Dark side of analytics facing 2020 Phillies

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Philadelphia Phillies fans hold up a banner to fire manager Gabe Kapler during a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 4-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Philadelphia Phillies fans hold up a banner to fire manager Gabe Kapler during a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on September 29, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 4-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Middleton is putting his mark on the Phillies with Harper’s acquisition and a managerial change. Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. /

Negative results:

According to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Middleton listened to his players’ take on Kapler’s time at the Phillies helm before deciding his fate. Basically, Klentak wanted Kapler to return, but Middleton apparently wasn’t sure of that direction.

With players in all directions for the offseason, Middleton needed more time to gather his decision-making information before canning Kapler. Middleton, reportedly, met with Hoskins, Bryce Harper, Cole Irvin and Sean Rodriguez. But did he talk with Jake Arrieta, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen?

Concerning Kapler’s numerical devotion, the first crack in an exceptionless method was his first-game removal of Aaron Nola. And preferences like pitches per at-bat, launch angle, exit velocity, and high fastballs affected some players.

With organizations like the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox relying heavily on analytics, the other 26 franchises must keep up. That stated, those four clubs had a head start and learned stats alone are a dead end. Ergo, each star may require numbers tailored to his approach.

When the Dodgers and Red Sox played the Phils, they didn’t just depend on three-run bombs to win. No, they utilized some old-fashioned baseball weapons. And what did Manuel demonstrate in those final 43 ballgames the Fightins could do by swinging at good pitches at any time in the count? Almost one run more per game!