Why Phillies Invited Almost All Coaches Back Despite Firing Gabe Kapler - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Why Phillies Invited Almost All Coaches Back Despite Firing Gabe Kapler

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gabe Kapler Fired by Phillies

    The Philadelphia Phillies have fired Manager Gabe Kapler after two seasons of non-winning baseball.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019)

    So Gabe Kapler is out as Phillies manager, but nearly every coach on his staff has been invited back for the 2020 season.

    Not very common.

    In addition to announcing Kapler's dismissal Thursday morning, the Phillies also announced that bench coach Rob Thomson, first base coach Paco Figueroa, third base coach Dusty Wathan, infield coach Bobby Dickerson, catching coaches Bob Stumpo and Craig Driver, bullpen coach Jim Gott, assistant pitching coach Dave Lundquist and assistant hitting coach Pedro Guerrero were invited back.

    Chris Young will not return as pitching coach, nor will Charlie Manuel as hitting coach. Manuel's emergency stint as hitting coach was always expected to last only seven weeks. He will resume his role as senior advisor to the general manager.

    The Phillies' next manager will likely have the decision on those two jobs, pitching coach and hitting coach, the two most important spots below manager on a staff. 

    Head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and assistant trainer Chris Mudd did not have their contracts renewed. Sheridan was with the Phillies for 13 years. It's pretty silly to blame him for the team's myriad injuries in 2019, but this regime has slowly phased out members of the one which preceded it.

    There's logic behind keeping the guys they kept. Thomson is a well-respected baseball man who spent 10 years on the Yankees' staff before joining the Phillies in 2018. He should get an interview for the managerial job but can continue to provide value in his current role.

    Wathan knows many of these Phillies players inside and out from his years managing in the minors.

    The Phillies' baserunning improved this season and Figueroa played a role in that.

    The Phillies' catching metrics were off the charts this season, largely because of J.T. Realmuto, but Realmuto's pitch-framing in 2019 was better than ever. It was worth keeping that catching tandem in tact.

    It had become apparent in recent days that Kapler's job was on the line but not those of GM Matt Klentak or team president Andy MacPhail, who are just as much to blame for the Phillies' current position as Kapler, if not more so.

    That, too, was confirmed in Klentak's statement Thursday, which he ended with:

    "In the coming weeks, John (Middleton), Andy and I will work diligently with others in our Baseball Operations department to find the right individual to build upon the existing foundation and bring a championship home to Philadelphia," he wrote.

    Klentak's seat is even warmer now than it was two weeks ago. If the Phillies disappoint again in 2020, Klentak's fifth season on the job, it's hard to see him surviving again.

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