The Philadelphia Phillies officially named Gabe Kapler as their 54th manager in franchise history. Kapler spent the past three seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers director of player development.
“I’m equal parts honored, humbled and excited by the opportunity with the Phillies, an elite franchise in a city rich in history, tradition, sports excellence and with amazingly passionate fans,” Kapler said in a statement. “I believe there is no better place to build a winning environment, and I take that task very seriously.”
After his first season with the Dodgers, Kapler was among the candidates to interview for the managerial job following the mutually parting with Don Mattingly. Kapler was widely viewed as the favorite to become Dodgers manager, but he finished as the runner-up to Dave Roberts.
Kapler joins Alex Cora and Roberts as recent notable hires who did not have previous managerial experience in the Majors.
Kapler did manage the Boston Red Sox’s Single-A affiliate in 2007 and coached the Israeli national team at the World Baseball Classic in 2013.
During his time overseeing the Dodgers farm system, their Minor League affiliates went a combined 1,299-1,128 with eight first-place finishes. Their .535 winning percentage over that span was fourth-best among all 30 clubs and second-best among all National League teams, trailing only the Phillies (.548).
Kapler played parts of 12 seasons in the Majors for the Detroit Tigers (1998-99), Texas Rangers (2000-02), Colorado Rockies (2002-03), Boston Red Sox (2003-06), Milwaukee Brewers (2008) and Tampa Bay Rays (2009-10).
At 42 years old, Kapler is the third-youngest active manager in the major leagues, behind only the San Diego Padres’ Andy Green (40) and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Kevin Cash (39). Kapler is the youngest Phillies manager since Terry Francona was hired in 1996 at the age of 37.
The Phillies are expected to formally introduce Kapler at some point after the conclusion of the World Series.