After 11 long days, John Middleton and the Phillies have finally decided the fate of Gabe Kapler. Thursday at 10:26 am, the Philadelphia Phillies dismissed Gabe Kapler of his duties as manager. Now that the future of Gabe Kapler has finally been decided; the question is who will be the next manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. All signs point to that this was John Middleton’s decision to fire Gabe and not General Manager Matt Klentak. The Phillies released multiple press releases today, and the press release from John Middleton stated that Matt Klentak would lead the search for the team’s next manager. There are a lot of veteran choices and non-veteran choices; the Phillies should decide from. Depending on who the next manager is; it will answer a lot of questions about this organization. Let’s take a look at four possible managerial candidates that could lead the Phillies on the field in the 2020 season.
Joe Girardi: 11 years of managerial experience
Joe Girardi is a top candidate for most of the open managerial position across baseball. Girardi has been the manager of Marlins and Yankees. While the manager of the Marlins for only one year, Girardi had the team over exceeding expectations and eventually won manager of the year. He spent a year out of baseball before being hired as the Yankees manager in 2008. The Yankees won three AL East Division Titles and made it to the playoffs six times while Girardi was the manager. In just his second year as the Yankees manager, Girardi led them to a World Series Championship in 2009, beating the Philadelphia Phillies. Girardi’s managerial record is 910-710, which is a .562 winning percentage. He has the managerial experience that the team should be looking for and is well respected throughout all of baseball. His former employer (Yankees) would recommend him for the job if anyone asked.
Josh Bard: 0 managerial experience, four years of MLB coaching experience
Since Josh Bard retired from baseball, he has been involved in the operations or coaching side of things since the 2013 season. Bard as served as a special assistant to the general manager, pro scout, bullpen coach, and bench coach. He was the Dodgers bullpen coach for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2017 Dodgers’ relievers had an NL record 637 strikeouts and led the NL in bullpen ERA with an ERA of 3.38. Also, the opponents’ batting average was .222, and their K/9.0IP ratio was 10.24. His first year as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, the team had another top bullpen in baseball; ranked among the MLB’s best in ERA (3.35), opponents’ batting average (.221) and WHIP (1.16). While Bard has no managerial experience, he does have MLB level coaching that should be strongly considered. Josh Bard should be on the list of candidates for the next Phillies manager.
Joe Espada: 0 managerial experience, nine years of MLB coaching experience
Espada has been coaching baseball since 2006 but did not start coaching at the major league level till 2010. He was named the third base coach for the Marlins, a position he held till 2013. After turning down a demotion to be the manager of the Jupiter Hammerheads, he left the Marlins organization to join the Yankees as a special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman. From 2015 to 2017, Espada was the Yankees infield and third base coach. Espada is in the process of finishing up his second season as the Astros bench coach. While he has no MLB or MiLB managerial experience, he does have some managerial experience. He has managed the Gigantes de Carolina in the 2014-15 offseason, and the Atenienses de Manatí in the 2012-13 offseason in the Puerto Rican Winter League. With his minor and major league coaching experience, Joe Espada should be another top candidate for the Phillies to consider.
Sam Fuld: 0 managerial or MLB coaching experience
Sam Fuld is a young and up incoming name amongst the baseball when it comes to coaching, managing, and front office roles. Fuld played professionally from 2007 to 2015 with four different organizations. Fuld retired on November 3, 2017, and on that very day, he was hired as the major league player information coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies. In this position, he works closely with the players, coaches, front office, and the research and development department to integrate the use of information in all areas of on-field performance and preparation. After his first year in the role with the Phillies; the Blue Jays interviewed Fuld to be their next manager. Fuld made a strong impression during his interview, but he would later withdraw his name from consideration. Now Fuld is a long shot to land this job. However, if the Phillies do look at some internal candidates, he should be at the top of their list.