The vote of confidence for Gabe Kapler goes beyond just his job security.
In addition to declaring that Kapler will manage the free-falling Phillies for the rest of the season, general manager Matt Klentak said Monday that he agreed with the decisions not to bench Jean Segura and Cesar Hernandez for recent incidents in which they didn’t run hard.
“I’m OK with the way he handled them,” Klentak said Monday before the series opener against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. “For sure.”
Klentak, like Kapler over the last few weeks, explained that he doesn’t condone a lack of hustle. But with the Phillies struggling for offense -- they scored a total of 15 runs in seven games entering Monday night -- Klentak also doesn’t believe it would have made sense to take two of the team’s regulars out of the lineup, even for one game.
“We need to give the Phillies the best chance to win,” Klentak said. “To penalize the other 24 guys on the field by benching one and not putting our best lineup out there is not the right thing to do.”
Klentak said the Phillies addressed the situations with Segura and Hernandez by having conversations that “can get uncomfortable.” Kapler noted that he has tried different methods to get players to change their habits.
“You try a conversation a little bit more firmly, you try it with a little video, you try it in a group, you try it with a different voice,” Kapler said. “You strip out the ego, which is, ‘I’m the only one who can get through to him.’ I don’t think I’m the one who is always going to be capable of reaching somebody. I want to bring other voices into the room and do it collaboratively if necessary.”
Said Klentak: “What I think we need to be a little smarter about is, when the spotlight is shining brightly on you and you’re in a losing streak, that’s probably not the time to take a play off. When you’ve won nine out of 10 and you’re up 5-0 and you don’t try to stretch a single into a double, you probably get away with that a little better than you might have this past week.”