Monday, August 22, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Norfolk Destroyers

And then came the Destroyers. Norfolk fans have seen one winning season in the last eleven seasons and no playoff appearances in that time. What can the Virginia faithful expect from their young rebuilding team this season:

Norfolk Destroyers

Last season: 68-94 (4th in NL East, missed playoffs)
Offense: 13th in NL
Pitching: 14th in NL

Key additions: P Louie Martin (FA-Ottawa)
Key losses: None

Analysis: This is a young squad that figures to get better with time. LF Keith Singleton put up a monster season but he needs some help. RF Dave Hodges put up solid numbers and 3B Geovany Manzanillo showed some of his potential but no one was able to put up 90 runs. OF Albert Picasso had a decent rookie season but is capable of more. 22-year-old CF Julian Mieses should get a shot to win a job in camp- he's got boom or bust ability.

The pitching staff is a mess. John Wilson is a solid starter but he was the only reliable starter last season for the Destroyers. They brought in the aforementioned Martin to be the #2 or #3 type starter although he could start Opening Day. Delino Hernandez and Edwin Aaron must pitch better for Norfolk to be respectable and both men could be pitching for their careers- Aaron is 34 and could be on the way down and Hernandez is 28 and has yet to figure it out at the ML level- he's now coming off his worst season in the big leagues. Craig Shermann was effective, if unspectacular, as the closer.

Outlook: This is a proud franchise with solid ownership and a loyal fanbase, but I just don't see it. They're clearly the fourth best team in this division.

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