Brewers Bad Early Season Take #2. That Hitting Coach Andy Haines should be fired
If anyone had seen any Brewers content on Twitter in the first couple months of the season, you would have seen fans calling for the Crew to fire their hitting coach Andy Haines.
So many people were ready to cut him loose as the offense was underperforming once again early in the season. There were people ready to fire him after Opening Day. The offense struggled last year in an odd situation, and people felt he should already be on thin ice or should’ve been fired after last season.
However, just because the offense is in a slump doesn’t mean it’s entirely the fault of the hitting coach. Just because the process didn’t lead to immediate results doesn’t mean the process was flawed.
Haines was working overtime in that early stretch of the season to figure out the struggles and how to get guys going.
Once again, let’s look back to Willy Adames Day as the turning point for this team. The addition of Adames provided a spark for the clubhouse and for the lineup. But Adames was off to a horrible start in Tampa, hitting under .200 and striking out 35% of the time. He was hardly a guarantee to provide immediate offense, home/road splits or not.
Will Sammon of The Athletic had an excellent article detailing how Haines helped Adames turn into the offensive powerhouse he is now (subscription required). And that’s just one more example of why Haines is actually a pretty good hitting coach. Plenty of players have spoken out in support of Haines and talked about how he’s helped them.
The offense has been so incredibly productive over the last few months, with a variety of guys putting up career seasons, including Adames, Urias, Avisail Garcia, Omar Narvaez, and Kolten Wong.
What’s remarkable is that he’s been able to get this much out of the offense with no production from Keston Hiura and limited production from Christian Yelich.
Looking at Willy Adames Day again, from May 22nd onward, the Milwaukee Brewers offense has put up the 4th highest WAR in all of baseball. They’ve produced 18.8 fWAR, which is behind only Toronto, Houston, and San Francisco. They’ve been the 4th most productive offense, have scored the 3rd most runs, and are top 10 in batting average, OBP, SLG, and wOBA.
This has been a high functioning offense for a long time now, and it’s quite clear that Andy Haines is the right man for the job and firing him would’ve been a terrible mistake.