Brewers reportedly hire Haines as hitting coach

November 3rd, 2018
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Andy Haines #19 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Photo Day on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/MLB Photos via Getty Images) Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers have reportedly hired 41-year-old Andy Haines as their new hitting coach. Haines began managing in professional baseball at age 30 and spent last season as assistant hitting coach for the rival Cubs.

The hire was reported Saturday by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The Brewers didn't confirm the report.

Haines was a catcher for Eastern Illinois University before beginning a career in coaching in his mid-20s. His first pro managerial job was in the Independent Northern League in 2007 before an eight-year stint in the Marlins' Minor League system coaching and managing, beginning in 2008.

The Cubs hired Haines to be their Minor League hitting instructor before the start of the 2016 season and promoted him to the Major League staff in 2018 to work alongside hitting coach Chili Davis. The Cubs dismissed Davis last month and passed over Haines to hire Anthony Iapoce as a replacement.

The Cubs endured a precipitous drop in production during the second half of the season that helped the Brewers catch and pass the Cubs for the National League Central title. After the All-Star break, Chicago ranked 23rd in MLB with a .705 OPS and 24th with 67 home runs and a .252 average with runners in scoring position.

Haines replaces Darnell Coles, who resigned from the Brewers' staff and was introduced last week as the new hitting coach of the D-backs. It was not immediately clear what Haines' hire would mean for Brewers assistant hitting coach Jason Lane, who was a candidate for the top job, but was also granted permission to explore opportunities elsewhere.

With the post of hitting coach filled, the Brewers still need a pitching coach and a bullpen coach. Pitching coach Derek Johnson left for the same job with the Reds, and the Brewers didn't renew bullpen coach Lee Tunnell's contract.