PHILS PULL THE PLUG ON FAILED MANAGER GABE KAPLER!

By Sam Bush

The Phillies have fired manager Gabe Kapler, ending a ridiculous 11-day evaluation from Phillies owner John Middleton, who took control of the decision-making process from GM Matt Klentak.

Middleton reportedly flew to his players’ offseason homes to interview them about Kapler.

Kapler, 44, was hired by Klentak after the 2017 season to replace Pete Mackanin. His dedication to analytics and his unorthodox management style, both on and off the field, was supposed to herald a bright new era for the Phillies, who were just emerging from a five-year rebuild.

Instead, Kapler was fired after two seasons that started out promisingly but ended in disappointment and wasted potential. Both the 2018 and 2019 Phillies had strong starts, spent significant time in first place, and were poised to make the playoffs or the wild-card play-in game by at least August. Both teams then endured prolonged swoons which removed them from playoff contention and turned good seasons into forgettable ones. Kapler’s overall managerial record with the Phillies is 161-163.

While the failure of the upgraded 2019 squad is what likely led to his firing, it’s not all on Kapler. The Phillies dealt with a tremendous number of injuries.

Kapler may be getting the immediate blame for where the Phillies are, but it was a group effort.

Kapler was fired after two seasons that started out promisingly but ended in disappointment and wasted potential. Both the 2018 and 2019 Phillies had strong starts, spent significant time in first place, and were poised to make the playoffs or the wild-card play-in game by at least August. Both teams then endured prolonged swoons which removed them from playoff contention and turned good seasons into forgettable ones. Kapler’s overall managerial record with the Phillies is 161-163.

At least one pitcher, Zach Eflin, adopted since-fired pitching coach Chris Young’s analytics-assisted recommendations only to throw them off during a long slump and find success following his own plan. In fact, the pitching staff as a whole took an enormous step backwards in 2019.

Kapler was loved by many Phillies players for allowing them to police the clubhouse themselves. Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto, arguably the most important position players on the Phillies, talked about their love and respect for him following the final game of the season.

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