The Norfolk Sharks are hanging in the playoff race at 30-26. The club being led by All-Star Game MVP Earl MacPherson (no relation to Elle) and his 19 home runs to go with a .339 average. MacPherson, flanked by 10 time all star Danny Sanchez, who is hitting an AEL-leading .412 at the break. Second baseman Miguel Ortega is having a solid season as well batting .355. Bronson Jameson has 12 homeruns in the first half. The offense is strong, but run production is not where it needs to be.
The area holding the club back is starting pitching. All-Star starter Charles Ling has been solid, but the four guys behind him are a mix of meh and worse. 2015 first round pick Mesh has been called up and will hope to give the pitching a solid boost. Old man Rowland and his 7.00 ERA has been released.
The outlook is interesting for this club. A little hamstrung by some awful contracts, Billy Mathis I am looking at you, the team has patched together a group that is competitive.Three games out of first, and 1.5 out of second, a little better pitching and Norfolk may sneak into the playoffs. More likely the Sharks will miss by 3-5 games and go into the offseason with numerous questions.
Expect some offseason changes as some older players are due big salaries (Jamieson and Alphonso George) and ownership is not likely to offer arbitration to either guy. Mathis is sure to pick up his player option at age 39 for $6.5M, even thought the team wishes he would retire. Baggywrinkle and Morilla figure to move on as well as they are FAs and are not producing to their wage level.The minor league cupboard is pretty bare so expect more patchwork FAs added heading into 2019.