The Inquirer’s Matt Gelb reports that the Phillies interviewed about 10 candidates for the position after announcing in September that Mackanin would be moved to the front office next season. Kapler was one of three finalists, joining former Red Sox manager John Farrell and Dusty Wathan, who has managed in Phillies’ minor league system since 2008. Kapler worked in player development for the Tampa Bay Rays and as a TV analyst for Fox Sports before joining the Dodgers’ organization before the 2015 season. He was a finalist to replace Don Mattingly as the Dodgers’ manager after the 2015 season.
“He’s incredibly bright, he’s a tremendous leader of people, and he’s an exceptional communicator,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said upon hiring Kapler as the team’s farm director. “It’s so hard for players, who are so mired in it, to sometimes see the bigger picture or even look at it from a different perspective. Gabe is incredibly skilled at seeing things at different perspectives.”
Kapler is a proponent of advanced analytics who has attempted to educate players about more important statistics than the traditional ones, including batting average and RBI, found on the backs of baseball cards. Kapler will become at least the third new manager in the National League’s East Division next season. The Washington Nationals formally announced Dave Martinez as their replacement for Dusty Baker on Monday, and the New York Mets hired former Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway to replace Terry Collins earlier this month.