Pittsburgh Pirates: Keeping Andy Haines is a Colossal Mistake

Andy Haines will return to the Pirates in 2024... and that is unacceptable

Feb 22, 2023; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Andy Haines (49) poses for photos
Feb 22, 2023; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Andy Haines (49) poses for photos / Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The offense has struggled and young hitters have not made progress in the majors, yet, the Pittsburgh Pirates plan to retain hitting coach Andy Haines

For much of the season fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates have been critical of hitting coach Andy Haines. Between the struggles of the Pirate offense and lack of development from young hitters, criticism of Haines is very warranted.

The hope was always that Haines would be relieved of his duties at the end of the season. To be perfectly honest, Haines should have been fired weeks ago. Well, fans need to stop holding out hope that Haines will be fired.

Tuesday morning, Pirate manager Derek Shelton confirmed to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that Haines will be back as the team's hitting coach in 2024. To be blunt, that is totally and completely unacceptable.

This is not the first time Haines has struggled as a hitting coach in the majors. He had a very poor stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. This included some of the worst seasons of Christian Yelich's career. The Haines hire was a poor one when it was made ahead of the 2022 season, but Haines sticking around for 2024 is borderline criminal.

The only real positive for Pirate hitters this season has been the turnaround of Ke'Bryan Hayes. Since June 1st, Hayes has made huge strides at the plate and looks like a completely different hitter. Well, working with Altoona Curve hitting coach Jon Nunnally is what turned Hayes around.

Not Haines.

Henry Davis struggled mightily in the majors before hitting the injured list. Endy Rodriguez has been a below average hitter. Two consensus top 50 prospects in the entire sport and neither has hit the ball well in the majors under the guidance of Haines.

Bryan Reynolds has struggled for big chunks of the season and is putting together arguably the worst non-COVID season of his MLB career. Jack Suwinski has failed to progress as a hitter. Young hitters such as Nick Gonzales, Jared Triolo, and Canaan Smith-Njigba all struggled.

Were all of those hitters going to pan out? Were they all going to find success in the majors? No, of course. However, the fact they all struggled and none of them found success is an indictment on Haines. Especially the struggles of Davis and Rodriguez.

Entering play on Tuesday the Pirates ranked 24th in the majors in runs scored. They were 28th in home runs, 25th in offensive WAR, 24th in slugging percentage, 22nd in on-base percentage, and 20th in strikeout rate.

Not good!

Retaining Haines is nothing short of a huge mistake. There is zero reason to believe he can help the Pirate offense improve in 2024, just like there is not reason to believe he can help young hitters develop and improve at the plate.

Yet, here we are, with an organization that consistently seems anything but serious about winning. If they were serious, Haines would have likely been fired weeks ago. At worst, he'd be fired the second this season ends. Yet, here we are, the Pirates continuing to not be serious and retaining a bad hitting coach.

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