Gabe Kapler’s Phillies fate may be decided by his players

New York Post Sports 1 month ago

Gabe Kapler’s fate is likely in his players’ hands now.

Phillies owner John Middleton has asked for the input of the his roster as he gets set to decide whether Kapler will return for his third season as manager – the final one on his contract, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia is 161-163 during Kapler’s tenure and hasn’t made the playoffs – grossly underachieving after acquiring Bryce Harper last offseason.

A decision is expected to come sometime this week and general manager Matt Klentak’s job is believed to be safe, according to the report. If the opinion of Kapler’s players matter to Middleton, then there is a chance he remains in a Phillies uniform if their public comments hold true. Veterans such as Rhys Hoskins, Jake Arrieta and J.T. Realmuto are among those who took the blame off the manager for the team’s 81-81 record and fourth-place finish in the NL East.

“It hasn’t been his fault,” Bryce Harper said after the final day of the season.

Kapler did report to work at Citizens Bank Park last week even with his future in doubt, according to the report. His managerial style included a lot of autonomy for his players, allowing for a clubhouse with limited rules and the players policing themselves. It’s something that could work in his favor when Middleton polls the roster.

“I expect to see him back here,” Realmuto said after final game. “We feel like he’s done a great job for us. He gets the guys to play hard. We all love playing for him. He’s been our manager all year and nobody’s had anything to say about it.”

If Kapler is shown the door, Buck Showalter would be considered the front runner to land the job, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki said on WIP Radio in Philly on Wednesday. There are already seven managerial openings, including the Mets. The Phillies already have holes to fill at hitting coach and pitching coach after firing Chris Young last week. They fired hitting coach John Mallee in August.


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