Phillies turn to Kapler as next manager
The Philadelphia Phillies went outside the organization and perhaps outside the box to get a new manager.
Former major-league outfielder Gabe Kapler was hired Monday, completing a search that lasted one month.
“I’m equal parts honoured, humbled and excited by the opportunity with the Phillies, an elite franchise in a city rich in history, tradition, sports excellence and with amazingly passionate fans,” Kapler said. “I believe there is no better place to build a winning environment and I take that task very seriously.”
Kapler has served as director of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2014. Kapler will be introduced after the World Series ends with Los Angeles trailing the Houston Astros 3-2 going into Tuesday’s Game 6.
The 42-year-old Kapler replaces Pete Mackanin, who moved into a front-office position. Kapler batted .268 with 82 homers and 386 RBIs over 12 seasons with six teams between 1998-2010. He had no previous ties to the Phillies.
“Gabe has a track record of leadership, winning, progressive thinking and working with young players and we fully believe that he is the right person to guide this organization into the future,” general manager Matt Klentak said.
That “progressive” thinking includes a fondness for analytics and sports science, two important areas for Philadelphia’s management group. Klentak said he wanted a manager with a new voice and new style to lead the Phillies into contention. They finished 66-96, but a talented core of young players improved in the second half.
Kapler’s only managerial experience came in 2007 when he took a season off from playing to lead Boston’s single-A affiliate. He also coached Israel during 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifying.