Morning news: Just one big thing about Gabe Kapler

Good morning! How ’bout them Cats!

KAPLER CHATS: Manager Gabe Kapler spoke with Todd Zolecki about the concerns everyone seems to have after the first series against Atlanta.

On if he’s aware of the early negative reaction:

“I’m very well aware of the perception thus far. I’m empathetic to the viewpoint. If people are upset, they have a right to be upset, and it’s my job to be aware and responsive to that.”

On how he plans to use the bullpen:

“What you could see if you could see a little bit more of the long view is a plan to use a lot of relievers early in the first couple days of the season and then to begin to stretch those relievers out over bigger pockets of lineups, rather than matching up individually. But we had the flexibility to match up individually in the first couple games of the season. I think that’s really important to convey. This was not a reaction to what was happening in the games, but a plan.”

On worries about being booed Thursday at the home opener:

“I would say that, again, being understanding, if fans are upset with me, if they’re upset with the Phillies, there’s probably a reason for it. So, that’s for me to own. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we’re in a partnership with the city of Philadelphia. We’re in a partnership with the fans of Philadelphia. And it’s my responsibility to be responsive to their frustrations, and I will. And I will create processes so that this never happens again.”

Kapler also said he would’ve taken Nola out early in Game 1 again, primarily because that was the plan.

Kapler is living by plans and processes. What I worry about is there’s very little room for nuance, very little room to make changes on the fly. It’s great to have a plan, and it’s important to know what you want to do going into a ballgame, but baseball isn’t ever played out the way you expect. There are injuries, wild turns of events, revelations and failures.

For example: Removing Nola early from Thursday’s game affected the rest of the series. In a vacuum the plan Kapler had was fine (they just didn’t execute), but I’m still baffled as to how you can look at a 5-0 lead in the sixth, see an unproven Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez ahead of you and still decide that the bullpen should go that distance in Game 1.

I’m hoping Kapler allows for more nuance as he continues. If not, I’m not so sure the Phillies have the talent to win in spite of his lack of nuance.


Also, and this is my last point I swear: It’s not a great sign when the only thing people are talking about after three games is the manager. Kapler is literally swallowing to team’s news cycle. That has to change for the better.



  1. Derrick

    April 3, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I could see what he was doing. Giving the relievers more time during the regular season opener to get more of a view of what he’s got with two of his best on the DL and to get them all accustomed to regular season baseball, but to start this way and on the wrong foot isn’t a great sign for the things to come. If I’m a reliever, I don’t know if I want to play in this system. You’re asking for injuries and for the clubhouse to be turned upside down. The great thing about this is it was the first 3 games of a 162 game schedule. Now Kapler can hopefully use the bullpen properly and listens to his coaching staff. It sucks because all this has foreshadowed a great start to a great career from Scott Kingery and a great start for Aaron Nola.

  2. czontixhldr

    April 3, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Gabe Kapler: “The Plan”.

    I wonder if it was part of the plan to not have Milner warmed up?

    I wonder if it was part of the plan to lose 2 of 3?

    I wonder if it was part of the plan for Neshek and Hunter to be DL’d?

    I wonder if it was part of the plan to have Neris face a guy who was 7/14 against him after intentionally walking a guy who was 1/12?

    I agrre with you Tim about the apparent lack of flexibility.

  3. Vernon Dozier

    April 3, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Kapler seems like a bright guy, I’m sure he’ll learn from this. Three games is a small sample size, and I’m a lot more concerned about the rotation beyond Arrieta and Nola than I am about the manager. Of course that could change over the course of the next few months, but I’m not panicking after one series.


  4. Craig Glessner

    April 3, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    I hate to say it but I agree he’s to smart for his own good. If he plans on pulling Nola again in the same situation one of the other coaches needs to tell Einstein why that is a good idea on paper but not in reality. I think his inflexibility is the problem he needs to use his assistant coaches which is what he said back in December but he hasn’t done yet. Use your resources Gabe GO PHILLIES

    • laszlo ptarmigan

      April 3, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      And maybe spend a little less time under the tanning lamp!

  5. Vernon Dozier

    April 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I can’t make an assessment on Kapler’s flexibility or ability to revise his plans based on these three games anymore than I’d be able evaluate a player after three games. Sure it’s a bad start and he made some questionable decisions, but I’ll give him a couple of months before declaring that he’s too stubborn to make adjustments.


  6. Chuck

    April 5, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Kabe has to go now before it’s too late. It could be already. This team needs to win early to stay competitive with the rest of the teams.

  7. art kyriazis

    April 5, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I never liked Gabe Kapler as a player. He always seemed way too interested in bodybuilding as opposed to working on his baseball and people skills, the latter of which seemingly were lacking as he went through something like 8 teams in 9 years, mainly due to his defensive skills and not his bat.

    Pete MacKannin was doing a fine job as manager. He had a year to go. This team wasn’t going anywhere. The presumption is with the status quo. So far, the case for change has yet to be made. Kapler seemingly is not only not the right choice, but rather, no change would have been the best choice. At the end of the year, if MacKannin wanted to retired, Dusty Wathan, a two time AAA Manager of the year, whose dad was an actual major leaguer who people liked, was ready and waiting, and Wathan managed most of these kids.

    Not to pick apart Kapler, but if you’re going to bring in Carlos Santana to protect Rhys Hoskins, how about batting Santana behind Hoskins to protect him in the Order? So far, Kapler has batted Santa 2d and Hoskins 4th nearly every game–and Hoskins has been walked or pitched around nearly all of his at bats–Hoskins is on track for 150 walks. You’d think a really tuned in manager might make an ADJUSTMENT there and go to a batting order like, Hernandez, Herrera, Hoskins, Santana, so if they pitch around Hoskins, they face Santana. And Knapp should bat after Santana, he has the highest OBA after Hoskins. Not Altherr.

    Metrics. Apparently Kapler can’t understand them.

  8. D. Lutz

    April 6, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Admit the mistake and remedy it. Baseball fans want baseball.

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