Phillies Fire Manager Gabe Kapler
After two seasons with the Phillies, manager Gabe Kapler is dunzo. Despite posting a respectable 81-81 record this season, and despite adding Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Andrew McCutchen to the roster, the Phillies finished fourth in the NL East. And in 2019, most teams were either really good or really bad – a .500 record wasn’t going to even come close to a Wild Card spot this year. It didn’t help that McCutchen went out in June with a season ending injury, the team’s bullpen was plagued with injuries, added to the suspension of Odubel Herrera for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. Kapler’s record as manager is 161-163, so despite finishing two games stronger this year over last, the improvement wasn’t enough to keep him in Philadelphia through the last year of his contract in 2020.
Most of the manager firings have already happened (seriously, how do Brandon Hyde, Edgar Renteria, and Ron Gardenhire still have their jobs??), so it is curious to me that the Phillies waited so long to let Kapler go. Though, the Phillies have probably been trying to figure out what to do next, as they announced their shakeup of their coaching/training staffs in a press release yesterday:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 10, 2019
The rumor mill is abuzz with replacement names like Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon, or Buck Showalter, but those names are also being thrown around in all of the other open managerial positions. Perhaps the Phillies will turn to a manager with zero MLB managerial past or ties to old-school/pre-analytics baseball, like the Twins did with Rocco Baldelli, to see if they can recreate the same success. With manager spots open for seven other teams (Mets, Padres, Cubs, Royals, Pirates, Giants, and Angels), Kapler will likely find a new clubhouse to call home.