Yelich has not been the same player since a knee injury that ended the season late in Haines’ first season. After hitting a career-worst .205 with 12 home runs and 22 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 60-game season in 2020, Yelich hit just .248 this year with just nine home runs, 51 RBIs and a .736 OPS.
He showed signs of escaping the funk in August (.313 / .359 / .470, .829 OPS), but fell over the past month, hitting .221 with home runs, 10 RBIs and 20 strikeouts. He went 3-on-15 with eight strikeouts during the NLDS.
Not even Haines, who had worked with Yelich from his first professional season with the Marlins, seemed to have an answer. Stearns insisted that the decision went beyond the struggles of the Milwaukee franchise player.
“Christian is part of the team, but this was really about an overall global perspective on what we think is best for our big league team going forward,” said Stearns.
When it comes to replacing Haines, Stearns keeps an open mind and throws a wide net. He plans to evaluate a number of different candidates with a number of different philosophies, and is looking to find the right fit for both the roster and the rest of Milwaukee’s coaching staff.
“Coaches are basically teachers and they are leaders,” Stearns said. “And they can achieve being really good teachers and really good leaders in a lot of different ways, and I think we have different styles that are clear on our staff. We’ve had really good coaches here the whole time I’ve been here, and many of them have run their business in different ways. “