Formerly of the Cubs organization, where he served as the team’s assistant hitting coach in 2018 after two seasons spent as the club’s coordinator of minor league hitting, Haines has a wide and varied in the background in the game. He’s previously managed at multiple stops in the Miami system, where from 2010-2012 his posts overlapped with the low-level development of current Brewer Christian Yelich. In all, Haines skippered at five spots across the Marlins’ farm, culminating with his 2014-15 post at the helm of the AAA New Orleans affiliate. Baseball America has twice named Haines as a top managerial prospect, per his bio at mlb.com.
Haines will work to stabilize an uneven Brewers offense last season, whose massive breakouts – Yelich, to an MVP-caliber .326/.402/.598 (166 wRC+), and Jesus Aguilar (35 HR, 134 wRC+) – were offset by cataclysmic decline (Orlando Arcia’s NL-worst 54 wRC+, Jonathan Schoop’s .202/.246/.331 crater after joining the team, major regression from Eric Thames and Domingo Santana). With Steamer forecasting a 27 percent drop in Yelich’s production in the upcoming season and pegging Aguilar to return to near league-average (104 wRC+), the 2019 Brewers will almost certainly need rebounds from ’18 underperformers to stay afloat in a difficult NL Central.
In all, Milwaukee posted a respectable .252/.323/.424 as a team last season, numbers slightly inflated by the generous dimensions of the team’s home park. Still, in addition to the aforementioned regulars, the Brewers return veteran performers Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, and Travis Shaw, and figure to benefit from the sizzling bat of top prospect Keston Hiura, should the club sputter in the season’s first half.