Gabe Kapler Defends Andrew Knapp, Says a Stint in Minors is ‘Not a Consideration’

PHOTO CREDIT: BILL STREICHER-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Phillies have designated catcher Rob Brantly for assignment one day after he was called up to fill in for J.T. Realmuto, who, of course, missed the Phillies’ 4-0 loss to the Nationals last night after he was placed on the Paternity List earlier in the day. That means Andrew Knapp, who’s hitting only .157 with a .518 OPS this season, will remain the team’s backup catcher. The news is sure to excite many:

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was asked prior to tonight’s game if the team gave any consideration to sending Knapp down to Lehigh Valley to see if increased at-bats might possibly get him going.

Nope. Here’s Kapler:

No, not at all. That wasn’t a consideration. I think because of who he’s been in the clubhouse, who he’s been from a game planning perspective and as a teammate. We continue to think the small sample size we’ve seen at the Major League level is not an indicative of Andrew Knapp’s true talent. I am fully aware that he has not been productive as an offensive player for us. However, he has a track record of being an offensive threat at the minor league level and one of his calling cards was his ability to work a good at-bat. And I guess that’s the one thing we have seen fairly consistently is that he’s given us a strong at-bat. Not always, but enough where the other positive attributes of what Andrew Knapp brings to the table made it a non-topic for us in this particular case.

I’m not sure if what we’ve seen is or isn’t indicative of Knapp’s true talent, but he has been tough to watch, though Kapler is right in the sense that 85 plate appearances over three-plus months is a limited sample size. It’s hard for a hitter to get comfortable with such limited opportunities, but Knapp has struck out in 27 of those 85 plate appearances and has frequently looked overmatched.

Other Pregame Notes

Sean Rodriguez has been placed on the 10-day IL. The move is retroactive to July 10. He has an abdominal strain will get an MRI in next 24 hours.

Rookie outfielder Adam Haseley is back with the team. Though it’s unclear what his exact role will be, Kapler said he expects to find ways to get Haseley on the field.

Jake Arrieta threw a bullpen earlier this afternoon. Kapler, who watched video of the session from his office, said Arrieta gave fist bumps to those down in the bullpen when he was finished. He is starting tomorrow in the series finale and will be looking to bounce back after a rough stretch in which he has allowed a 6.27 ERA in 33 IP dating back to June 1.

Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez will open the Dodgers series. Nick Pivetta and Aaron Nola are likely to follow.

The Phillies have reportedly signed Logan Morrison to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old had a .999 OPS in Triple-A this season with the Yankees organization and should add some left-handed thump off the bench, assuming he soon gets a promotion.

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12 Comments

  • Steve Sanders July 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Knapp should be playing in a beer league softball league not the fucking show . Guaranteed out like the pitcher

    Reply
  • Lou Lanza July 13, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Fist bump means what…? Less than 6 earned runs per 9…? As to the worst Phillie ever, Mini Mart could run and play decent defense…Knapp is NOT a 5 tool player…he has regressed from a decent minor league hitter to someone with little more than an approach. He can’t hit for average, power, can’t run, can’t catch (not good when you’re a CATCHER), and doesn’t have a very good arm…0 tools…well done MacFail, Kluelack, & The Gabbler!!!

    Reply
  • Wan Valdez July 13, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Don’t give Brantly a longer look. That’s not fair. Want a cup of coffee, go to Starbucks.

    Reply
  • Come on baby sign that Conger July 13, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    There are guys like Hank Conger who should be available and while limited, still probably a better option than Andrew “This teams gm could have signed a fa starting pitcher but he was taking a “Knapp”.

    Reply
  • Lou Lanza July 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Don’t forget these wonderful pitchers:

    Baked Arrieta
    Nick Stiffeta
    Dummy Dullassquez
    Zac F-lin

    Reply
    • Phillie-shaming in 2019 July 13, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      Don’t forget Aaron Shinola

      Reply
      • Lou Lanza July 14, 2019 at 8:23 am

        Nice.

        Reply
  • Baseball Wizard July 13, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    You know who looked completely overmatched, lost at the plate, and blocked at his natural position? Scott Kingery last year. Aka the best Phillies player this year. Knapp may not pan out the same way but is far from the worst Phillie ever. Tommy Joseph easily comes to mind from recent years.

    Reply
    • Lou Lanza July 14, 2019 at 8:22 am

      Joseph averaged 20 HRs in about 300/350 ABs in his couple of seasons…do you watch the games and study the box scores?!?!

      Reply
      • Poo Lanza July 14, 2019 at 10:05 am

        And his WAR was atrocious, then again maybe the Phillies could bring him back now lol

        Reply
  • Karen Hepp is Hot July 13, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    In one sentence Gabe’s comments sum up everything that is wrong with the Phillies. This organization is an absolute joke

    Reply
  • Aaron Nola's Lazy Eye July 13, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Didn’t think there could be a worse backup catcher than Paul Bako, but Knapp has that distinction.

    Reply
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