PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies have fired manager Gabe Kapler, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia reporter Jim Salisbury, who tweeted the news Thursday morning.
Kapler went 161-163 in two seasons as the Phillies’ manager, including an 81-81 campaign this past season. Philadelphia did not make the playoffs in either year.
But expectations were much higher for the team heading into this season after the front office went on a free-agent spending spree, culminating with the signing of outfielder Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal in March.
The Phillies got off to a strong start early in the season and were 11 games over .500 at the end of May, but went into a three-week slump in June and fell out of the race. Team team suffered a season-ending injury to leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen and its bullpen was particularly battered by the injury bug.
But the addition of Harper and free-agent catcher JT Realmuto to a young nucleus that included ace pitcher Aaron Nola and hitters Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery, the Phillies’ front office — and their fans — were clearly expecting more.
Kapler now pays the price.