milwaukee during the offseason and he’s in the office sometimes in the offseason. We are always just a text or a phone call away. So Craig’s opinion is valuable. I think we have a really nice working relationship between the front office and our entire coaching staff. Getting their feedback about how they think our team is shaping up, what they think we could need, what they think we are doing well, is very important to us and is something that we factor into all of our decisions,” said Stearns.

David Stearns

FOX6’s Brandon Cruz: “With the way that this new (spring training) facility has opened up, how have you seen it, or do you believe it will help the players at they progress through this camp?”

“I think we’ve already seen it. I think we are seeing guys get here earlier. I think we are seeing guys stay here later in the afternoons and evenings. Players like being around this complex. This is now the preemulate complex in Arizona. It’s got all the facilities and all the amenities that you can possibly imagine, and our players like being here, and I think they feel as though they are welcomed here and they are enjoying the environment. That was part of the goal. It was a big part of the goal, and I’m happy that we accomplished that,” said Stearns.

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FOX6’s Brandon Cruz: “When you start to get out of this camp and you start to go through the year, is it ever too early to start to make moves, or is it the way you kind of talked to us about — you’re always looking, because that’s your job?”

“We are always looking, and as we have seen, the offseason gets later and later. There are still some players available who I’m sure will sign with clubs and be on opening day rosters. In general, once you get past spring training, there is probably a little bit of a calm period around the league where teams are mostly stable. There’s not a lot of player movement, and so generally, once you get past opening day, you’ve got a month or two to see how your team progresses, what sort of depth you have and where you may need to address. So I anticipate that the team that we break with and the guys we have in Triple-A will probably serve the bulk of our team for the first couple months of the season and then we will determine if we need to make any changes,” said Stearns.

FOX6’s Brandon Cruz: “Going off of last year and the success you had and going forward to this year and the success you are expecting to have — are you able to really have fun with it, or is it something that you have to wait until all is said and done and maybe look back?”

“I’ve enjoyed every segment of the process that we’ve gone through. Even when we weren’t particularly great at the major league level, I enjoyed seeing the organization grow. I enjoyed how we built our front office. I enjoyed how we built our culture throughout the organization. All of this is enjoyable to me. Clearly the ultimate level of accomplishment is getting to the playoffs, advancing in the playoffs and winning a World Series. That is what we are striving for, but we really do try to take time to enjoy each segment of our cycle — to recognize the progress that we are making as an organization and it keeps us going on a day-to-day basis,” said Stearns.

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