The Phillies named Gabe Kapler as their new manager on Monday, making him the 54th manager in franchise history.
Kapler will replace former manager Pete Mackanin as he prepares for his new role as special assistant to the general manager. Kapler has had some managerial experience in the past in the minor-leagues during his brief retirement in 2007. He also coached team Israel during the qualifying stages of the World Baseball Classic in 2013.
Kapler now serves as the third youngest active manager in Major League Baseball at the age of 42 after beating out current Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs Manager Dusty Wathan for the job; along with former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. His analytic approach to the game will be a sure difference within the organization moving forward.
In a statement released by the Phillies, General Manager Matt Klentak praised Kapler’s leadership and “progressive” way of thinking. He also noted that Kapler is the “right person to guide this organization into the future.”
Kapler has been far from inactive since his permanent retirement from baseball in 2011. He has since taken jobs with Baseball Prospectus and Fox Sports before being hired as the director of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. Kapler’s role within the Dodgers’ front office involved hiring staffers for the team’s minor league affiliates along with handling player logistics.
During his 12-year playing career, Kapler spent time with the Red Sox, Rangers, Rays, Rockies, Tigers, and Brewers. He had a career batting average of .268 with 82 home runs, and 386 RBI’s.
The statement released by Kapler and the Phillies expressed his excitement about his new role as manager. Kapler stated in an interview, “I believe there is no better place to build a winning environment, and I take that task very seriously.”
With the new era of Phillies baseball ready to begin in April, fans all around the city are eager to see what the future holds for not only Kapler, but the entire Phillies organization.