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The Cubs should hire Andy Haines as hitting coach

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He had a good run in the organization from 2016-18.

Andy Haines as Cubs assistant hitting coach in 2018
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

News item:

Andy Haines spent three years in the Cubs organization. In 2016 and 2017 he was the team’s minor league hitting coordinator, joining the team after spending seven years as a minor league manager in the Marlins organization. In 2018, he was promoted to the major league Cubs as assistant hitting coach under Chili Davis. Now, we all know the Davis regime as hitting coach in Chicago didn’t work out — but that wasn’t necessarily Davis’ fault. Haines departed to become Brewers hitting coach, a position he held from 2019-21.

The dismissal appears connected to Milwaukee’s failure to hit in their division series against the Braves. The Brewers ranked sixth in runs in the National League in 2021, just one run behind the fifth-place Rockies, but batted just .192/.263/.264 (24-for-125) in the four division series games against Atlanta, with just five extra-base hits and six runs scored in that series. They were shut out twice.

In this 2019 NBC Sports Chicago article, Haines gave high praise to Wrigley Field upon his return with the Brewers:

“I think any time you walk inside Wrigley Field, it’s just a different type of feeling,” said Haines, who’s in his first year with manager Craig Counsell’s staff. “Last year I lived walking distance. You walk into Wrigley, I don’t know what the right word would be, but you definitely have emotion walking in the building. It’s a special place, it’s unique. You get the same type of jitters and excitement and see a lot of familiar faces. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’d be pretty special to be back.”

This 2019 article in The Athletic by Robert Murray praises Haines, notes that he’s a disciple of Joe Maddon, and describes his coaching style this way:

Those closest to Haines describe him as a teacher with a mix between old and new-age philosophies, often using video and numbers when in the classroom or on the field working with hitters.

This sounds good to me. Granted that hitting coaches often get too much blame when hitters don’t hit (as appears to have happened to Haines in Milwaukee) and not enough credit when they’re going well. To me, the hitting coach’s job should be to analyze each hitter’s style, his strengths and weaknesses, and help him fix things when they’re going wrong. The Cubs haven’t had enough of that in recent years, cycling through six different hitting coaches and at least as many assistants over the last decade.

Haines was well-regarded in his time in Chicago. Here’s a chance for the Cubs to take advantage of a possible mistake made by the Brewers in letting him go.

Hire him back, Jed.

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Should the Cubs hire Andy Haines as hitting coach?

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  • 45%
    Yes
    (187 votes)
  • 20%
    No
    (85 votes)
  • 34%
    Don’t care either way
    (142 votes)
414 votes total Vote Now