Is Gabe Kapler on the Hot Seat?
It's no secret that the Phillies first week hasn't gone exactly as planned.
If social media had its way, rookie manager Gabe Kapler might be fired by now, but the first-year skipper settled irrational fans down with a 5-0 home opening win over the Marlins on Thursday.
But that doesn't mean he's off the hot seat just yet.
He was booed by the home fans before the team even stepped on the field during the opener, and long-time MLB writer and insider, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, has him on top of his list of managers on the hot seat.
As one rival official put it, “You had all these managers available—Aaron Boone, Alex Cora, Mickey Callaway, Dave Martinez. You had Joe Girardi and John Farrell out there as well. And you hired the train wreck?”
Such an assessment might be overly harsh this early in the season. But many if not most in the sport believe Kapler in his first week was indeed off the rails.
As fellow MLB insider for the Athletic, Jim Bowden, a former Senior Vice President and General Manager for both the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals writes, Kapler might not be the first manager fired, but does suggest there could be someone they could have their eye on if they choose to go down that road.
He acknowledged that Phillies fans have a right to be upset and vowed to make adjustments moving forward. If he doesn’t, it won’t surprise anyone if Joe Girardi is managing this team by the All-Star break. However, I anticipate that Kapler will be humbled, learn from this, and be able to get the Phillies contending for a wild-card spot.
It's been a tough start of Kapler who was first criticized for pulling his ace, Aaron Nola, after just 68 pitches with a shutout going on Opening Day, then in game No. 3, he made a call to the bullpen with nobody warming up. His team lost a pair of games last week in part to his defensive alignments, and then there was a report of a comment from an anonymous players that the manager just needed to "get out of the way".
Outfielder Nick Williams choose to go on the record, when asked why he's been out of the lineup so much, he replied: "I guess the computers are making it (the lineup).
Kapler addressed that comment with the media:
While Williams is not in the lineup for tonight's game against the Marlins, he said he has spoken the Kapler and cleared the air about his comments.