Gabe Kapler, Philadelphia Phillies
When you look at Gabe Kapler in his Philadelphia Phillies uniform, you may think the veteran journeyman is out there trying to win a job. Instead, he is the one finalizing the roster for the Phillies, as he will be a first-time manager this season.
Kapler played with incredible energy during his time in the Major Leagues, and he should bring that same enthusiasm to his new job as manager. The organization went out and brought him in some talent to the lineup this offseason, and then landed a big arm in Jake Arrieta a few weeks back.
While the Phillies do not figure to be a big player in the National League this season, they are building their organization with some solid young players. In addition, bringing in Carlos Santana to man first base was a huge get for the team, and he should provide the most punch they have seen from first base since Ryan Howard in his prime.
Arrieta will team with Aaron Nola to form a solid 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation, where they have struggled mightily in recent years. Rhys Hopkins is another big bat to watch out for in Philadelphia, as the city is still on a high coming off their first Super Bowl victory with the Eagles.
The Phillies were only 174-238 during Pete Mackanin’s tenure as manager, so Kapler should breathe some fresh air into this locker room. If anything, Philadelphia is going to be fun to watch this season, and it should not be too long before they are a serious player in the NL East.