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.