After much speculation, the Philadelphia Phillies have finally found their next manager. Here’s everything you need to know about Gabe Kapler.
When the Philadelphia Phillies fired their then-manager Pete Mackanin mere days before the end of the 2017 season, many fans and pundits alike wondered what would be next for one of baseball’s most storied franchises.
Would the team go after a manager with Wolrd Series pedigree like say, Joe Girardi, or instead make an out-the-box hiring like say former Phillies great Chase Utley? Well, after going through multiple series of interviews, Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail have found their new manager, Gabe Kapler.
While far from a household name, Kapler on paper looks like a perfect fit for the Phillies both now and in the future. Here’s a quick guide to get to know Kapler.
The Hebrew Hammer
Before entering the coaching ranks, Kapler spent 12 seasons in the MLB as a player.
An outfielder by trade, Kapler spread his playing career out over seven different teams and even made a quick pitstop in Japan to play for the Yomiuri Giants.
And all of his time in the leagues wasn’t just spent as a player.
Even though he spent most of his career as a journeyman rotation player, Kapler did finish his career with 82 home runs, 386 RBIs, and a .268, and even earned himself a pretty sweet nickname; The Hebrew Hammer.
Bringing in a manager with baseball experience should help to get him acclimated immediately to the team’s clubhouse, and should help to establish a blue-collar culture in the next generation of Phillies.
After failing to make the Los Angeles Dodgers’ opening day roster in 2011, Kapler transitioned into the world of baseball analytics by accepting a position at FS1 on their show the Whiparound. Kaplers’ signature segment, Saberclips, explained how advanced analytics and sabermetrics, a current buzzword in the Phillies front office.
This experience both on and off of the field helped Kapler to transition into the Dodgers front office, and blossom into one of MLB’s rising stars. As the league begins to rely more heavily on analytics when scouting, hiring a manager like Kapler with such a thorough understanding of the game will be a major advantage going forward.
And he seems like a good teacher too. Here’s a clip of Kapler explaining the hoe plate collision rule on FS1.
Kapler is not just an X’s and O’s guy, he’s a true student of the game, and should be a great teacher to the Phillies young core of players.
After his playing career ended in 2011, Kapler transitioned into the coaching world. In 2013, the former outfielder was named the manager of the Israeli National Team, but when the team failed to reach the World Baseball Classic, he eventually moved back stateside to join the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ front office.
Only three years removed from playing the game, Kapler was named the Dodgers new Director of Player Development and was charged with building up the team’s farm system.
His experience working closely with young players over the past few season, when paired with his own age of 42, puts Kapler in the perfect position to both empathize with his current players, while also leading them by example.