PHOENIX (AP) — For Brewers manager Craig Counsell, it's all about laying a foundation for the future.

"It doesn't happen in one day, but certainly you recognize that every opportunity you have to start that foundation is something that you value, and something that is important," Counsell said in his first spring training at the helm of an organization in full rebuild mode.

Counsell is looking to set the tone by doing things a bit differently than some players are used to. Before full squad workouts begin Thursday, Counsell is planning to have his pitchers handle the ball a lot and focus on defense.

"(I want to give them) a chance to become a better fielder. It's preparation for the season with your arm, and then give them a chance to improve their skills in some other areas," he said.

The 45-year-old Counsell became the 19th manager in franchise history when he took over for Ron Roenicke last May. Milwaukee finished with a 68-94 record and fifth in the NL Central, a division that saw three teams qualify for the postseason.

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