The Pirates are set to hire Andy Haines as the team’s new hitting coach, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Haines is now the first known addition the the Pirates’ coaching staff this offseason.
Haines served as the Brewers hitting coach the past three seasons. Under his watch, the Brewers reached the postseason each of those three seasons. Milwaukee let go of Haines following the 2021 season.
Now, Haines will be tasked with trying to get the most out of a Pirates’ lineup that finished near the bottom in most offensive categories including average, on-base percentage, slugging and home runs. He’ll also play a role in trying to revitalize guys who are coming off of down years with the bats, such as Ke’Bryan Hayes, Kevin Newman, Colin Moran and others.
A native of Louisville, Illinois, Haines played collegiate baseball at Eastern Illinois before beginning his coaching career in the college ranks. His first professional coaching opportunity came with the Marlins in 2008, where he spent eight years in the system.
Before the start of the 2016 season, Haines was hired by the Chicago Cubs as their Minor League hitting instructor. Two years later, he was promoted to the big league club to serve as the assistant hitting coach to Chili Davis.
Haines takes over as the team’s hitting coach after Rick Eckstein was dismissed by the Pirates during the 2021 season. In Eckstein’s absence, no interim hitting coach was named in his place. Instead, assistant hitting coach Christian Marrero and bench coach Don Kelly were among the coaches who saw increased roles in helping the Pirates offense.
The Bucs still need to hire a third base coach and potentially add more coaches to the staff if they feel the need.