The Brewers announced today that they’ve promoted Chris Hook from pitching coordinator to pitching coach, hired Steve Karsay away from the Indians organization to serve as the new bullpen coach, and hired Scott Barringer away from the Astros to serve as the new head athletic trainer. Milwaukee also formally announced the previously reported hiring of Andy Haines as hitting coach and announced that Jason Lane would reprise his role as assistant hitting coach.
Hook has been with the organization for more than a decade, primarily working as a pitching coach at the minor league level before spending the 2018 season as the organization’s pitching coordinator. The 50-year-old had an 11-year professional playing career, including 65 2/3 innings with the Giants in 1995-96. He’ll be plenty familiar with a number of the team’s homegrown arms, having worked with them along the way in their journey to the Majors.
“I think when you know players and how they think, you can move them quicker,” said Hook of that benefit (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy). “That’s the way I feel. Even though I don’t know all of these pitchers, I know a good bit of them, and I feel like they trust me. If we trust each other, you can do good things with people.”
The 46-year-old Karsay was a pitching coach in the Indians’ system for the past seven years, including a 2016-18 run as the pitching coach in Triple-A Columbus, where he worked with promising young arms like Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber, among others. Karsay collected 41 saves and posted a 4.01 ERA through 603 1/3 innings as a Major Leaguer from 1993-2006.
Barringer creates yet another opening the Astros need to fill after previous losing bullpen coach Doug White, hitting coach Dave Hudgens and assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert to other organizations (to say nothing of assistant GM Mike Elias heading to Baltimore as the new Orioles general manager). Barringer was the Astros’ assistant athletic trainer from 2017-18 and the organization’s minor league medical coordinator in 2016. Prior to that, he as a minor league athletic trainer with the Cubs and Diamondbacks for a combined five seasons.