Phillies fire Gabe Kapler

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It took a while, but the Philadelphia Phillies finally got around to it: they have fired manager Gabe Kapler. The search for a new skipper is on.

Kapler managed in Philly for two seasons and was under contract for one more. He posted a record of 161-163. This year was particularly disappointing, as injuries and the failure of young players to develop and improve turned what many thought was a playoff-bound team into a .500 club.

NBC Sports Philadelphia: Who replaces Kapler?

Both this season and last Kapler was taken to task for often puzzling strategic decisions and bullpen management. Indeed, from his very first week as Phillies manager someone, be it fans in general, Philly talk radio, or columnists, have been calling for his head at one time or another. Some of it has been justified. Some of it has been based on the perception that he’s not a traditional hot-blooded manager like Dallas Green or someone like that. Some of it has been based on the perception that he’s too beholden to analytics. It’s been a rich tapestry of Kapler-hate.

But it’s also hard not to conclude that the underperforming Phillies need a shakeup. With ownership giving Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail votes of confidence recently, someone was taking the fall. That someone is now Gabe Kapler.

Giants sign Drew Smyly to one-year deal

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The Giants announced on Thursday that the club inked pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year contract. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, the contract is of the major league variety.

Smyly, 30, split last season between the Rangers and Phillies with a stint with the Brewers in between. He did not appear in a major league game with the Brewers. In aggregate, Smyly posted a 6.24 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 55 walks over 114 innings.

Smyly will vie for a spot at the back of the Giants’ starting rotation. If he doesn’t make the cut, he could work out of the bullpen. Pitching in the spacious confines of Oracle Park should help Smyly, who gave up 19 homers in Texas and 13 in Philly last season in more hitter-friendly parks.