The Philadelphia Phillies won’t be making a managerial change this season, according to their general manager.
GM Matt Klentak said Monday that no staff changes will be made for the struggling Phillies, and Gabe Kapler will remain the team’s manager for the remainder of the season.
Expectations were high for the Phillies this season after the additions of Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen. Harper has been a disappointment, McCutchen is out for the season, and they’re just one game above .500. That has brought the coaching staff under heavy criticism, but for now, no changes are planned. If things get worse, though, the situation can always change quickly.
The Philadelphia Phillies lost their seventh consecutive game on Sunday, falling 6.5 games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. It has raised questions about manager Gabe Kapler and his coaching staff, but Kapler was not entertaining those questions after the defeat.
Kapler defended his coaching staff, saying that the team had the “right personnel” but win and lose as a team.
It’s pretty obvious that Kapler is frustrated, and it’s easy to understand why. Expected to be a major NL contender before the season, they are just one game above .500, and their stars are scuffling. It may not all be on Kapler and his staff, but coaches usually take the fall for underperformance, fairly or not, as they’re easier to get rid of.
Gabe Kapler on Saturday was ejected for the first time in his managerial career, and he sure got his money’s worth.
The Philadelphia Phillies manager was upset after Scott Kingery was called out on an 0-2 pitch that hit him in the hand during the Phillies’ 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. Kingery turned on an 0-2 pitch but held up, and the ball ended up hitting him in the hand.
Kapler was furious that Kingery had been called out by Chris Guccione as if he had swung at the pitch and missed. He wanted the play to be reviewed and went nuts when nothing happened. He even began kicking dirt on the umpires’ shoes, a totally old-school move.
Kapler had every reason to be upset. That was simply a blown call by the umpires.
Kapler’s Phillies entered Sunday 39-37 on the season. This is Kapler’s second season as the team’s manager.
Gabe Kapler had a crow to pluck with the Atlanta Braves after Sunday’s game.
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Braves 5-1 in a contest that featured a solo home run off the bat of Bryce Harper in the seventh inning. The next batter was Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins, and Braves righty Shane Carle took out his frustration on him with a beanball, promptly earning an ejection.
After the game, Kapler, the Phillies manager, called out Atlanta for throwing at Hoskins. Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal offered the quote.
Kapler’s interesting wording aside, Hoskins was drilled nine times last season, which was among the higher marks in the NL. At the rate 2019 has started, hopefully Hoskins still has his special helmet that Twitter loved so much.
Sports Illustrated’s Philadelphia Phillies season preview article has turned out to be controversial enough to get the attention of the manager.
As part of the preview, the article featured an anonymous scout’s take on the member of the team the scout would never want in his own clubhouse. For the Phillies, one scout listed outfielder Odubel Herrera, but the originally printed comments were akin to character assassination.
Tom Ley of Deadspin preserved the original writing, in which the scout said Herrera was “like a clown” and a “f—— dog.” SI has since edited the article to tone down the scout’s criticisms, but the damage was already done, and manager Gabe Kapler blasted the scout on Saturday.
It’s not often that something like this becomes a story, but this one is. The practice of quoting anonymous scouts is not new, but most of the criticisms made in those instances don’t feel quite so personal, which prompted the response from Kapler.
Even Phillies icons have tripped up a bit when discussing the sometimes mercurial Herrera. On the scout’s part, however, it felt unnecessarily malicious and should never have been printed in the first place.
Even with the regular season weeks away, we know which MLB teams are facing heightened expectations in 2019. While much was made of a very slow offseason, the truth is there were certain teams that invested and will now have the expectation of success and a playoff run this year. The managers of those teams subsequently have to deliver — especially if these managers have yet to show they can produce the goods.
Here are eight managers facing some serious pressure who could find themselves on the hot seat if the 2019 season goes poorly.
Joe Maddon, Cubs
In four years at the helm, Maddon has never won fewer than 92 games, made the playoffs every season, and done the seemingly impossible by guiding the Chicago Cubs to a World Series win. So why is he entering the last season of his contract with whispers of discontent behind him? There’s a perception that the team has underachieved since that title, and last season they failed to win the division and lost the wild card game. Maddon seems to have no guarantees about his future, and Theo Epstein has promised big changes if the team doesn’t produce this year. One of those changes would probably be Maddon.
After months of speculation, Bryce Harper is a Philadelphia Phillie for the next decade and then some.
That’s obviously great news for the organization, but it’s also good for manager Gabe Kapler. Not only does he have a big new weapon to put in the middle of his lineup, but he can also cut the weasel words out of his interviews.
Kapler is probably speaking for a lot of Philadelphia fans at this point. This saga has gone on for so long that it almost doesn’t feel like it’s actually over. Plus, it’s not as if Kapler had as much inside information as one might think he did. Finally, he and the organization can discuss Harper as their player, not a potential signee.
The Philadelphia Phillies landed the biggest prize of the offseason on Thursday, and manager Gabe Kapler didn’t even hear the news from his bosses.
Word of Bryce Harper’s 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies was apparently widely reported on social media before team executives informed the organization about it. When asked about the addition of Harper, Kapler said he found out about it from fans who were sitting behind the dugout at the Phillies’ spring training facility in Florida.
Finding out through fans (who found out from Twitter) about signing one of the best players in baseball is a lot better than getting bad news that way, which is something we have seen happen plenty of times. The reality is that teams oftentimes have to wait until the last second to spread the word about contracts or trades for negotiation purposes, and by that time there has usually been a leak. Whatever the case, we’re sure Kapler didn’t mind.
The Philadelphia Phillies showed some signs of improvement last season when they won 80 games a year after finishing dead last in the NL East, and manager Gabe Kapler feels they have already proved this offseason that they are committed to contending for a World Series.
With the Phillies having acquired star catcher JT Realmuto in a trade on Thursday, Kapler was asked on Friday how he would address star free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in the wake of some of the moves Philly has made.
“I think the moves that (GM Matt Klentak) made on our behalf prove that we are in win right now mode and we are going to push our chips in,” Kapler said. “When I see an organization make that kind of commitment, I want to be a part of it.”
Kapler said he was speaking to all players and not just Harper and Machado specifically, but there has been plenty of talk about the Phillies still wanting to sign one of the two sluggers.
In addition to the Realmuto trade, the Phillies also acquired shortstop Jean Segura in a trade with the Seattle Mariners earlier this offseason. Those trades combined with their signings of outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson prove the Phillies are serious about ending their seven-year playoff drought.
Harper may be hoping to sign with another team this offseason, but he’s a Scott Boras client who will almost certainly follow the money. That in itself gives the Phillies an advantage over some other teams.
The Philadelphia Phillies have played their way out of playoff contention with a horrible stretch to close out the season, but the disappointing finish is not going to cost Gabe Kapler his job.
On Wednesday, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak confirmed Kaper will be back with the team in 2019 despite what he described as an “awful” past six weeks of play.
The Phillies lost their seventh consecutive game on Wednesday and allowed 10 or more runs for the third straight game against the Colorado Rockies. They were 15 games above .500 on Aug. 7 and appeared to be in prime position to make the playoffs, but it has been all downhill since. Entering Thursday, Philly’s record had dropped to 78-80.
Despite the abysmal final two months, Klentak pointed out that the Phillies have exceeded expectations this season and Kapler led the team to a much better finish than the 66-win season it had a year ago.
“I think Kap has been consistent throughout the year,” Klentak said, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I think he’s made plenty of adjustments. I think he’s learned a lot. I think he’s grown a lot.
The Phillies got off to a rough start, and the season had barely begun before Kapler made his boldest proclamation of the year. While it’s never a good sign when a team falls apart the way his has down the stretch, giving a manager only one season with a young team that has so much potential would seem unfair.