Does Phillies coaching staff deserve vote of confidence?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 22: Manager Gabe Kapler #19 of the Philadelphia Phillies argues with umpires Chris Guccione #68 and Mike Everitt #57 in the fourth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 22: Manager Gabe Kapler #19 of the Philadelphia Phillies argues with umpires Chris Guccione #68 and Mike Everitt #57 in the fourth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /
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Phillies general manager Matt Klentak gave manager Gabe Kapler and the rest of his coaching staff a vote of confidence, but do they deserve it?

The Phillies are in a full-on freefall with a 6-14 record in June and are now on a seven-game losing streak. The weekend’s sweep at home by the last-place Marlins left social media ablaze Sunday night and into Monday with everybody looking for someone to blame.

Manager Gabe Kapler and the rest of his coaching staff, namely hitting coach John Mallee and pitching coach Chris Young, are receiving plenty of the blame. Their seats are even hotter now than at the end of last year when the team also collapsed out of first place.

Despite the June skid, general manager Matt Klentak maintained confidence in Kapler and his staff, telling reporters that Kapler will be the manager the rest of the season: [quote via Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer]

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"“Gabe Kapler is our manager and our staff is our staff. I’ve been part of teams that have made in-season staff changes, so I understand how that can happen. But right now, I do not think that is the right way for us to go.”"

It should be noted that Klentak did not fully commit to Kapler for the rest of the season, but it will likely take much more to see him fired before the end of the season. For now, Klentak believes the best thing to do is “rally together.”

Looking at where the team stands this year, does the blame lie at Kapler’s feet, the coaches, or somewhere else?

On paper, this team should be much better than their 39-38 record as of Monday. An offseason of several notable acquisitions should lead to a much better team.

A vital criticism of the coaching staff is the stagnant offense despite the additions. The club cannot hit fastballs over the plate, as Matt Gelb of the Athletic (subscription required) analyzed Sunday night. This issue dates back to last year yet remains a problem even with Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, and J.T. Realmuto on board, a damning indictment of Mallee and his philosophy.

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However, you can easily make the argument that there isn’t much Mallee can do about Harper not being able to hit fastballs in the zone for power like he did the last two years. It’s tough to distinguish what the coaches can and can’t control.

Another point in favor of the coaching staff is the limited options the team has outside of their stars. Injuries have decimated the bullpen, forcing players like J.D. Hammer and Edgar Garcia into prime roles when they were considered non-factors to start the year.

The lack of pitching depth extends to the rotation as well with Cole Irvin and Enyel De Los Santos failing to make meaningful contributions.

The coaches can only do so much with the pitchers at their disposal, especially when they aren’t major-league material.

You could argue that the team wouldn’t need to test their pitching depth if Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, and the rest of the rotation were more consistent. Again, this is a dilemma of whether or not their struggles are the responsibility of the players or the coaches.

Then, the blame game could shift from the coaches and players to the front office headed by Klentak who assembled this team. The group that shelled out big bucks but didn’t address the starting rotation or third base, both of which are struggling immensely this season. I’m torn about how much blame the front office should receive, but I’m at least receptive to the argument.

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All in all, the blame game is a kneejerk reaction anytime a team slumps in Philadelphia, whether it be the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, or Flyers. Regardless of what some may want, this coaching staff is here to stay for the rest of the season in all likelihood. Might as well hope that they can find something to salvage this season.