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Internal expectation reportedly is that Phillies will move on from Gabe Kapler


Gabe Kapler wrapped up his second year as the Phillies manager Sunday. (Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies fell to the Miami Marlins Sunday, ending one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. After an offseason that saw the Phillies land Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and David Robertson, among others, the club finished at 81-81. They did break a six-year streak of losing seasons, but ultimately finished in fourth place in the National League East and without a winning record for the eighth consecutive season.

Given that general manager Matt Klentak signed an extension through 2022 in March, it doesn’t feel likely he will be dismissed, even if there are legitimate criticisms to be made of how his front office assembled their pitching staff. The Phillies already fired hitting coach John Mallee in August, and Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia says that first-year pitching coach Chris Young is “likely to be a casualty.” But it seems increasingly unlikely that a shake-up on manager Gabe Kapler’s staff will be the only move made after such a trying campaign.

In fact, MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki says that “feeling throughout the organization is that a change is likely, but the Phillies might not make an announcement for a few days,” in regards to Kapler’s future. Kapler, who the Phillies hired in October of 2017, has one year left on his contract. In January of 2018, he famously laid out how the Phillies would win “a shitload of games” under his guidance. While he may not have expected that to happen immediately, the Phillies are 161-163 the first two years of his tenure.

Klentak, who has been the Phillies general manager since October of 2015, led the search that concluded with Kapler’s hiring and has consistently voiced support for his skipper. USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale wrote in early August that “the prevailing belief among Phillies executives is that Kapler’s job is safe.” That, though, was before the Phillies fired Mallee and replaced him with Charlie Manuel – a move that managing partner John Middleton reportedly led. ESPN‘s Buster Olney suggested Sunday that the decision could come down what Middleton wants. Middleton was in the dugout at the conclusion of the Phillies game Sunday and was photographed shaking hands with Kapler after the game. It’s unclear if the next time that the two shake hands if Kapler will still be employed by the Phillies.

As far as his future, Kapler wasn’t interested in discussing it after Sunday’s game with the collective media, which included Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It’s definitely not a conversation that I need to have right now in this room. It’s a private conversation. My job is to focus on managing the Phillies, even after game 162.”

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Rob

    September 29, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Unfortunately, both Kapler and Young need to be dismissed. Too many players regressed. Young’s handling of Eflin and forcing him to rely more on the 4-seamer than the sinking 2-seamer was a mistake that cost the Phils several wins. Kapler had to deal with injuries, that’s true. But too many times in the second half he simply did not insert his best reliever in a pivotal situation and cost the team the win. He might have success in the future, but I don’t think he deserves that chance with the Phils.

  2. Craig Glessner

    September 29, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Dont go getting our hope’s up. He lost today to the Marlins shortstop who managed the game for them. To those that say the injuries were too much for any manager tell that to the Yankees. For those in management remember this pitching wins championships so spend some of that stupid money on 2 or 3 starting pitchers. Extend Realmuto and seriously consider resigning Dickerson

    • John

      September 30, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      I agree Dickerson’s a must.

  3. Mike

    September 29, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Yes he has made some boneheaded decisions this season, but what manager hasn’t? While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Kapler the guy could only do so much. I put the blame on the upper management failing to realize that the problem was pitching. I appreciate the aggressiveness getting Harper, JT, Segura, McCutchen. You can have a powerhouse lineup, but when the pitching, sans Nola, gives up 4-5 runs a game it is hard to win.

  4. tom

    September 29, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    here some stats the phillies had a losing record versus the marlins, the phillies lost 5 games to the nationals at end of the season. nola is 28-8 with 5 day rest and under 500 when he has 4 days rest in his career. i think kapler played mcclutchen and remulato too much when they needed rest. he promoted young as his pitching coach and pitching was a disaster this season. every move kapler made this season backfired, example against the mets keeps nola in 1-0 game versus mets, nola gets rocked next inning, but kapler had the opportunity in 6th to pinch hit for nola, lets nola hit with 2nd and 3rd on base, you have to pinch hit for him… he looked great the first month, but things got tougher, his team didnt compete in sept again…hey milw brewers lost c.yelich and made it….further note klentak a puppet…

  5. John

    September 29, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    It is true there were a ton of injuries but Kapler certainly made enough terrible moves that he has to go. I believe they put Charlie there to evaluate things and he will report to Middleton directly.

  6. kangaroopanther

    September 30, 2019 at 8:56 am

    That seven seasons in a row without a winning record. Now a questions…Kapler says he will keepon managing the Phillies after game 162. This duy cannot even count. What is he doing, filling out a lineup for game 163?

  7. pete

    September 30, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Bottom line is that the Phillies considerably improved right and left field, shortstop and catcher and Kingerly had a much better year, yet the Phillies improved the magnificent total of one game over 2018 with much the same starting pitcher set. Meanwhile last year’s fall guy, the pitching coach, seems to have remarkably recovered how to do his job with Atlanta. It may be an unfair eval of the manager and his coaching staff but results matter and results aren’t there. Time to move on.

  8. Alex Figueroa

    October 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    The Phillies should had known better to bring in pitchers from the minors those kids are ready and that was there biggest problem and stupid decision on the wrong general manager!!!!

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