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.
i don’t care if him and Zaidi are best buds, he’s not a good manager and doesn’t deserve to be considered for the position.
I keep hearing he’s terrible. Two September collapses don’t make a manager terrible. At all really.
Are there other, credible reasons why the consensus is he’s terrible?
Kapler’s resume makes him less qualified to take on a manager’s role for a win-now team than some other candidates. Unless SF is no longer a win-now team and will rebuild. Then Kapler is a candidate.
I appreciate your reply but that doesn’t answer my question.
He wasnt able to actually manage the team. He wanted to be liked. His constant failure to establish that not running out hits should be a glaring indicator. Segura, Hernandez, Franco, etc had this recurring issue all year and his response FINALLY to bench Hernandez resulted in Hernandez ty thinking he had a day off and it wasnt even a punishment. He wanted to be liked and be friends. That was painfully obvious.
The collapse wasnt entirely his fault but he routinely also made the worst of a bad situation. He constantly tinkered with the lineup because the spreadsheet said to. He made egregious pitching and pinch hitting changes that I guess looked good on paper but didnt pan out (whod have though that Phil Gosselin was a less reliable pinch hitter than Jay Bruce? Lol)
And on and on
My answer solved everything. It’s hard to make a case for a guy who’s two seasons proved to fall short of expectations.
If Kapler wanted to be liked, that’s another good reason NOT to hire him.
SF is no where near a win now team
If you want to think so.
Kahnkobra – I agree with you.
dimit – If you think Kapler is the best available manager then I’m sorry to say you might be on your own.
Thanks for the analysis. I’d only say that lineup tinkering in this age may be a new reality. (If I heard correctly Kevin Cash used 160 different lineups this regular season.)
I agree. Lineup tinkering is one of those perceived flaws some fans tend to use to criticize a manager they don’t like. It has no legs since it’s common throughout baseball these days. I think Joe Maddon might be the king lineup tinkerer.
Nowhere was that said. If you’d like you can re-read what I wrote, or discard.
This is correct. They are in the beginning stages of a massive 4-5 rebuild. The SF job is one of the least desirable. Comparatively speaking. Top candidates will be interested in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Anaheim, San Diego. Not Frisco
Now minus bumgarner and smith things will get interesting.
What are you talking about.The Giants are already in full rebuild mode.
Vince – Until SF actually proves it, we’ll wait before saying they are rebuilding. Because they should have started the rebuild a year ago and didn’t. That franchise is the most no-brainer rebuild-now team and yet they have waited.
they are a rebuild team
How in the world are the Giants a win now team?
He also had no help from the front office when it came to his pitching staff. I wouldn’t say he’s a great or bad manager, but it’s hard to win when you can only really trust a few of your pitchers.
as bad as the talent was in some areas, he made way to many miscues to be excused. he overmanaged the pen and started guys in the lineup that had no buissness being there. he hired assistant coaches whose ideas almost ruined the two decent pitchers they actually had and got little out of a talented lineup. a good manager could have made the playoffs with that team, and Kapler would have done just as bad with a better team.
Look, I’m an O’s fan. I can state clearly what made Buck Showalter a great manager, and then what later made him not good. I can do the same with what makes Brandon Hyde at least the right guy for the job (even if I wouldn’t call him good to great yet). I’m hoping I can hear something similar re Kapler.
Phillies fan here. He’s a good manager. The September collapses were much more about the roster than him. It’s not fair to cite the 2018 collapse when that team wasn’t ever supposed to be close to that good to begin with. His handling of the bullpen in the last two months of the year was very good. He got the most he could out of a bunch of guys that frankly don’t belong in the big leagues. He took the fall for a front office that decided it wasn’t worth going for it at the trade deadline.
The Phillies were the only team to finish .500 or better with a negative run differential. And it was negative freakin’ twenty. That says all you need to know about what he had to work with. I’m not saying he’s perfect because he definitely has flaws, but those flaws I think he can and will improve on. The most important thing is that he knows how to push the right buttons game.
Good post. The only issue I see is that it seems like he took the fall for the owner despite the wishes of the FO, that is if I’m reading the article correctly.
The whole place sounds like a mess, seems there’s not cohesion vertically within the ML team.
Yeah unfortunately Middleton is starting to sound a lot like Daniel Snyder and other owners who are way too involved in baseball ops. He doesn’t want to fire his GM or President because those were his hires and he just prematurely extended them before the 2019 season. It’s going to be quite some time before the Phillies are legitimate contenders again.
A mess is an understatement. Everyone was so focused on the front office (rightfully so) that the owner was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind until yesterday’s press conference where he exposed himself as the real problem.
The team quit and folded both years. Elfin was coached to follow analytics by coaches and he sucked. Finally he ignores them and did what he’d had success with and turned it around. Hoskins slumped the entire 2nd half and minimal adjustments were made.If you want him at it. The man won’t discipline slackers and has no feel for the game.
Some of that negative run differential wa because he regularly pitched position players when behind. Most of those runs came in ONE freaking game !
The negative run differential could have been avoided if Kapler would get away from analytics a little. His defensive positioning was awful and angered his pitching staff.
Aaron Nola was not a fan of his at all. When Kapler was shaking hands with his players following the end of their last game, Nola walked right past him.
I disagree with you that his handling of the bullpen was good. He constantly overworked the same pitchers. That is the reason so many of his relievers got injured. He has no clue how to handle his pitching staff.
Kapler has no feel for the game. He relies too much on the numbers and doesn’t go with his gut. He needs to get his head out of his I=Pad. He and his hitting coach completely screwed up Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins has always had a good eye and knows how to be selective. Kapler & the initial coach kept telling Hoskins that he needed to see more pitches & Hoskins comlpletely lost his rhythm.
Another problem Kapler had is that he played favorites. He lost the faith of a lot of the Latino players because of the preferential treatment he gave to his buddy Sean Rodriguez over Makail Franco. Yes, Franco was not the best, but neither was Rodriguez and the versaitility argument did not fly with them because the team also had Brad Miller & Scott Kingery who could play multiple positions.
Rodriguez being out of options may have been part of it.. But I’ve wondered since last off season why Knapp is still their backup catcher. He’s provided nothing and should have been sent down to AAA.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
Frank, 90% of what you say is true; I do agree…. I still maintain he was a horrible manager though. I agree about your assessment that the team was ill constructed by management and that they are the real culprits to the collapse; but he did not make lemonade out of lemons. The bullpen did what it did despite his moves not because. Same with the team.
Now, I also agree that second time managers are better . Phillies had Tito in the 1990s and he is pretty good now. AJ Hinch was terrible with the D-Backs and he is really good now. So I agree that Kapler has the potential, but he was just dreadful in these two seasons. I think he personally was responsible for 10-15 games in 2018 and maybe 5 in 2019. So he improved, but… Too late. Klentak and him both needed to go.
Thanks for the explanation/analysis.
Marc there’s a difference between Francona and Kapler; Tito’s 90’s Phillies were a rebuild with a young Scott Rolen, Bob Abreu and others. I also remember taking a road trip to the Vet in ’99 when the Phils were still in a WC hunt in early August. Then the wheels fell off for them.
Kapler took on a win-now Phillies, not a rebuild like Francona.
Best part of that trip; bought an engraved wood bat made at the park, “Stick By Stan”. Still have that bat. Pretty cool.
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Dimit-Kapler was not liked by the fans from the start.This is Philadelphia and you do not get the benefit of any doubt here.I think that he probably needs to learn how to use the bullpen better but that is my gut talking and many managers are not strong in that area.
He needs to be tougher with the players and more straight up with the press.He is too blue sky.
The owner wants a more experienced manager at this point.If he had been terrible he would have been fired before the season ended.If he learns from his mistakes,as sometimes it takes a firing to do,he can manage in the future.
His California lifestyle was disliked by many fans from the start.The fit would definitely be better in SF.He was a hard worker and listened to everyone.I think though that he was too much a slave to analytics.
If Zaidi realizes that it is a semi rebuild then Kapler has a decent chance to get hired if he comes across well in the interview and has reflected on his shortcomings well.
I agree that Kapler was too positive for Negadelphia. Philly never likes any of its managers unless they win. Just ask Charlie Manuel who was considered a bumbling idiot the first few years by and and media until he won in 2008. I agree Kapler would probably do much better with the southern Cal fanbase.
He deserves a chance with a team that has a chance at least. The teams that finished ahead in the division and the wild card were simply better than they were. The idea he misused the bullpen is difficult for me to understand when in a sense he had no bullpen. You can point to him overusing the same guys but when nobody else can get an out and you are in a position to win the game what do you do? If he had pitched one of their scrubs in a situation like that fans would be up in arms screaming how could he pitch a bullpen scrub in that spot? When you hire a manager with no experience two years isn’t enough even if he made some mistakes. If the Phillies were better constructed I’d understand the argument that they couldn’t let another season with a chance go by but they just weren’t good enough. They signed Harper and traded for Realmuto which were upgrades(even if I think Harper was a mistake). But they left gaping pitching holes. There really isn’t a great way to manage a bullpen that’s just plain bad. Some guys aren’t good enough to match up well against anyone in the majors. Until he gets to manage a better team or one with realistic expectations the jury is still out in my opinion
OK let’s turn it around, what credible evidence do you have that he is a good manager worth hiring ?
I am not making a case that he is a great manager. I am challenging the consensus thinking that just impulsively and relentlessly attacks him and his managerial skills. If anything, I am professing a certain level of ignorance in this and wishing to know from people who actually watch him on a day-to-day basis (just as I do with my Orioles).
If you read through there are many
reason a given that he was in over his head. Maybe he learns from
his mistakes but there wasn’t much evidence in Philadelphia.
Two collapses in a row do not help either
As a Phillies fan, here you go:
He doesn’t hold players accountable.
He has no authoritative control of a clubhouse
He consistently blows positive smoke while he’s shoveling his BS manure at press conferences
Oh yeah, he has no clue how to handle a pitching staff, managing every out like it’s Game 7 of the WS AND he consistent;y relies on a computer even if the laws of physics state otherwise.
Is that enough?
The guy is a great human being, do not get me wrong. The charity work that the guy does and what he gives back is awesome, he’s just not, at this point, fit or qualified to handle a MLB team.
They said the same thing about Tito Francona after he finished his third losing year as manager of the Phillies. He subsequently managed Boston and in Cleveland with great success. The Giants would not lose much by giving Kapler a try. Gabe’s time in Philadelphia certainly had to have been a learning experience.
I liked Kapler. I hope he gets another shot, but the last 2 collapses are inexcusable. He had to be let go, even though it wasn’t entirely his fault.
No, he didn’t have to be let go.
yes he did. he did a terrible job and public sentiment wanted him gone.
Again I’m not seeing how he did a terrible job. As for public sentiment, it’s Philly. The reputation of their public sentiment is historically problematic.
By all means, hire him and push back your rebuild 2 years or more.
Look at the Phillies August and September records the last two years and tell me the teams didn’t quit on him .
Just looked. The teams didn’t quit on him.
Most of the returning players from last year regressed with the exception of Kingery who had a brutal rookie year.
It’s not what you say in interviews it’s the effort and results that were clearly not there.
Yes, because mob rule is always the smart way to go.
In any sport, the manager is the PR person for the field club. Gabe was DOA in Philly. The majority of fans never gave him a chance. If the fans don’t like the manager, then that manager is screwed.
Think of it the other way, look at Larry Bowa in Philly. Man is a God.
It’s from not trading Bumgarner and Smith and now probably hiring Kapler… at least Zaidi got us Dubon and Yaz.
What happens if he wasn’t the problem but instead the gm and owner of the Phillies were the problem? Shrugs
than Klentak is fired. the only reason he is still around is because he was just extended. Middleton is smart enough to know he might not be the best option, but he’s also smart enough to know he can light a fire under Klentak’s butt if he wishes too, and if it doesn’t work than he is gone before the 2020 World Series ends.
Dubon was a hell of a pick up
I keep hearing this narrative. I can’t yet judge FZ on not trading Bumgarner and Smith. I say this only because we don’t know if any legitimate offers were ever received in trade talks.
Look at the running links shared by MLB Trade Rumors this whole season – they continually tell the story of teams not valuing Bumgarner very highly-
I’m a Giants fan and totally biased, but I think Bum has value, but what if the league doesn’t value him? Do you trade a franchise Icon for some scrubs?? Unless we get information saying some franchise was willing to give up a couple of top 100 prospects – I can’t state if FZ made a good move or a bad move.
All I can say is the A’s and Dodgers most likely wish they would have traded for Bumgarner. Bumgarner to the A’s made so much sense it’s ridiculous.
I have the same sentiment regarding Smith , minus the emotional attachment. My assumption is the offers didn’t meet a reasonable expectation.
Just my 2 cents
Hensley Meulens deserves a shot, especially with a rebuilding team.
Kapler has some red flags character-wise from his time with the Dodgers. Not sure why he’d be sought after given that he doesn’t seem to be a good manager in the first place.
Hensley Meulens was a terrible hitting coach and as a bench coach I don’t know.
I really don’t want him to manage the Giants. If you want someone in-house then it should be Ron Wotus, he’s been with the Giants for 32 years and has done everything except manager at the big league level. He has a fiery personality that might wake up the veterans and motivate the rookies.
I have no personal knowledge as to whether Meulens was a good or bad hitting coach, and neither do you. If you think it’s quantifiable by a team’s BA, or HR totals you are completely misguided.
There are a lot of professional hitters in every team’s organization, both active and now coaching. If a hitting coach, or any coach for that matter, is not doing a good job, he doesn’t last. I’m not sure why you think you’re a better judge of Meulens’ coaching ability than the those in the Giant’s org.
Wotus / Meulens just coached the Giants their 3rd consecutive below .500 losing season and Giants fans think that Zaidi should reward someone from that coaching staff w/ the managerial job? Really? Farhan was not hired to do that ridiculous nonsense. They had Bobby Evans for that sort of thing
Wotus deserves a shot well before Meulens…..he is well experienced as a major coach and has been a very successful minor league manager. He is also very well liked in the clubhouse and his appointment would be a positive step by management in keeping some of your key free agents.
Zaidi knows about those flags , so he’s going to hire him
If not the Manager. Farhan knows him well from the Dodgers for other positions. . .
Might be a steal.
Farhan’s Still building his front office. And stated. Sometimes the best Managers are ones onto their second stint. Not Their First. !
– My Opinion. I’d pass as a Manager at This point. But he might be cool as an organizational guy. Farhan would know better than me.
SF has an offseason question; are they trying to win or trying to rebuild. If a rebuild is in the cards then hire Kapler. Let him and the team grow together. If SF is really trying to win, hire the best manager. No argument can/should be made for Kapler being the best manager.
They already started rebuilding. What are you talking about?
They have started absolutely nothing, Vince. When they do it will have been a year too late. So, what are you talking about?
They dabbled their toes in rebuilding and blurred the lines between tearing down and contending. If they had accepted the full rebuild mindset, Bumgarner and Smith would not have finished the season on the roster.
gmen – exactly.
Good move. I know I’m in the minority in saying this but he’s a good manager. Really curious to see what he could do with an organization that knows what it’s doing.
Serenity now !!!
Can we (the posting community) get an apology from mlb trade rumors for their aggressive censorship regarding the Tyler Skaggs story? Everyone who posted at that time who said he was clearly an addict had their posts removed. I’m sure this site will ignore the facts that came out today.
Show Me Your Tatis
Comment removed in 5… 4… 3… 2…
no, I hope it stays up like Sampson’s did. no reason to not have to own one’s stupidity.
Irrelevant. This is a private website, they can choose what is discussed and frankly the talk of his addiction is disrespectful and MLBTR has the right to not allow disrespectful comments to remain on their website.
Down vote for you!
The Panda for manager.
Panda for Director of Concessions and Fan Experience
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Panda would eat and drink all of the concessions before anyone else had a chance to.
Only if Boston pays his salary.
Goes on to coach team to WS victory. Phillies then realize they needed to fire McPhail and Klentak.
Starting pitching is overrated anyway.
Bizarro world when kapler’s the manager in sf and dusty baker gets the gig in philly.
Kapler is a sabr puppet, so Farhan will most likely hire him.
Kapler has his head stuck in his I-Pad. He has no feel for the game. He relies solely on the numbers and that doesn’t work. His pitchers hated him because of the way handled the staff & because of the way he positioned the defense.
So, again, I write too express why I think Kapler needed to go..
You guys/gals tell me…
You are down by 1 run..8th inning..runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1st base open and there are two outs..up steps Freddie Freeman..do you walk him, or pitch to him??????
Kapler pitched to him.. 2 runs scored on a base hit…that is just one example..there are so many, there isn’t room here for them….
Kapler gets hired by SF and I am convinced he is LAD’s Trojan horse. Not that they need one.
Who needseed a Trojan horse when you’re already your own worst enemy ?
I dunno. But I randomly ran into Bochy at the park today. He was surveying new locations for the bullpens. Guess this is his version of retirement. His successor is going to have big shoes, er, a big hat to fill.
Part of me wonders if Wotus is just a bad interview. He has plenty of experience but no one seems to be willing to give him a shot.
Phils season ticket holder here. From what I’ve seen over two years, he’s going through growing pains. He definitely gets too chummy with his players, but he’s still young. He needs to find a better balance between analytics and gut feelings. But this year he had a decimated bullpen, lousy starting pitching and dumpster dive replacements. Still managed a .500 record. I think he improved from last year. He needs seasoning. He’s a smart guy, he’ll figure it out.
Kapler is arguably one of the better guys the Giants could get. Of all the managerial vacancies,the Giants job is one of the least desirable. Bad team in the beginning of a massive rebuild, they’re gonna lose a lot of games over the next 3 years.That’s risky. Chicago, NY, PHL, SD much better gigs. Top candidates will go there before San Francisco. However, Gabe’s relationship w/ Farhan might trump the potential pit falls of the Giants job. If he’s interviewing he’s clearly interested
Ability to have a massive payroll, rebuilt farm system. Increase in wins over last couple of years. Least desirable? Gtfoh
Clint Hurdle or Brad Ausmus?
Mendoza Line 215
I think that Clint is done.
He is 63 and shows no energy for the job.
He possibly could go to KC for their rebuild as he did play there and they are not real close to contending.
I do not see him anywhere else.
Cause they figure “heck, can’t be any worse right?” This guy took a good team and under performed every year hahaha
Not sure what rosters you’re talking about.
Wow… What a downgrade Kapler would be compared to Bochy. That’s like taking zero steps forward and eleven steps back. I have heard a lit of rumors that Bochy only retired because SF didn’t truly want him anymore and that hr might actually immediately come out of retirement to resign with the Padres. Wouldn’t it be funny if he did that and the Giants actually gave Bochy to a division rival for the sole purpose of replacing him with terrible Gabe Kappler? I mean, I know Giants fans wouldn’t find it funny but everyone else would at least find it funny weird, right? Who would honestly rather have Gabe Kapler at the helm over Bochy. Even more funny would be if Bochy signed with Philadelphia. That would be like SF making a willing trade of Bochy for Kapler. I feel like this is overhyped. Zaidi has to be smarter than that.
I’d rather have Kotsay or Wotus
Yet I can’t see to comment on the Skaggs story. Pure coincidence, I guess.
I liked Kapler. I hope he gets another job. He was just too sunny for Negadelphia.
Mendoza Line 215
They were not going to win this year anyway with the starters that they had and the injuries to the bullpen.
They could have easily gone south like the Pirates did this year.
I’d rather take Stephen Vogt as a player manager
If Faidi hires Kapler, the Giants will win the NL West next year. Kapler’s problem in Philly was his inept Ivy League nerd of a GM giving him crappy starting pitching both years.
Only Nola gave the Phillies a chance to win. The other starting pitchers were scratch-off lottery tickets, and you can find them discarded in the parking lots of 7-11s across the country.
I don’t buy that Kapler wasn’t a Philly kind of guy. Lived there all my life and I’m still not sure what the media means by that sobriquet. Fact is, if the Phillies made the playoffs, Kapler would be a Philly kind of guy.
Winning cures everything.
I am from Philly as well and can’t stand how narrow minded and short sighted the vocal majority of the fan base is. They have very short memories and forget that Doug Peterson and Charlie Manuel were “idiots” until they won. There was enough evidence to suggest that Gabe is a good manager with a bright future but the fan base never got over Nola being pulled on opening day 2018. Who cares about his postgame pressers? Why does he have to sit there and hang his guys out to dry, scream and curse to be accepted? There’s more than one way to motivate and Philly is too stubborn to accept a positive and forward thinking approach. I can’t wait to see what he’s capable of in a stable franchise with a front office that’s willing to support him on the field. It’s absurd that the front office got to play the long game while he had to win now. Talent makes all of the difference in the world. Need an example? The Nationals are two wins away from the World Series with DAVEY FREAKIN’ MARTINEZ as their manager. Has anyone ever watched him manage a game????
A very astute post. And don’t forget about the fan reaction when the Eagles hired Andy Reid instead of one of the bigger names who were available. Could there be an image any more in contradiction with the term, “Philly Guy” than a chubby Mormon from Utah who no one ever heard of until the Eagles hired him?
The Raiders’ Al Davis said it best: “Just win, baby!”. Fact is, the Phillies could hire Humpty Dumpty to manage the team if they fixed their starting pitching and maybe signed an Anthony Rendon and they might win it all.
Unless the manager totally alienates the players, all he really has to do with a good team is post the line up, get out of the way and let ’em play. That’s what Chollie and Fregosi did.
Hope they get it done. Have ardently followed this team every year since 1955 when I was nine-years-old. All I have to show for 65 years of devotion are two WS wins and a season (1964) that still haunts me to this day.
When I look at a Manager, I start with the bullpen. That’s where the Manager can make the most difference. Its how and when he uses them makes an enormous difference. Bruce Bochy, Buck Showalter and Lou Piniella could get the most from their pens. I thought Gabe Kapler managed a good pen for the personnel he had. Lineup tinkering is part of managing. However, I don’t like when a fast runner bats behind 1-2 slow or poor runners. It negates one asset.
The players not giving 100% is just as much the front office. The Phillies give me the impression of being lawless. They don’t hustle, don’t play defense and don’t respect the Manager.
I would say Kapler would be a fine manager for a mid tier team that isn’t in a win now mode. Idk, like the Padres maybe? But the Giants doesn’t really work in my opinion. For a contending team I can definitely see him as a 3rd base coach or something like that for a team with an older manager. Sort of a liaison of sorts
I called this. Zaidi is bad. I like the fact that he is going to keep the Giants in the cellar.