Anonymous Phillies player says team needs Gabe Kapler to ‘get out of the way’

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Gabe Kapler’s first week as Phillies manager has been less-than-ideal.

The team is 1-4 and that’s bad enough. Worse for Kapler, though, is that he has been the story far too often. His bullpen management has been a train wreck. He over-managed the team out of its Opening Day game against the Braves and, later in that series, he caused a stir when he tried to bring in a reliever he had neglected to ask to warm up. As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, yesterday he instituted an outfield shift that, while perhaps supported by the data, directly led to a two-run triple that cost the Phillies the ballgame.

Those are some new manager hiccups that, however annoying to fans and the local media, will likely be forgotten about if all else is equal and if the Phillies win some more games. What would make them problematic, however, is if the club starts to get annoyed at Kapler too.

Welp:

The Phillies’ 1-4 start isn’t determinative, of course, as 97 percent of the season is yet to be played. But there are signs that some – even team members — are having their early doubts.

“We’ll be OK … We just need the manager to get out of the way,” one Phillies player asserted of their obviously improved team, and just as obviously unproven manager.

That comes from Jon Heyman’s latest FanRag column.

I fully suspect that, as soon as this afternoon, there will be pushback quotes on this from some Phillies players in outlets that are perhaps a bit more team-friendly, with everyone saying that Kapler is fine and all of that. Baseball teams and players are pretty good at putting out fires like this. They correctly believe that such stuff is always best handled in-house rather than through the media, so we’re unlikely to see too much more public chatter about it.

Still, not the sort of quote you want to see a week into your rookie season, is it?

UPDATE: Kapler was booed by the Philly Phaithful when he was introduced before today’s game.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.