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.
Who’s going to win Rookie of the Year in the American and National League in 2018? It’s way too early to tell, but we can make some educated guesses as to who will land in the conversation.
Some candidates are obvious, while other potential top rookies are still in the minor leagues for various reasons, awaiting the call to the majors. That isn’t necessarily a hindrance, as we’ve seen players who started their seasons in the minors come up and win the award before.
Here are ten rookies who could certainly have a major impact at the MLB level in 2018.
1) Shohei Ohtani, Angels
Like it or not, Ohtani does qualify as a rookie, and he has to be the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year. His debut on the mound will have done nothing to hurt that notion. While he had some shakiness early on, he pitched well and looked impressive. The fact that he will also get the opportunity to hit can only help him. He got a hit in his first MLB at-bat, then homered in his first home at-bat as part of an impressive three-hit night. Ohtani does so much well that he has to be at the top of the list at this stage.
2) Ronald Acuna, Braves
Acuna isn’t even in the majors right now, with the Braves keeping him down to manage service time. Once he’s up, he may take the league by storm quickly. Arguably the top prospect in baseball, Acuna hit .325 across three levels of the minors last season, and he’s probably ready for the bigs now. There’s plenty of precedent for late arrivals to win Rookie of the Year, and Acuna could well be the latest if he comes up in May and starts hot.