Brewers’ owner: Melvin, Roenicke not on hot seat

Preview: Brewers at Indians

Despite a franchise-worst 2-13 start, Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said Wednesday that general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke were not on the proverbial “hot seat.”

“Right now, my examinations are focused on how to improve our performance on the field,” Attanasio said prior to his team’s 2-1 loss to the Reds. “Relative to me, I’m not looking at the manager or the general manager right now.”

After Milwaukee’s epic collapse at the end of the 2014 season, Attanasio and Melvin took about two weeks before announcing that Roenicke would return for a fifth season and then made the decision to keep the Brewers’ roster largely intact heading into 2015.

The theory was the very same players who faded during a 9-22 September also played extremely well for the 150 days the Brewers led the division.

“We did a huge amount of analysis,” Attanasio said. “We’ve got 25 players, virtually every one of them is an established major leaguer, and by my count all but five are below their career norms. … But you have 20 of 25 guys below their career norms. That is not what you would expect.

“Once everybody plays to their (usual) level of performance, we’ll be OK.”

Fans have been clamoring for Attanasio to make some kind of move — as the Brewers did in 2002 when they fired Davey Lopes following a 3-12 start.

Interim manager Jerry Royster didn’t fare much better; the Brewers went 53-94 the rest of the way, finishing with a franchise-record 106 losses.

Attanasio, who himself OKed the firing of manager Ned Yost with 12 games to play in the wild card season of 2008, said it’s up to the players to take responsibility for their performances.

“I know how bad we’ve played,” he said. “But we’re 14 games into the season, and Ron didn’t give up two grand slams (Tuesday) night. I think we have to kind of parse through it. Everybody needs to be accountable, but we have to look at what people are responsible for, and then hold them accountable for what they’re responsible for.

“So Ron had Mike (Fiers) pitching, and Mike was still at a point in the game with 70 pitches that he should have been pitching. He needs to execute his pitches better. (Catcher) Martin Maldonado took some accountability last night. I liked seeing that. He didn’t throw the ball, but he received the ball and he’s a guy who hit a home run last night, and he’s taking accountability. That’s a good thing to see.”