2016 Haldane Blue Devils
Coach — Tom Virgadamo
How many years have you been coaching at your current school? Entering eighth season with assistants Joe and Anthony Virgadamo and Simon Dudar.
How did your team fare last season? Very young and had growing pains, finished 6-15.
Who are the top players that you lost to graduation? 1B Justin Ferdico.
Who are your key returning players? Senior SS/P Dave Rotando, Senior 2B/P John Parr, Senior 3B/P Nick Chiera, Senior C/DH Jimmy Duffy, Sophomore Catcher Aidan Siegel, Junior OF/P Brian Haines and Junior OF Justin Maldonado. Key newcomers are Devin Siegel (Fr. P/3B/OF), Matt Mikalsen (Fr. 2B) and Miguel Toribio (Sr. 1B).
How do you feel about your pitching entering the season? The first third or half of our season will dictate our rotation. As of now, any of three guys can get the ball on any given day and three more are in the mix for middle rotation and fourth starter.
Your lineup? Our top six will consist of Parr, Rotando, Aidan Siegel, Maldonado, Haines and Miguel Toribio (1B), who is coming off an ACL injury which kept him out the entire 2015 season but can be a force at the plate. Our depth should keep the end of the lineup with some veterans and some underclassman in the mix.
Your defense? We have a lot of veterans in the infield and we are more seasoned at every position. The question that will dictate our success is whether or not our backup players can make all of the plays when one of our first-string position players have to pitch. The outfield is strong with Haines and Maldonado.
How would you describe your philosophy on how the game should be played? Every year it depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the present team. Play for the big inning when the opportunity presents itself, and depending on the game simply try to get them on, get them over and get them in.
How would you assess your team’s chances this season? With the combination of veterans and some underclassmen we are going to take it one pitch, one inning and one game at a time. Our league is very competitive and I don’t see why top two in the league is not a fair shot if our pitchers can pitch to contact, and limit the walks and errors in the field.
When is your opening game? Lost 3-1 to Port Chester on Wednesday.
On deck: Westlake
I’ll be posting at least one of these per day leading up to the start of the season at the end of the month. Coaches, if you did not receive a capsule email and would like to participate, please fill out the questions below and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.