Gabe Kapler to the Disabled List | The Process Report

Gabe Kapler to the Disabled List

By R.J. Anderson //

Gabe Kapler has not performed up to what expectations based on his historical performance versus left-handers would suggest. However much of the drop off you attribute to skill decay (related to age, presumably) and just random fluctuation is irrelevant. He helped the team today with his well-timed disabled list stint by allowing the Rays to keep their option pool wide-open heading into September.

Kapler just as easily could’ve taken a designation for assignment and received the same pay to go home or find a new employer. Teams are out there playing guys like Matt Carlson and Matt Watson, so I’m pretty sure someone would’ve been interested. By doing this, it’s a statement that he wants to stick around even in a reduced role.

When the Rays underplayed expectations last season one of the talking points was their ignorance towards clubhouse chemistry. That chemistry supposedly lived and died with Jonny Gomes, Troy Percival, Eric Hinske, and Cliff Floyd. Kapler, for all intent and purposes, is a very, very good clubhouse guy. He’s a veteran with managerial and championship experience alike. He’s an overachiever based on his draft origins. He gets little credit for this in the media. I guess chemistry is a card only played when a team surprises or disappoints, not when it plays as it should.

After the Rays played Percival on the disabled list last season he disappeared. Hell, in 2008 he disappeared too. Even through the playoffs. Floyd did not drop dead when the Rays ended his season during the World Series and Hinske didn’t pout when the Rays left him off the playoff roster either. Kapler will probably stick with the team during his inactive time, but he’s not equated with those. He’s not really discussed at all.

I don’t want to strand too far from the subject at hand, but far too often chemistry is used as a filler reasoning for the unexplainable. Attributing performance to random fluctuation isn’t good copy. Chemistry itself is real. It’s not quantifiable. But it’s real. I don’t think it really changes performances any at all, but if all things are equal then take the high character socialite over the crabby hermit.

It pays in cases like this.

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