Chicago Cubs Interviewing Gabe Kapler
There are potentially good times yet ahead for the first-time manager with another chance to manage. As reported by Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports, the former player now manager is interviewing to proceed now-former Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon.
Kapler Among a Large Field
The Cubs are seemingly moving pretty fast especially considering the fact that they’ve already talked with a multitude of other candidates. They’ve already talked with first-base coach Will Venable, former New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, current bench coach Mark Loretta, and former catcher David Ross. That is on top of one more reported interview with Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada.
Kapler’s up and down History
With a 161-163 record across two seasons, there isn’t a whole lot of success to look at for Kapler. He was brought on to present a fresh, new perspective and to better relate to the younger players. That didn’t necessarily happen with reported club-house struggles, especially with veteran players. His narrative has changed from a shift happy lineup changing the style to a more traditional setup as of this past season.
That change has included a far more subdued approach that still drew criticism. Such criticism came in his lineup changes that included Bryce Harper in the third spot despite the analytical numbers pointing elsewhere. That’s without looking at the regression of key players within the Phillies organization. Players like Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco and more who have all regressed in performance across the 2019 season.
Another Connection Looms
The Cubs aren’t the only team linked to a possible connection with Kapler. Not everyone shares the thoughts of Phillies owner John Middleton. In fact, the former 12-year player has become beloved by those he worked with over the years. That list includes San Franciso Giants President of Baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi. Both worked together within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Both also share similar interests in experimentations in analytical thinking within traditional practices.
Whether through the Cubs or the Giants, a second chance could prove to be the coming-out party that Kapler needs. After all, it did work out for former first-time managers Joe Girardi and AJ Hinch. Ultimately both teams would like experience but as recent hires, Kapler’s former included, has taught us, the experience is not the only factor.