The Philadelphia Phillies have yet to come to a resolution on manager Gabe Kapler’s future with the club, a report from NBC Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury suggested on Wednesday.
“The intrigue continues,” Salisbury noted, as Kapler remains on the hot seat following a disappointing 2019 season that many believe is enough to show him the door.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark added that a decision might not come until next week.
Kapler has spent two seasons with the organization, going 161-163. He has one year remaining on his contract.
The Phillies’ front office attempted to supply Kapler with a legitimate contender. They spent over $400 million last offseason acquiring Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, and reliever David Robertson — while adding JT Realmuto via trade with the Miami Marlins — only to miss the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season.
There was plenty of blame to go around for the 81-81 campaign when preseason expectations had the Phillies not only pushing for the National League East crown but the NL pennant.
Injuries ran rampant through the clubhouse. In total, 22 players were placed on the injured list, amounting to a dizzying 1,635 lost games.
Robertson — who was supposed to help fix the Phillies’ bullpen — appeared in just seven games while McCutchen lasted 59 games before tearing his ACL.
Starter Jake Arrieta continued to fail to meet expectations of becoming Aaron Nola’s No. 2 in the rotation before he was shut down early for a bone spur in his elbow that he admirably tried to pitch through.
Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, and Vince Velasquez did little to support Nola, either.
Rhys Hoskins’ second-half slump left Harper and Realmuto on an offensive island at times during the summer as they were tasked in sparking a sputtering group of bats.
While Kapler was behind the proverbial eight-ball for most of the season, he did little to help his case.
He constantly mismanaged his bullpen, made questionable lineup decisions, and was unable to get the most out of his roster — no matter how shorthanded it was.
Still, the Phillies waiting to pull the trigger suggests that the front office having a difficult time making a decision.
General manager Matt Klentak — who is on thin ice himself — gave Kapler a vote of confidence just last month when the team was amid an 11-16 September that eliminated them from playoff contention.
Harper also went to bat for Kapler, saying that the lost season wasn’t Kapler’s fault.
Those are two big names that Phillies owner John Middleton is likely consulting with while deciding on the manager’s future.