The Giants are set to interview ex-Phillies manager Gabe Kapler for their vacant managerial position, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Add Kapler’s name to a growing list of known candidates for the San Francisco job, which includes internal options Ron Wotus and Hensley Meulens, as well as Royals quality control/catching coach Pedro Grifol and Athletics quality control coach Mark Kotsay.
Among that group, it’s notable that Kapler is the only candidate with big-league managerial experience. Even so, Kapler has managed just two years at the MLB level and just got out of his first managing gig. That’s not to say that he’s unfit to return to an MLB dugout; it’s not uncommon for first-time managers to experience growing pains before finding success in their second crack at the job.
Of course, Giants president of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi is familiar with Kapler from their time together in the Dodgers organization, where Kapler served as the director of player development, with Heyman going as far as to say that Zaidi “loves” Kapler.
The 44-year-old Kapler has certainly come under his fair share of scrutiny after two disappointing seasons in Philadelphia. A pair of September collapses have seen his teams come up short of the postseason, which, coupled with rising expectations for the team, ultimately spelled his demise. However, Kapler’s intent on managing again, and there’s reason to believe that he could draw significant interest. He reportedly received a glowing recommendation from Zaidi himself while interviewing for the Phillies job, while Phillies GM Matt Klentak expressed confidence in Kapler before ownership overruled him.
While Kapler could be viewed as a favorite for the position, there’s still plenty of ground to cover before a match is made. Reports indicate that Zaidi intends to interview more than a half-dozen candidates before arriving at a decision. Still, Kapler is certainly a name to watch in the Giants’ developing search for Bruce Bochy’s successor.