Farhan Zaidi gives SF Giants manager Gabe Kapler a vote of confidence

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The SF Giants season was beginning to tailspin in August, but a recent 5-1 stretch has the ship heading in the right direction. If the Giants fell flat in September, manager Gabe Kapler could be seen as a scapegoat.

However, it appears that he has the support of the front office as team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi recently offered a vote of confidence in the Giants skipper.

Farhan Zaidi gives SF Giants manager Gabe Kapler a vote of confidence

Zaidi joined the Tolbert and Copes show on KNBR on Thursday and without prompt, highlighted Kapler's tenure with San Francisco so far:

"I look at Gabe's time here, he's got one of the top winning percentages in Giants history. I think he's in the top-10. He obviously won Manager of the Year... I don't think a team can go through those struggles and come out the other side the way we have a couple times this season without strong leadership. So that's about as strong an endorsement that I can give for the job he's done... And I think we all appreciate that in terms of the job he's done."

Farhan Zaidi

Zaidi was asked whether he and Kapler are a package deal in some sense. It does bear mentioning that both Zaidi and Kapler are close. They have worked together previously from their respective time with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. And, they have worked together with the Giants over the past four years.

The Giants' top executive used that question to offer his support for the job Kapler has done. Kapler is 292-238 (.551 winning percentage) since being hired as the Giants manager following the 2019 season. This, of course, includes a historic 2021 season in which the Giants won 107 games while winning the NL West for the first time in years.

Kapler pulled all of the right strings that season and deservedly took home Manager of the Year honors. In his four seasons, the Giants have been, for the most part, in the playoff picture until the final week of the season.

That looks to be the case again this year as they are currently in a three-way tie with the Cincinnati Reds and the Arizona Diamondbacks for the third Wild Card spot. Technically, they have the slightest edge at the moment but that will shake out before the end of the season.

Kapler is under contract through the 2024 season but it does not appear as if there will be a regime change this winter.

I do think Kapler, like most managers, has his strengths and his weaknesses. He is managing a clubhouse that seems to mostly on the same page. There is a sense of cohesion within the core group. He uses the bench effectively by leveraging platoon matchups. That has paid off quite a bit during his tenure.

Though, I do think he can be a little too systematic at times. He tends to have a plan and does not often deviate from it even when it feels like the game circumstances merit it. That said, he has a process and that process has worked.

For the most part, he has done a nice job in 2023. He has had to manage through a back end of the rotation that has totally fallen flat due to injuries and ineffectiveness. Relying as aggressively on the opener strategy as he has is not something that was part of the plan before the season began. It is not easy managing a rotation where only two of the five starters in any turn through the rotation can be used.

It feels like a case where the sum is greater than its parts because the roster, as a whole, has not performed all that well.

That is the job Kapler has had to navigate. I cannot help by laugh at the irony of me saying that Kapler does not deviate from his plan three paragraphs up while recognizing an example of him doing that exact thing. My original comment was more about in-game management.

Anyways, it does sound like the front office is satisfied with Kapler's performance and that he will return in 2024. At any point this year, I thought the probability of him not returning was low and Zaidi seems to confirm that the probability is virtually nonexistent.