With an overall record of 51-55 and a record of 3-12 from the All-Star break, the SF Giants are quickly coming out of the playoff contention. If the dive continues, they will play non-competitive matches in September. Can coach Gabe Kapler reverse a trend of his days with the Philadelphia Phillies?
When Kapler was announced as one of the finalists to be the next Giants manager. There were a lot of concerns about how he handled the Phillies, especially when the season was ending.
To be fair, the Giants’ struggles in 2022 extend beyond Kapler. He is simply using the players that the front office has put together.
It has often been noted that the Giants have one of the worst defenses in baseball based on defensive metrics. They were worth -35 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and -31 Outs Above Average (OAA). Regardless of the metric used, they’ve had the second worst defense in baseball and the vision test confirms this as they often miss the cutoff man throw or can’t handle routine plays.
Is it all Kapler’s fault? Perhaps he could create a formation that prioritizes defenses, but this is an organization that places a lot of emphasis on platoon pairing. So, by nature, it’s okay for them to take a defensive shot if it means making better use of the formation.
Plus, overall, the 40-man roster doesn’t have many skilled position players with the glove. They have too many first bases, corner outs and designated batters, but not enough players in premium positions such as shortstop and midfield. This has left them noticeably exposed this season.
The bullpen has been another major issue as it recorded an ERA of 4.39 in 2022, which ranks as the fifth worst score in baseball. Is it Kapler’s fault? The front office has bet on continuity and stability with one of the most unstable areas of the roster and that plan has backfired.
Bullpen management is very much a result oriented evaluation when it should be more process oriented. Kapler’s handling of the bullpen has been suspicious in some situations and it looks like he should have a quicker hook when he notices someone is struggling. At the end of the day, the rescuers have to function better and they didn’t.
Giovanni Brebbia And Jarlin Garcia are a couple of examples of relievers who have had good seasons, but seem to have struggled, at times, to get the most out of high leverage situations. They are not the reason for the bullpen fights like Jake McGee, José AlvarezAnd Tyler Rogers they have substantially regressed from their 2021 roles. It didn’t help as much as the defense struggled, so that’s a factor.
What Kapler has to prevent is a late season slip. It was something that happened both seasons with the Phillies. In 2018, Philadelphia hit a record of 72-62 on the last day of August, but limped to a record of 8-20 in the final month of the season, finishing 9 games before the Colorado Rockies for the final Wild Card spot. .
It wasn’t that steep, but the Phillies also suffered a similar dip in the final month of the season in 2019. On the last day of August, Kapler took Philadelphia to a record of 69-65, but set a record in September. of 12-16.
They finished eight games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the Wild Card seat, so a fantastic September may not have helped them. That said, when a competitive team slips like the Phillies did in September in both seasons with Kapler as their manager, it makes you question how focused they were.
It looked like the Phillies had just hit a wall as the season ended and had never been able to bounce back. For better or for worse, this is typically a reflection of the manager.
The Giants may not have as strong a record as the Phillies in both seasons with Kapler at the helm. But it’s a trend that’s still relatively fresh and could create more concern among fans if it comes back.
The 107-win season seems like a long time ago at this point. Fans are disappointed with how the 2022 season has gone, and that frustration will continue to build if Kapler and the Giants don’t play baseball better along the stretch.