Nashua Silver Knights manager, Ted Currle, has good feeling about 2015 roster
NASHUA – They board the bus at Holman Stadium around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. That’s when the Nashua Silver Knights will officially become a team while on their way to Portsmouth’s Leary Field to take on the Seacoast Mavericks at 6:35 in the first game of the 2015 Futures Collegiate League season.
So far, so good, according to manager Ted Currle, who may have to miss the opener as the Norton (Mass.) High School baseball team he coaches will have its own Eastern Massachusetts Tournament game earlier in the day.
Vice President of Player Personnel B.J. Neverett will likely manage Thursday’s game, but Currle will definitely be running the club in the 6:45 p.m. home opener on Friday at Holman Stadium.
Currle, in the brief time he’s worked with the players this week, got enough of a positive impression.
“I immediately got the feeling they were all business,” Currle said. “They were there to play baseball. They seem really excited and ready to play.”
St. John’s University lefty Kevin McGee, a Pompton Lakes, N.J., native who just finished his freshman year, will take the mound for the Knights on Thursday. Currle said Londonderry’s Ryan Moloney, a University of Massachusetts Amherst sophomore, should be the starter Friday night.
Currle likes the pitching depth of this club, and the Silver Knights will try to divide the innings up in the first few games to get a feel for the group.
“We have 10 possible starting pitchers,” he said. “We’re going to see them all in the first week, not all starting of course, but we’ll get them innings.”
Currle feels one of the two Knights back from last year, righty Lucas Olen, will resume his setup role. Who will close, though?
“That’s going to be a work in progress,” Currle said. “There’s not one guy yet set on being the closer. It’s an important thing, though, that we’ve got to figure out soon.”
Position-wise, Currle likes the middle of the infield with Northeastern’s Max Burt, Southern New Hampshire’s Manny Cruz (just recently added, .312 with 32 RBIs for the Penmen), UMaine’s Brett Chappell rotating in the middle. Concord’s Ben Bengston (a University of Hartford freshman) and UMass Lowell’s Tyler Noe will see time at third while Currle likes the bat of Franklin Pierce’s Matt O’Herron at first. All subject to change, of course.
The outfield starts with the speed of SNHU’s Sean Webster in center, Maine redshirt Tyler Shwanz perhaps in right, and the other returnee, Ryan Sullivan, will likely move to the outfield (while still being able to fill in at third).
The Knights have three catchers in local product Matt Fortin (Seton Hall via Nashua North), Rhode Island College’s Matt Foley, plus Hartford’s Erik Ostberg.
“We’ll be able to use one as a DH in a game while splitting time between the other two,” Currle said. “That might be the plan for now. It’s a good group.
“We purposely brought on only 14-15 position players so we wouldn’t have an issue getting them at bats,” Currle said.
The pitches and the at-bats are now set to be official for the next two-plus months. A reminder, Nashua has switched divisions, now playing in the East along with Brockton (Mass.), North Shore (Lynn, Mass.), Seacoast (Portsmouth) and Martha’s Vineyard (Mass.).
The league’s newest team, Bristol, Conn. (formerly Old Orchard), along with Worcester (Mass.), Pittsfield (Mass.), Wachusett (Leominster, Mass.) and Torrington (Conn.) are in the West. The Silver Knights will have fewer games against those clubs.