The Milwaukee Brewers have fired hitting coach Andy Haines after three seasons in the organization, the team announced on Wednesday.
Milwaukee's offense had the fourth-worst batting average in MLB in 2021, and was beset by struggles from expected key contributors Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura. On top of the offensive struggles the team faced in 2020, the Brewers felt it was time go in a different direction and did so when they announced Haines would not return to the staff in 2022.
Two out of his three seasons as hitting coach resulted in disappointing offenses and the regression of superstar Christian Yelich. Haines had a good relationship with Yelich from a previous stint as a coach in the Marlins organization, but that evidently did not lead to improved results from Yelich over the past two seasons.
Offensive struggles were a theme in 2021, especially in the first six weeks of the season prior to the arrival of Willy Adames to spark the lineup. Then, when the games got more important in September and October, the offense went cold again and it resulted in an early postseason exit in the NLDS.
Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said it was a "tough decision" to let Haines go, but ultimately "this was the right time to make a change."
Assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz would be allowed to search for other opportunities and the Brewers said he would not be considered as a candidate for the top hitting coach job.
Stearns said the Brewers will explore both internal and external options to fill the hitting coach job and that the process may take some time.
Candidates for the job will certainly see an enticing opportunity in Milwaukee to work with a reigning division championship roster and the ability to work with such talented hitters like Yelich and Hiura to get them back on track.