After two years and an 161-163 record, the Phillies have decided to part ways with manager Gabe Kapler.
Expectations were high in Philadelphia after the Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million contract. Yet they finished fourth in the NL East, in front of only the tanking Miami Marlins. Kapler’s record improved only one game in 2019 (80-82 in 2018, 81-81 in 2019), despite signing a superstar in Harper.
A Phillies managing partner said this in a statement regarding the firing, ““I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager. I am indebted to Gabe for the steadfast effort, energy and enthusiasm that he brought to our club, and we are unquestionably a better team and organization as a result of his contributions.”
This is little consolation to Philadelphia fans, who expected immediate contention, with a lineup featuring new stars like Harper, Corey Dickinson, Odubel Herrera and Rhys Hoskins. They also featured veteran talent such as Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutchen.
Their team ERA sat at 4.53 in 2019, while their batting average as a whole was .246. Those numbers are not completely on the coaching staff and managers, but clearly better situational baseball could have been played. That is likely why Philadelphia started at the top with Kapler.
Two other teams in the NL East made the playoffs in the Atlanta Braves (division winner) and the Washington Nationals. 2019 marked the eighth year in a row Philadelphia did not see a game of postseason action.
No names have been given for the coaching search. Their NL East rival Washington Nationals will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, starting Friday.
Featured Image courtesy of Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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