PHILADELPHIA -- If this is Gabe Kapler’s final weekend as Phillies manager, he swears he is not thinking about it.
Kapler's three-year contract expires after next season, but his job status is tenuous as the Phillies slog through another disappointing September. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak declined a little more than a week ago to say Kapler will be his manager in 2020. The Phillies are 2-8 since, including a five-game sweep this week to the Nationals. Phillies managing partner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail, Klentak and other members of the front office met Wednesday with Kapler and his coaches to talk about the team’s player personnel.
Kapler said he has not met with anybody to specifically discuss his job status.
“We haven't had any conversations about anything beyond the work that we are doing right now,” Kapler said.
If the Phillies decide to dismiss Kapler, an announcement is expected no later than early next week. First-year pitching coach Chris Young’s job status is also in doubt. The Phillies discussed dismissing Young in August along with hitting coach John Mallee, who was removed from his job. Charlie Manuel took Mallee’s place.
“It's not something I'm thinking about right now,” Kapler said. “It's not something I'm worried about and haven't had any conversations about it. Look forward to managing the Phillies for as long as I can, and I am going to be thinking about doing a good job for every day I have that opportunity. … I love being the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.”
Asked if it is difficult not to think about his future, Kapler said: “I couldn't mean it any more authentically and openly. I am wired to focus on the task at hand, and the task at hand is managing tonight's baseball game for the Philadelphia Phillies against the Miami Marlins and making sure all of our players are put in the best possible positions to succeed. I've been doing that all day today. I'll be doing it all night and into tomorrow as well.”
Shortstop Jean Segura likely will not play again this season because of a sprained right ankle.
Closing Day nod