Let the finger-pointing begin. The Phillies started their season on a high note. Matt Klentak’s “objectionably excellent” offseason brought with it hopes of a world series run. Those dreams have been unrealistic for some time now. On Tuesday, the Phillies dropped a 4-1 decision to the Washington Nationals and were officially eliminated. Ironically Bryce Harper’s old team eliminates his new team.
Klentak just doesn’t seem to get Philadelphia. Jon Marks, of the WIP afternoon show, stated that Klentak recently boasted that the Phillies made the right moves and the fans were upset with the lack of execution. Well yeah, that’s kind of a no brainer Matty? We had expectations that this team was going to the playoffs at the very least. However, you failed to address the main problem of the previous year, the rotation.
Everybody knows that injuries are part of sports and that there really isn’t anything one can do about them. Klentak could have. He chose to not to chase any of the star pitchers that were available. Those pitchers he added were band-aids at best. Turns out his plan was not what they needed.
“At this point, he’s our manager…”
Is there anything more telling than those words from Bryce Harper? According to former Phillies closer, Mitch Williams, those words speak volumes. Williams said this morning that Harper’s words were the politically correct way of saying they need to change managers.
Local sports media personalities all seem to be in agreement. They believe that the Phillies are going to fire Kapler. With names like Joe Girardi available and possibly Joe Maddon, it is not unlike John Middleton to go get a big name manager.
However, the problem of the roster still exists. The Phillies are two top of the rotation starters away from making any run. Aaron Nola has been average at best. Certainly not the type of performance that is expected of a staff ace. So I ask you all, is Kapler really the problem? Did Kapler’s shortcomings as a manager cost the Phillies the playoffs? If you have to keep one, would you rather keep Kapler or Klentak?
Rhys Hoskins Struggles
Jim Salisbury wrote the following today regarding Hoskins’ struggles. “Back in spring training, it at least seemed possible that the Phillies would try to lock up Hoskins with a long-term contract this winter. That is highly doubtful now. It might even be more plausible that the Phillies shop him in a trade for pitching.”
John Kruk said that the analytic approach had really hurt Hoskins by getting in his head. Mitch Williams agreed with this assessment. Hoskins has been batting .182 since the All-star break. Hoskins has been on a steady decline since his rookie season. However, we need to look at this for what it is, Hoskins had a bad season. After he clears his head and takes some time off in the offseason, we should expect him to turn it around.
Regardless, the Phillies need to make a major change. I expect Kapler to be the fall guy. Here is hoping Middleton replaces Klentak as well.
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports