It looks as if the Phillies are hiring Gabe Kapler as their next manager.
A few weeks ago I put together a checklist for my ideal candidate.
Kapler checks off a lot of those boxes.
1. Has never managed before (fresh Voice.)
Kapler is currently the director of player development for the Dodgers. He was a front runner for their manager position in 2016 but was beat out by Dave Roberts.
2. Has played at the highest level.
He played 12 major leagues seasons. He has been around; he has played in Detroit, Texas, Toronto, Colorado, Boston (4 seasons) Milwaukee and Tampa Bay.
3. Can communicate with players.
Kapler speaks the language of baseball. He understands what these players are going through on and off the field. He is only 42, so he should be able to relate to the players on a personal level as well.
But he is also very analytics driven. So we will see how he deals with certain players such as Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera.
4. Someone that the players can respect.
Kapler should initially garner the respect of the locker room. Again, he’s played the game; he understands what it takes to be a major league baseball player. He also was an analyst for Fox. So the players may already know who he is.
We will see if he can keep that respect as time goes on.
5. Understands the city of Philadelphia.
While Kapler has never played for the Phillies, he has played in some big time cities including 4 seasons in Boston.
Kapler does check off a lot of these boxes, but he’s also a very bold choice.
General Manager Matt Klentak is an analytics guy, so it makes sense that he is bringing in a manager who is also very analytical.
Kapler is all about sabermetrics and advanced statistics. So get ready for a lot of talk like FIP and x-Fip, WAR, exit velocity, wRC+, and many other terms that will go completely over your head.
Whether you like it or not, this is the trend. Boston did it, the Yankees will be doing it, and the Phillies have done it.
This is Matt Klentak’s guy. So now the clock will finally start for the GM.
All in all, I kind of like this hire.
It’s an outside the box choice (which I wanted) and a guy who has been around the game.
Kapler has a lot of energey and is a bit of a nut, which could relate well to this city.
We’ll see about the analytics side. This may drive fans crazy, (myself included) at times, but regardless of who Matt Klentak hired, it was going to be an analytics driven manger.
It is now on Matt Klentak to make the necessary moves to help his hand picked manager and to build this team into a World Series contender.
Kapler is a health freak. He was brought into LA to help change the way the players ate. They moved junk food out and organic food in. I would imagine we would see more the same here.