The Jean Segura Incident
This past June, Jean Segura blooped a ball into the left field gap against the Washington Nationals.
Instead of winding up at second base for a double, Segura failed to hustle out of the batter’s box and he had to hold up at first base.
It was not the first time Segura did not hustle out of the batter’s box, either. A similar occurrence took place just a couple of weeks prior, proving it was more of a recurring problem than an isolated incident.
Kapler was asked about the incident against the Nationals, and he termed the occurrence as “unacceptable.” Usually, when a player does not hustle out of the box, the manager tries to send a message to the clubhouse by benching the player the following game or pulling him from the current game.
Despite terming the event as unacceptable, Kapler failed to take action.
This type of incident brings about an interesting debate. Is it wise to sit a player as good as Segura in the middle of a season, just to send a message?
Kapler gave his answer while talking to reporters:
"“Jean [Segura] is one of our eight best players. I don’t think taking one of our eight best players and our shortstop out of our lineup is what’s best for the Philadelphia Phillies.”"
The Phillies had playoff aspirations, so benching their starting shortstop may not be a wise move. And big picture, sitting a player for a game may not accomplish anything beyond appeasing the media by making his punishment a public display.
Nevertheless, it was a high-profile issue for Kapler.
Instead of holding Segura accountable, he chose inactivity. It remains open for debate whether it was the right move, but it reflects poorly on Kapler’s leadership style.
According to Tim Kelly of Phillies Nation, the incident essentially became a referendum on Kapler’s managerial tenure. Kapler’s failure to handle the situation was another missed opportunity.