Dr. Seuss And Baseball on Friday!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

If you like the Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and some of Dr. Seuss’ other tremendous creations, get excited. Tonight is Cat in the Hat Night at Nymeo Field and a number of the characters from Dr. Seuss tales will be on hand. As the name of the theme night indicates, the Cat in the Hat will be the big headliner. Gates open at 6 p.m and you can read more about some of the fun here.

On the baseball side of things, the Keys take on the Winston-Salem Dash, as the back-end of the club’s homestand begins. Frederick dropped its series finale to Salem 7-4 on Thursday, as the Keys lost the lead for the second straight night.

Tonight though, the Winston-Salem Dash come to town. Led by Joel Skinner, the visitors have had a tough go of things themselves, entering tonight with an 8-13 record. Pitching has been a problem spot, with the Dash currently at sixth in ERA (4.42) while they are tied for the lead in home runs allowed (15). Not good trends if you’re pitching at Nymeo Field.

Lucas Long gets the ball for the Keys tonight and will be opposed by Dash righty Matt Cooper. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m from Nymeo Field, while the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com (you can also find us on the TuneIn Radio app on your smartphone, tablet or Android by going to WTHU AM 1450). Doug and I will keep you company as always (space heater taken up a notch this evening).

Some notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Friday, April 29, 2016 · Game #22 · Home Game #11

Frederick Keys (7-14) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (8-13)

RHP Lucas Long (0-1, 1.80) vs. RHP Matt Cooper (1-1, 3.85)

                                                                                                                                                              

BULLPEN STRUGGLES GUIDE SOX TO SERIES WIN: The Salem Red Sox scored multiple runs in three of their last four trips to bat to defeat the Frederick Keys 7-4 on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. All seven runs were tagged on Keys relievers, as the Red Sox claimed the three-game series. For the second straight night, the decisive inning was the eighth, as the visitors scored three times on one swing. Max Schuh walked Ben Moore to start the inning, before Deiner Lopez singled two batters later. A walk to Yoan Moncada then prompted a pitching change. On for Schuh, Jimmy Yacabonis got a lineout by Mauricio Duban, but Andrew Benintendi followed with a bases clearing double. Ahead by a pair after six, the Keys lost the lead in the seventh after RBI singles by Benintendi and Nick Longhi tied the game at four. Benintendi torched Keys pitching in the final two games of the series, posting seven RBIs (including four Thursday).

BULLPEN BLUES: Following a rough night on Wednesday, things did not get any better for Keys relief pitching on Thursday. In four innings, Frederick relief allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits to go with three walks. Meanwhile in the last two days, Keys bullpen hands have surrendered 17 runs (15 earned) in eight frames (16.88 ERA). A large chunk of that came on Wednesday in the eighth inning, when Salem scored 10 runs (all earned) and sent 13 men to bat. Currently the team’s bullpen ERA is 5.44, an increase of more than a point (4.29) since Tuesday.

PAREDES IMPRESSES IN MLB REHAB: Orioles utility man, Jimmy Paredes, played well for the Keys on a Major League rehab assignment Thursday night. Making the start in leftfield, he finished 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. In his two previous games at Double-A Bowie, Paredes was 1-for-7 with two runs scored and a walk. He is on the mend from a left wrist sprain. Paredes was the third member of the Orioles to join the orange on a Major League rehab, after Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz both pitched for Frederick during the team’s first homestand.

SUBTRACT 2 AND WHERE IS THE PRODUCTION?: If you take out the production of Jimmy Paredes and Aderlin Rodriguez (who ended 2-for-4 with two RBIs) out of the equation on Thursday, Keys hitters went a combined 3-for-26 at the plate. Outside of that figure, the team left 11 on base and finished a paltry 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. On the season, the Keys are batting .201 collectively with runners in scoring position, the worst mark in the Carolina League (next worst is Carolina at .213).

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: With the loss on Thursday, the Keys have dropped each of their first three home series at Nymeo Field. That disappointing fact is attached to a 2-8 home record. Although it is disappointing, the Keys are hardly alone when it comes to struggles at home. Entering Friday, Potomac (2-7) and Winston-Salem (2-8) only have two wins at the friendly confines, while Wilmington has just one (1-10). Only Lynchburg (7-4) and Myrtle Beach (6-5) possess winning home records.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Although the Keys are tied for sixth in hitting (.236), the orange and black are second in home runs (13). Over the last four games, Frederick his hit five deep flies, while the orange and black have homered in three of their last four contests. Austin Wynns and Aderlin Rodriguez share the team lead with three, while both sit just outside the top five in the Carolina League in that category.

ALL I DO IS WYNN, WYNN, WYNN: In spite of playing only 14 games, Austin Wynns has been one of the Keys top offensive producers in April. The Californian is tied for the team lead in home runs (three) and is tied for second in RBIs (nine). The power surge from Wynns has been a pleasant surprise for Frederick, given that Wynns hit just three home runs in 78 combined games last year and only five in three prior seasons before this year.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

 BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Matt Cooper makes his fifth start of the season on Friday night. His most recent outing came last Saturday at Salem, where he earned his second career Carolina League victory. Working six innings, Cooper allowed two runs on six hits while striking out nine. The nine strikeouts and six innings where both career-highs, while it was the first quality start of Cooper’s pro career. Currently, the 24-year-old ranks fourth in the league in strikeouts (27) and is second among starters in highest SO/9IP ratio (11.57). Cooper split 2015 between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis. Between the two stops, he was 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA over 38 games (all in relief). Most of that time was at Low-A (30 appearances) where he made 30 appearances and went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Promoted to the Dash last August 7, Cooper was utterly dominant at the end of his tenure in the South Atlantic League. He ended his time with 15 straight scoreless innings (striking out 32) while he whiffed 14 of his last 17 batters faced. This season, Cooper shifted to the starting rotation in his 60th professional outing (came on April 8 at Lynchburg). No stranger to a starting role though, Cooper was tremendous for the University of Hawaii rotation, posting a 3.14 ERA as a junior (2013) before turning in a 1.60 mark as a senior, the third-lowest single-season mark in school history. In total he started 27 of the 31 games he pitched. Cooper opened his college career at Bellevue Community College in his home state of Washington. From Marysville, WA, the right-handers hometown is known as “The Strawberry City” since it is surrounded by numerous Strawberry farms. Cooper throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

 

Keys Gear Up for Another Rubber Game

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black gear up for their third rubber game of the year on Thursday night and their second against the Salem Red Sox. The first round went to the Keys at LewisGale Field. Tonight the team will have a little bit of help, as Jimmy Paredes is scheduled to join the team on an MLB rehab assignment. You can read more about it here.

Lefty Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys against southpaw Trey Ball, who makes his season-debut. A former first round pick by Boston, Ball spent all of last season in the Carolina League.

Today’s notes are below while the broadcast kicks off at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source. Doug Raftery and I will be dressing warmly if you care (could be a little cool at the park tonight).

Shake your Keys!

Thursday, April 28, 2016 · Game #21 · Home Game #10

Frederick Keys (7-13) vs. Salem Red Sox (12-8)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-3, 7.41) vs. LHP Trey Ball (0-0, –)

                                                                                                                                                              

RED SOX STUN KEYS WITH 10-RUN EIGHTH: The Salem Red Sox scored 10 times and sent 13 to bat in the top of the eighth to earn a 14-7 come-from-behind win on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. Half of those runs scored either via walk or hit-by-pitch, as Tanner Scott surrendered seven runs in two-thirds of an inning while walking four. Entering the eighth down three, Salem retook the lead on a free ride to Bryan Hudson. Scott was removed for Luis Gonzalez who then walked in the fifth run. From there, Mauricio Duban singled home a pair before Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer to complete the 10-run stanza. With the loss, the Keys will play a rubber match on Thursday against the Red Sox.

AN INNING TO FORGET: Wednesday’s eighth inning marked the second time in as many years that Keys pitching had given up 10 runs in a frame. Last season, Keys pitching gave up 10 runs on July 15 in the front-end of a quasi-doubleheader against Wilmington (a game resumed from July 9). For the Red Sox, the 10-run inning equaled a team-high for runs scored in an inning, a feat which had been accomplished twice before last night. Eerily, the last Salem 10-run inning before Wednesday came exactly five years prior, when the club scored 10 times in the second inning at Kinston on April 27, 2011.

SAWYER SIZZLES IN SEASON DEBUT: Wynston Sawyer rejoined the Keys roster on Tuesday and made quite an impression in his 2016 debut. Ending 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs, Sawyer equaled his Advanced-A high for hits and RBIs. Dating back to last season, Sawyer has nine RBIs in his last six games (including two games of three RBIs). In 2015 he batted .228 with two home runs and 33 RBIs in 74 contests with Frederick.

RUBBER GAMES: The Keys play their third rubber game of the year on Thursday and have played rubber matches now in each of their three-game sets. In deciding games this season the Keys are 1-1. Frederick’s lone win in a rubber game came at Salem on April 13 (5-3) but the Keys dropped their last one at Nymeo Field on April 20, a 13-4 setback to Wilmington.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Although the Keys are tied for sixth in hitting, the orange and black are second in home runs (13). Over the last three games, Frederick his hit five deep flies, after going the previous three games without any. Wynston Sawyer supplied Frederick’s lone homer on Wednesday, a solo shot in the seventh. Austin Wynns and Aderlin Rodriguez share the team lead with three, while both sit just outside the top five in the Carolina League in that category.

PAREDES TO JOIN KEYS THURSDAY: Orioles utility man, Jimmy Paredes is scheduled to rehab with the Keys on Thursday. He is on the mend from a left wrist sprain. Paredes becomes the third member of the Orioles to join the orange on a Major League rehab, after Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz both pitched for Frederick during the team’s first homestand. In 104 games with the Orioles last year, Paredes batted .275 with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs and 17 doubles. Paredes did his best work in the first half when he batted .299. Suiting up for Double-A Bowie the last two nights, Paredes is 1-for-7 with two runs scored and a walk. He played Tuesday at third, while serving as the DH Wednesday.

THE FOUR-RUN RULE: This season, Frederick wins have been predicated on the team reaching the four-run mark. In all seven of the Keys wins, the offense has scored four or more runs. Meanwhile, the team is winless (0-7) when failing to meet the four-run barrier. Frederick’s high-water mark for runs in a game this year is seven, a feat which the Keys have accomplished twice this season.

ALL I DO IS WYNN, WYNN, WYNN: In spite of playing only 14 games, Austin Wynns has been one of the Keys top offensive producers in April. The Californian is tied for the team lead in home runs (three) and is tied for second in RBIs (nine). The power surge from Wynns has been a pleasant surprise for Frederick, given that Wynns hit just three home runs in 78 combined games last year and only five in three prior seasons before this year.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Trey Ball makes his 2016 debut on Thursday night. He is rated the No. 17 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America and No. 19 by MLBPipeline.com. Spending all off 2015 with the Red Sox, the southpaw went 9-13 with a 4.73 ERA in 25 games. Logging 129.1 innings, he gave up 129 hits, walked 60 and struck out 77. He ended third in the league in walks and second in home runs allowed (16) and losses (13). Last year Ball made five starts against Frederick, more than any Red Sox pitcher. He went 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA, while Keys batters hit .305 against him. Ball spent all of 2014 with Low-A Greenville, going 5-10 with a 4.68 ERA over 100 innings (22 starts). A 2013 first round selection (seventh overall) out of New Castle Chrysler (IN) High School (Boston’s highest draft pick since 1993), Ball was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year as a senior, going 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA and was named the No. 1 draft eligible prospect according to Baseball America. He hails from the same hometown as former Indiana basketball great and current UCLA men’s basketball coach Steve Alford. New Castle is also home to the New Castle Correctional Facility, the largest prison in Indiana which can hold up to 3,500 inmates. Ball throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

The Keys Are Back in Town!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys are back home for six games. Tonight the team begins a three-game set with the Salem Red Sox, before getting their first look at the Winston-Salem Dash on Friday night.

Frederick took two of three at Salem during the Keys’ first roadtrip of the season, and will look to keep the trend going tonight against Jalen Beeks. The orange and black have not seen the southpaw yet, but he has gotten off to a strong start,  posting a 0.57 ERA in his first three starts. Only Julian Merryweather of Lynchburg (0.00 ERA) has fared better.

Matthew Grimes gets the ball for the Keys, and is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts. His last outing was a bit of a struggle, as he surrendered five runs in the first inning and did not make it past the third inning.

We’ll have lineups later on, while a look at this weekend’s promotional slate can be found by clicking here. The Cat in the Hat will be Second Home Stand Promo (640)in town on Friday for the team’s 7 p.m game, and afterwards there will be postgame fireworks sponsored by Frederick Magazine. Star Wars Day is back on Saturday at 2. There will be light saber battles between innings as well as appearances by Luke Skywalker and plenty others.

Sunday also ought to be fun, as it is the first Meet the Team Event of the Season. Gates open at 1 as Keys players and coaches will be on the field signing autographs before the game. Fans can also have a pre-game catch on the outfield before the game. One of the great aspects on Sunday Funday presented by Chili’s. First pitch is at 2 p.m.

In other news, Jimmy Paredes is scheduled to rehab with the Keys on Thursday night. He is coming back from a wrist injury and will be the third O’s player to join Frederick on a big league rehab.

Additionally, wanted to pass along an article on Keys pitcher Tanner Chleborad, discussing his start to the Carolina League season. The article can be found by clicking here.

Some game notes are below. Talk to you on the radio tonight! As always, coverage can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App (just search WTHU).

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 · Game #19 · Home Game #8

Frederick Keys (6-12) vs. Salem Red Sox (11-7)

RHP Matthew Grimes (1-1, 1.29) vs. LHP Jalen Beeks (2-0, 0.57)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS AVOID SWEEP, SNAP SLIDE: The Frederick Keys used a pair of home runs to seize control in the fourth inning on Sunday, as the visitors defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats 5-2 at City Stadium. In the process, the Keys avoided their second four game sweep of the year. Trailing 2-0, the Keys plated three two-out runs in the fourth. Following a Cam Kneeland double play, Aderlin Rodriguez singled. One batter later, Austin Wynns tied the game with a home run to left-center field, before the following batter, T.J. Olesczuk followed suit. Three straight singles in the fifth helped Frederick add an insurance run, with Steve Wilkerson’s bringing home Erick Salcedo. Frederick added an additional marker in the eighth, but Keys pitching would not need it. John Means earned the win tossing six innings of two-run baseball, while Tanner Scott and Mike Zouzalik collaborated on three innings of scoreless relief.

HOW SWEET IT IS: The Keys snapped a season-worst five-game slide on Sunday, the team’s longest losing streak since last August 25-29, when the team fell in five straight to Potomac and Winston-Salem. Before winning on Sunday, the Keys had been outscored 64-27.

THE BATS BREAK OUT: On Sunday, the Keys posted 12 hits on the game. That figure equaled their combined output in the two games prior, and was nearly the same as their total over the three previous contests (14). Due to low hit totals over the four game series (24), Frederick ranks last in the league in batting average (.233) and runs scored (64). Moreover, the orange and black have yet to win a game when scoring less than four runs (0-7).

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: In spite of the struggles in the batting average department, the orange and black are tied for second in home runs (10). Four CL teams have hit 10 home runs, as the Keys share the lead with Wilmington, Myrtle Beach and Potomac. The Keys have maintained this second-place position despite going three games without a longball before Sunday. In the series finale at Lynchburg, Austin Wynns and T.J. Olesczuk hit back-to-back blasts, marking the first time the Keys had accomplished the feat since August 1 of last season against Myrtle Beach, when Wynns and Yaisel Mederos hit consecutive home runs. The home run for Olesczuk was hit first at the Advanced-A level.

ALL I DO IS WYNN, WYNN, WYNN: In spite of playing only 12 games, Austin Wynns has been one of the Keys top offensive producers in April. The Californian leads the Keys in home runs (three) and RBIs (nine), while Wynns’ three deep flies are tied for third in the CL. The power surge is a pleasant surprise for Frederick, given that Wynns hit just three home runs in 78 combined games last year and only five in three prior seasons before this year.

WORKING ON THE LEATHER: Sunday marked an error-free game for the Keys, after they had committed two or more errors in four of their previous five contests. In the Lynchburg series, the Keys committed seven errors. The Keys are tied for fifth in the league with a .971 fielding percentage.

 GONZO TO THE DL: Jay Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list before Friday night’s game against Lynchburg. A tough break for the Keys, Gonzalez had a team-high five-game hitting streak and was 9-for-20 (.450) with a steal in four of those games. In a corresponding move, T.J. Olesczuk was received from Aberdeen. Olesczuk had a seven game cameo with the Keys to begin his 2015 season, going 3-for-19 at the plate (.158). Olesczuk hit .244 in 73 games with Low-A Delmarva last year.

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: For the second time in three years, Frederick has started its home slate with a 1-6 record. That was also the case in 2014, when the team was swept by Carolina to start, before falling in three of four against Lynchburg. In spite of the problems on the home front, the Keys are hardly alone. Only Lynchburg (7-4) and Myrtle Beach (6-5) have winning home records, while the Keys, Wilmington (1-10), Potomac (1-6) and Winston-Salem (1-6) all have only one home win to start their home schedules.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

 BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Jalen Beeks makes his fourth start of the season and his first against the Keys. He is currently second in the Carolina League with a 0.57 ERA (15.2 IP/1ER), trailing only Lynchburg’s Julian Merryweather, who has not allowed any runs in 17.2 innings. A winner in his last two starts, Beeks defeated Carolina in his most recent start last Wednesday. Over five shutout innings, he allowed five hits, walked one and struck out three. The 22-year-old spent all of last season at Low-A Greenville, where he went 9-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 26 starts. In 145.2 innings, he allowed 156 hits, walked 28 and struck out 100, while opponents batted .272 against him. His first-half (4.35) and second-half (4.30) numbers were largely the same. A workhorse, Beeks led Red Sox farm hands in innings pitched, while among South Atlantic League pitchers he finished fifth in BB/9IP ratio (1.73), fourth in innings, but also second in home runs allowed (17). A 12th round pick out of Arkansas in 2014, Beeks went 6-4 with a 1.98 ERA in his last year with the Hogs. He throws a fastball, a slider and a change.

 

 

The Keys Try and Snap a Three-Game Slide

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys continue their four-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats on Friday night after being shutout 5-0 on Thursday at City Stadium. It was one of those nights for the orange and black, as Sean Brady held the visitors to just one hit in seven scoreless innings.

While the news may not have been so great for the Keys, it was for a Keys alumnus. Jake Arrieta who pitched for Frederick in 2008, turned in his his second career no-hitter as the Cubs defeated the Reds 16-0. It was Arrieta’s second no-no in eight months.

Arrieta 640

Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter on Thursday night at Cincinnati. This past fall, he became the first former Key to win a Cy Young Award.

Here is an interesting video from ESPN, providing its case for why Arrieta is the best pitcher in baseball. He certainly was the best in the Carolina League in ’08, claiming Carolina League Pitcher of the Year honors while posting a 2.87 ERA. He also pitched in the Futures Game and the Olympics.

 

Tonight, Mitch Horacek will try and channel his inner Arrieta as the lefty makes his fourth start of the season. He will be opposed by fellow southpaw Justus Sheffield.

First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m from City Stadium and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Doug Raftery has the call.

Today’s batch of games notes can be found below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Friday, April 22, 2016 · Game #16 · Road Game #9

Frederick Keys (5-10) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (12-3)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-2, 7.07) vs. LHP Justus Sheffield (1-0, 2.03)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS SHUTOUT FOR SECOND TIME: Keys right-hander Cory Jones was solid in his debut, however the offense was held to just two hits in a 5-0 loss at City Stadium on Thursday night. Jones lasted five innings and allowed two runs. In the first, Yu-Cheng Chang doubled with one out and was brought home by a Bobby Bradley RBI single. An inning later, Mark Mathias earned a walk with one away and was followed by a Daniel Salters single to place runners on the corners. Ivan Castillo grounded into a fielder’s choice for an RBI and two-run lead. Anthony Caronia led off the third with a double to straightaway center field, but that was the only hit for the Keys until Caronia gathered an infield single in the ninth. Hillcats starter Sean Brady gave up one hit, walked two, and punched out four over seven shutout innings. Lynchburg scored three unearned runs in the sixth and seventh frames.

ZEROES ON THE BOARD: The Keys were held scoreless for the second time in a week against Lynchburg. The Hillcats shutout the Keys 4-0 last Friday at Nymeo Field. In those games, the Keys recorded seven combined hits, including two on Thursday, a season-low. Lynchburg has four shutouts so far, the most in the Carolina League, and have not allowed a run in 22 innings. In 2015, Frederick was shutout 12 times, and finished with a shutout mark of 8-12. This year, the Keys are 1-2.

STREAKING THE WRONG WAY: The Keys have dropped three consecutive games, one shy of their season-high (four in a row to Lynchburg last Thursday-Sunday). The orange and black have also lost seven of their last eight. During that span, they have been outscored 53-22. Lynchburg has won all five matchups between the two squads. Last year, the Hillcats were one of two teams the Keys had a winning record against (12-11). Frederick went 13-9 against its closest geographical rival, Potomac.

IT WAS JUST A MISTAKE: The errors have piled up over the last three games for the orange and black, as they posted their second multi-error game in three contests. Thursday night, Frederick committed three mistakes, a pair of them charged to Jomar Reyes. On Tuesday against Wilmington, the Keys committed a season-high four errors. Those two nights make up for 47 percent of their errors in 2016 (seven out of 15).

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: For the second time in three years, Frederick opened its home slate with a 1-6 record. That was also the case in 2014, when the team was swept by Carolina, before falling in three of four against Lynchburg. Currently, the Keys are last in in the CL North with a 5-10 record, while they are tied with Winston-Salem for the worst record in the CL. Fortunately for the Keys, the team has already had one successful roadtrip (4-3) with the team earning a series win at Salem in its most recent road set.

GONZALEZ STAYS HOT: Although he had the day off Thursday, Jay Gonzalez has hit safely in each of his last five games, batting .450 (9-for-20) during that time with a triple, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. Not only has Gonzalez tallied a hit in five straight contests, but he has a steal in four of his last five games. That has pushed his season total to 10, while the Floridian has yet to be caught. Entering Friday, Gonzalez is third in swipes, trailing only Lynchburg’s Greg Allen (14) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (13). In 2015, Gonzalez racked up 34 stolen bases between Frederick and Low-A Delmarva, giving him the most among O’s farmhands.  

NEW FACES JOIN KEYS: Before Tuesday’s game, several Keys roster transactions took place. Right-handed pitchers Cory Jones and Lucas Long were promoted from Low-A Delmarva while Chipper Smith was released. In two starts for the Shorebirds, Jones went 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA (9IP/1ER) while Long went 0-0 with a 0.50 ERA (18 IP/1ER) in three starts. Long was selected by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 2014 Draft, while Jones was selected by Baltimore in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft after beginning his career with the Cardinals organization. In a corresponding move, Keys left-handed starter Chipper Smith was released.  

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

 BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Justus Sheffield makes his fourth Advanced-A start on Friday and his second against the Keys. He is the No. 4 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America (and the No. 2 pitching prospect). This past Sunday against Frederick, the southpaw tossed 4.1 innings of three-hit baseball and allowed one run in a no-decision. He walked two and struck out four. So far, opponents are hitting just .196 against Sheffield. Last season, the Tennessee native pitched all year for Low-A Lake County, going 9-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 26 starts. Over 127.2 innings, he allowed 135 hits, walked 38 and struck out 138. Opponents batted .264 against him. A MWL all-star, he finished second in the Midwest League in strikeouts and paced all starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.73). A first round pick by the Indians in 2014, Sheffield was selected by Cleveland with the 31st overall pick and received a $1.6 million signing bonus. The Gatorade National Player of the Year, the Indians were able to select Sheffield as compensation for Ubaldo Jimenez leaving via free agency (he received a qualifying offer). He chose the Indians over a scholarship offer to Vanderbilt.

 

Keys Visit Red-Hot Lynchburg

Good Afternoon,

The Frederick Keys begin a four-game roadtrip on Thursday night, as the team takes on the Lynchburg Hillcats at City Stadium. Right-hander Cory Jones makes his first start for the Keys after he was promoted from Low-A Delmarva early this week. His opposition will be Hillcats lefty Sean Brady. The Keys saw Brady pitch on Saturday.

First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m from City Stadium and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Doug Raftery will have the call.

Some game notes are below.

Shake your keys!

Geoff

Thursday, April 21, 2016 · Game #15 · Road Game #8

Frederick Keys (5-9) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (11-3)

RHP Cory Jones (0-0, –) vs. LHP Sean Brady (0-1, 5.79)

                                                                                                                                              

KEYS PICK UP FIRST HOME WIN: The Wilmington Blue Rocks turned in a season-high 13 runs and a season-high 17 hits to defeat the Frederick Keys 13-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Nymeo Field. In the game, the Blue Rocks had seven of their nine starters record two hits or more while five finished with multi-RBI contests. The loss concluded a disappointing 1-6 homestand for the Keys. In the game, the Blue Rocks delivered three different innings of three runs or more. That included a five-run second in which 10 different hitters came to bat. Luis Villegas singled home the first run, while a bounce out made it 3-0 Blue Rocks. Elier Hernandez (single) and Alfredo Escalera (double) drove in the next three runs with two outs, before the Keys answered with a two-run double by Erick Salcedo. However the Blue Rocks scored seven of the final nine runs, including a three-run inside the park homer in the ninth.

FLUSH GAME: Wednesday was a rough day for the Keys pitching. In the contest, the staff surrendered season-highs in runs and hits and equaled its high-water mark for runs surrendered in an inning (five). In the process, it pushed the club’s staff ERA from 4.30 to 4.94. Only the Blue Rocks staff ERA of 5.01 is worse. To make it through the contest, Keith Bodie needed to use five pitchers, also a season-high.

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: For the second time in three years, Frederick opened its home slate with a 1-6 record. That was also the case in 2014, when the team was swept by Carolina, before falling in three of four against Lynchburg. Currently, the Keys are last in in the CL North with a 5-9 record, while only Winston-Salem has gotten off to a worse start (4-10). Fortunately for the Keys, the team has already had one successful roadtrip (4-3) with the team earning a series win at Salem in its most recent road set.

GONZALEZ STAYS HOT: Jay Gonzalez has hit safely in each of his last five games, batting .450 (9-for-20) during that time with a triple, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. Not only has Gonzalez tallied a hit in five straight contests, but he has a steal in four of his last five games. That has pushed his season total to 10, while the Floridian has yet to be caught. Entering Thursday, Gonzalez is third in swipes, trailing only Lynchburg’s Greg Allen and Salem’s Yoan Moncada who each have 13. In 2015, Gonzalez racked up 34 stolen bases between Frederick and Low-A Delmarva, giving him the most among O’s farmhands.  

NEW FACES JOIN KEYS: Before Tuesday’s game, several Keys roster transactions took place. Right-handed pitchers Cory Jones and Lucas Long were promoted from Low-A Delmarva while Chipper Smith was released. In two starts for the Shorebirds, Jones went 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA (9IP/1ER) while Long went 0-0 with a 0.50 ERA (18 IP/1ER) in three starts. Long was selected by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 2014 Draft, while Jones was selected by Baltimore in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft after beginning his career with the Cardinals organization. In a corresponding move, Keys left-handed starter Chipper Smith was released.  

MATUSZ IMPRESSES IN SECOND REHAB OUTING: Pitching on a Major League rehab assignment Tuesday, Brian Matusz was impressive out of the bullpen. Working four shutout innings, the Orioles lefty allowed one hit, struck out nine and did not walk a batter. He threw 48 pitches with 38 going for strikes. On the mend from a lower back strain, Matusz also pitched for the Keys last Friday, giving up one run in three innings. Originally drafted by the Orioles with the fourth pick of the 2008 draft, Matusz pitched for the Keys in 2009, going 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts.  

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

 BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:  Sean Brady makes his third Carolina League start on Thursday and his second against the Keys. Facing the orange and black this past Saturday at Nymeo Field, the lefty worked 5.1 innings of one-run baseball. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out seven. Only 21 years old, Brady spent all of 2015 at Low-A Lake County. His third professional season, he went 7-12 with a 3.81 ERA in 26 games (all starts). Logging 146.1 innings (a season-high and fourth in the Midwest League) the Floridian gave up 151 hits, walked 29 and struck out 118. He posted better numbers in the first-half, going 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA before the break as opposed to a 2-9 record and a 4.22 ERA afterwards. Selected by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2013 draft out of Ida Baker High School, Brady was a third team All-American and recorded a 0.74 ERA as a high school senior, striking out 90 in 44 innings. Originally committed to play baseball at the University of Florida, Brady signed with Cleveland after receiving an $800,000 signing bonus. Brady hails from Cape Coral, Florida, located in the Fort Myers area and stationed on the Gulf of Mexico. Occasionally known as the “Waterfront Wonderland” Cape Coral contains more than 400 miles of navigable canals, giving the city more miles of canals than anywhere in the world.

Morning Baseball Take 2…

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The orange and black conclude their series today with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. First pitch comes your way at 11am from Nymeo Field, with Keys lefty Max Schuh taking on Blue Rocks southpaw Matt Tenuta.

You can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. If you’re at work, we hope to make the day move a little faster!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 · Game #14 · Home Game #7

Frederick Keys (5-8) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (5-7)

RHP Max Schuh (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Matt Tenuta (1-0, 3.72)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS PICK UP FIRST HOME WIN: The Wilmington Blue Rocks scored five times in the first inning en route to a 6-1 win over the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. The loss sets up a Wednesday morning rubber game for the orange and black. Wilmington batted around in the first inning, scoring first off a wild pitch and an error by second baseman Steve Wilkerson with runners on first and third. Brandon Downes followed with a two-run homer to make it 3-0, before Wander Franco stroked an RBI double and Chad Johnson added a run scoring single. In the third, Franco hit a solo homer off Matthew Grimes to complete the Wilmington scoring. At the plate, the Keys left 12 on base and mustered one run on an Aderlin Rodriguez double play ball in the sixth

MATUSZ IMPRESSES IN SECOND REHAB OUTING: Pitching on a Major League rehab assignment Tuesday, Brian Matusz was impressive out of the bullpen. Working four shutout innings, the Orioles lefty allowed one hit, struck out nine and did not walk a batter. He threw 48 pitches with 38 going for strikes. On the mend from a lower back strain, Matusz also pitched for the Keys last Friday, giving up one run in three innings. Originally drafted by the Orioles with the fourth pick of the 2008 draft, Matusz pitched for the Keys in 2009, going 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts.

NEW FACES JOIN KEYS: Before Tuesday’s game, several Keys roster transactions took place. Right-handed pitchers Cory Jones and Lucas Long were promoted from Low-A Delmarva while Chipper Smith was released. In two starts for the Shorebirds, Jones went 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA (9IP/1ER) while Long went 0-0 with a 0.50 ERA (18 IP/1ER) in three starts. Long was selected by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 2014 Draft, while Jones was selected by Baltimore in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft after beginning his career with the Cardinals organization. In a corresponding move, Keys left-handed starter Chipper Smith was released.

GONZALEZ STAYS HOT: Jay Gonzalez has hit safely in each of his last four games, batting .500 (8-for-16) during that time with a triple, a double, four RBIs, three runs scored. Not only has Gonzalez tallied a hit in four straight contests, but he has a steal in four games straight. That has pushed his season total to 10, while the Floridian has yet to be caught. Entering Wednesday, Gonzalez is third in swipes, trailing only Lynchburg’s Greg Allen and Salem’s Yoan Moncada who each have 13. In 2015, Gonzalez racked up 34 stolen bases between Frederick and Low-A Delmarva, giving him the most among O’s farmhands.

LITTLE HELP!: After their best showing with runners in scoring position on Monday, the Keys struggled on Tuesday, going 1-for-8 with runners closest to home. Additionally, Frederick left a season-high 12 on base. Currently, Frederick is last in the CL with men closest to home, batting .190 (and is the only team below .200).

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close on Monday. Over the streak, the Massachusetts native hit .375 (9-for-24) with three doubles and three runs scored. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent out of the independent ranks in 2013, Among Carolina Leaguers, Kneeland is seventh in hitting and third in doubles (six). Last year, Kneeland played 112 games for Low-A Delmarva in 2015 batting .267 with six home runs and 63 RBIs.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

 BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:  Matt Tenuta makes his third Carolina League start on Wednesday morning. In his most recent outing last Friday at Potomac, the left-hander earned the win, giving up one run on three hits in five innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. Through two starts, opponents are batting only .188 against him, the third-lowest mark in the Carolina League. Last season, Tenuta spent time with Low-A Lexington, Rookie-Burlington and the AZL Royals. Between the three stops he went 3-7 with a 3.93 ERA, with 13 of his 21 appearances coming at Low-A (2-6, 4.25). Opening the season there, the 10th pitch of his fifth start cost him more than two months, as he took a line drive off his left leg which broke his fibula. Selected by the Royals out of high school in the 25th round of the 2012 draft, Tenuta received a reported $100,000 bonus. From there, he was named the Surprise Pitcher of the Year, before progressing to up to Low-A ball in 2014. As a kid, Tenuta moved all around, living in locales such as Columbus, OH, South Bend IN, Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC. The reason is that his dad Jon is a highly decorated defensive coordinator, serving in that role at BCS stops such as Kansas State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Virginia. Additionally his dad played football for the Wahoos and his mom starred on the basketball team. Happy to be in the Carolina League, Tenuta lives in Cary, NC, not far from CL stops in Carolina and Winston-Salem. He throws a fastball, a curveball, a slider and a changeup.

The Keys Try and Take the Series From the Blue Rocks!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The orange and black play the second of three games against Wilmington on Tuesday night. Monday marked the Keys first win of the year and home and snapped a six-game slide in home games if you go back to last year.

Today, the Keys try and make it 2-for-2 against the Rocks as Matthew Grimes takes the hill. He will be opposed by Blue Rocks righty Pedro Fernandez. Both pitchers rank in the top six in the league in ERA, so this ought to be a fun matchup to watch.

As an added bonus, Brian Matusz will once again suit up for the Keys as he continues his rehab from a back strain. He will pitch in relief.

Today’s notes are below, while you can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Shake your keys!

Geoff

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 · Game #13 · Home Game #6

Frederick Keys (5-7) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (4-7)

RHP Matthew Grimes (1-0, 0.82) vs. RHP Pedro Fernandez (1-0, 1.74)

                                                                                                                                                              KEYS PICK UP FIRST HOME WIN: The Frederick Keys earned their first home win of 2016 on Monday night, topping the Wilmington Blue Rocks 5-1. Jomar Reyes and Jay Gonzalez led the way, with a pair of RBIs each. Wilmington used a pair of doubles to grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the orange and black answered in the home first and would not trail the rest of the way. Gonzalez walked to open the inning, stole second and scored on an RBI base hit by Josh Hart to tie the game. Later in the inning, Reyes lined a single to right to score Hart. In the fourth, Reyes hit an opposite field home run, while a Gonzalez double in the fifth and triples by Erick Salcedo and Gonzalez completed the scoring in the seventh. On the mound, John Means earned his second win in as many starts, tossing five innings of one-run baseball. Luis Gonzalez garnered the save, tossing three scoreless innings to end the game.

LET’S GO HOME HAPPY: Monday’s win snapped a season-high four-game losing streak, as well as a six-game slide in home contests if you go back to 2015 (Frederick’s last home win before yesterday came on September 5). Additionally, the Keys avoided starting 0-5 at home for the second time in three years (it also happened in 2014). In the first home series of the year, the Keys were swept in four games by Lynchburg, marking the first time the Keys had been broomed in a four-game home set since June 25-27, 2014 against Winston-Salem.

GONZO AND GONZO: Jay Gonzalez and Luis Gonzalez both turned in strong games on Monday. Jay Gonzalez posted his third consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and a run scored. He also stole his third base in as many games, giving him nine for the year. He is currently third in the CL in swipes (trailing Salem’s Yoan Moncada who has 12 and Lynchburg’s Greg Allen who has 13) and has not been caught. Last season, Jay had 34 between Low-A Delmarva and Frederick, the top mark among O’s minor league farmhands. On the mound, Luis Gonzalez delivered three shutout innings to pick up his first save since the 2013 season (when he was with the DSL Orioles). The three clean innings also trimmed the lefty’s ERA from 8.53 to 5.79.

SLUMP BUSTING: Entering Monday’s action just 1 for his previous 12, Jomar Reyes made good use of his de-facto half day. As the DH, he turned in a 2-for-4 game Monday with his second Carolina League homer, to go with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Both of Reyes’ home runs have come at Nymeo Field this year, both have come to rightfield and each has come in the first game of a series. Through 12 CL games, the 19-year-old is hitting .273 (12-for-44) while almost half of his hits (five) have gone for extra-bases.

LITTLE HELP!: After going just 6-for-40 (.150) with men in scoring position in the first four games of the series, the club had a breakthrough on Monday, ending 4-for-10 with men closest to home. It is the team’s best showing in a game all year (previously Frederick went 5-for-13 in the second game of the year). Currently, Frederick is last in the CL with men closest to home, batting .194 (and is the only team below .200). Although Potomac has done fairly well in that category so far (.269) five of the eight teams in the league are batting .233 or less in that department.

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close on Monday. Over the streak, the Massachusetts native hit .375 (9-for-24) with three doubles and three runs scored. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent out of the independent ranks in 2013, Among Carolina Leaguers, Kneeland is seventh in hitting and second in doubles (six). Last year, Kneeland played 112 games for Low-A Delmarva in 2015 batting .267 with six home runs and 63 RBIs.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:  Right-hander Pedro Fernandez makes his third start of the season on Tuesday night and is the No. 18 prospect in the Kansas City farm system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Thursday at Potomac. Pitching six innings, the right-hander allowed one run on three hits to go with two walks and four strikeouts. Currently he is sixth in the CL in ERA (1.74), fourth in WHIP (0.97) and third among starters in fewest baserunners per nine innings (8.71). Fernandez split 205 between Wilmington and Low-A Lexington, posting much better numbers with the former. With the Legends, he was 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 78 innings. He gave up just 53 hits, walked 27 and struck out 89 while opponents hit only .191. After joining the Blue Rocks in August, he struggled mightily, going 0-6 with an 8.82 ERA in seven contests and made it through the fifth only once. Signed as a 16-year-old by Kansas City in 2011, Fernandez hails from the resort town of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, a city featuring 100,000 hotel beds.

The Keys Look for Their First Home Win

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys search for the first home win of the 2016 season on Monday night at Nymeo Field. Left-hander John Means gets the ball for Frederick and is coming off his first Advanced-A win in his last start. His opposition will be Blue Rocks right-hander Zach Lovvorn. Although he is off to a slow start, the right-hander defeated the Keys in his first Advanced-A outing last July.

First pitch is at 7:00 p.m and the broadcast is available on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.

Today’s notes are below. Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Monday, April 18, 2016 · Game #12 · Home Game #5

Frederick Keys (4-7) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (4-6)

LHP John Means (1-0, 3.00) vs. RHP Zach Lovvorn (0-2, 6.14)

                                                                                                                                                              

LYNCHBURG COMPLETES FOUR-GAME SWEEP: The Lynchburg Hillcats completed a four-game sweep of the Frederick Keys on Sunday afternoon, posting an 8-1 victory at Nymeo Field. With the loss, the Keys move to three games below sea-level for the first time in 2016. Lynchburg scored in five of its nine trips to bat, but did a big chunk of their damage in the second. Sending eight men to bat, the Hillcats scored three times off Mitch Horacek. Doubles by Anthony Santander and Mike Papi scored the first run, before a wild pitch and an RBI single by Daniel Salters made it a 3-0 affair. The Lynchburg lead stretched to 5-0 after four innings, before the Keys got on the board one inning later via a double steal. That is all the Keys could muster though, as the team was held to five hits on the game.

HOME STRUGGLES REMINISCENT OF 2014: Sunday’s loss completed a four-game sweep for the Hillcats, marking the first time the Keys had been swept in a four-game home series since June 25-June 27, 2014 against Winston-Salem. Additionally, it marks the second time in the last three years that the team has lost its first four home games. In 2014, the Keys dropped their first five home tilts, before defeating Lynchburg 12-6 in a Sunday matinee. In general April ’14 was not a good one for the orange and black at home, as the team went 3-9. Since 2009, the Keys have opened the home slate with an 0-4 record on three occasions.

HOT AND COLD: Over the last three days, the Keys have alternated between hot and cold at the plate. On Friday, the team was shutout for the first time all season and finished with a season-low five hits in a 4-0 setback to Lynchburg. Saturday also yielded an 8-5 loss, but the club posted a season-high 15 hits, as eight of nine starters finished with one base knock. Sunday resembled Friday, with the team equaling its low-water mark for hits and suffering its most lopsided defeat of the year. As a team, the Keys are sixth in the eight-team loop in hitting (.251) but are third in home runs (six) and stolen bases (18).

LITTLE HELP!: One common theme over the four games the Keys have played has been issues with runners in scoring position.  Over that time, the club is batting just .150 (6-for-40) and has only one hits with a runner(s) in scoring position in three of those four games. Currently, Frederick is last in the CL with men closest to home, batting .176. Although Potomac has done fairly well in that category so far (.277) half of the league is batting .231 or less in that department.

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland has been a pleasant surprise for the Keys this season. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent out of the independent ranks in 2013, Kneeland leads all Orioles minor league farmhands with a .389 average in 10 games. Owner of a six-game hitting streak, Kneeland is batting .375 (9-for-24) during that stretch with three doubles and three runs scored. Among Carolina Leaguers, Kneeland is fourth in hitting, trailing only Potomac’s Jose Marmolejos-Diaz (.394), Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn (.425) and Potomac’s Khayyan Norfork (.440). Additionally, the Massachusetts native is tied for the league lead in doubles (six) and is fourth in on-base percentage (.488). Last year, Kneeland played 112 games for Low-A Delmarva in 2015 batting .267 with six home runs and 63 RBIs.

WRAPPING UP GAUSMAN AND MATUSZ’S OUTING: Kevin Gausman made the start for the Keys on Friday, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 3.1 innings. He walked two and struck out eight, but had to exit in the fourth after hitting his pitch count. Brian Matusz came on in the fifth and pitched three innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. It marked the second straight season that Gausman had appeared on an MLB rehab with the Keys, while it was Matusz’s first appearance since 2011. Gausman is rehabbing from right shoulder tendinitis, while Matusz is on the mend from a lower back strain.

LONG STRETCH TO START: This season gets off to an exhausting start for the Keys. Starting with opening day, the Keys open the year with 18 consecutive games. A month that features just one off day, the team gets its first day of rest on April 25.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns, Chipper Smith and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:  Right-hander Zach Lovvorn makes his third start of the season on Monday night. In his most recent outing last Wednesday, he allowed two runs on seven hits in four innings in a losing effort. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. Through two games, opponents are batting .355 off Lovvorn. This will be the right-hander’s second career start against the Keys. Making his Advanced-A debut against the orange and black, the 21-year-old picked up the victory, going seven innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Promoted to Wilmington last July, Lovvorn went 4-5 with a 3.93 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) and registered quality outings in seven of his 11 games. Combined between the Blue Rocks and Low-A Lexington (where he started the year) Lovvorn finished 9-11 with a 4.07 ERA and pitched 137 innings. He allowed 152 hits, walked 34 and struck out 85. Lovvorn was selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Oxford (AL) High School. The third pitcher in his high school rotation (the first two signed with Florida and Alabama) the righty rose up draft boards thanks to a good showing in the National High School Invitational. He received a $275,000 bonus, $80,000 over the recommended slot value. Before signing with the Royals, Lovvorn was committed to Stamford. Growing up in Alabama, Lovvorn’ s favorite team was the Braves and his favorite player was Chipper Jones. He throws a fastball, a curveball, a changeup and a slider.

Keys Try and Avoid the Sweep on Sunday

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try and avoid the four-game sweep at the hands of the Lynchburg Hillcats on Sunday. Lefty Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Hillcats southpaw Justus Sheffield.

First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m from Nymeo Field and the broadcast can be heard at 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com

Talk soon and shake your Keys!

Sunday, April 17, 2016 · Game #11 · Home Game #4

Frederick Keys (4-6) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (7-3)

               LHP Mitch Horacek (1-1, 5.40) vs. LHP Justus Sheffield (1-0, 2.00)                                                                                                                                                            

HILLCATS PLAY LONGBALL, TAKE SERIES: The Lynchburg Hillcats hit four home runs including two in the top of the 10th, as the visitors defeated the Frederick Keys 8-5 in extra-innings on Saturday afternoon at Nymeo Field. It was the third straight loss by the orange, as Lynchburg claimed the four-game series. Down to their final out and their final strike, the Keys got a major lift from Aderlin Rodriguez, who blasted a homer over the leftfield wall to tie the game at four in the bottom of the ninth. In the 10th, the Hillcats quickly regained control. Mike Papi started the frame with a solo home run off Jimmy Yacabonis, before Claudio Bautista added a three-run shot later in the inning. The Keys added one run in the bottom of the 10th but could not rally against Cameron Hill. Papi led the home run barrage for Lynchburg, supplying two of the four deep flies.

FREE BASEBALL: Saturday marked the first extra-inning game of the year for the Keys. Last year, the Keys played 10 extra-inning contests and posted a 7-3 record (including a 5-2 mark in home games going past regulation). Although Saturday marked the first free baseball of the year for the Keys, the team has been involved in a host of close games over the first week and a half of the year. Of the club’s first 10 games of the year, half have been decided by two runs (3-2) while seven have hinged on three runs or less (3-4).

EVERYBODY HITS: One night after the Keys equaled their season-low for hits, the club posted a season-high 15 hits. In the game, eight of nine in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit, while Jay Gonzalez, Aderlin Rodriguez, Cam Kneeland, Austin Wynns and Jonah Heim all tallied multiple hits. Through their first 10 games, the Keys are fourth in the league in hitting (.259) and are third in home runs (six) and third in stolen bases (16).

LITTLE HELP!: In spite of the 15 hits, Frederick went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, while over the first three games of the homestand, the club is 5-for-28 (.179) in that department. Currently, Frederick is last in the CL with men closest to home, batting .187. Although Potomac has fared well in that category so far (.287) six of the eight teams in the Carolina League are batting .233 or worse.

GONZALEZ BUSTS OUT OF MINI SLUMP: Jay Gonzalez broke out of an 0-for-16 slump on Saturday, going 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored. The three hits and two RBIs were a season-high for Gonzalez. Additionally, the three hits were one shy of his personal-best in an Advanced-A game. This season, Gonzalez has four multi-hit efforts and is batting .270 in nine contests. A major threat to run when he reaches base, the speedster is tied for third in the CL in stolen bases (Lynchburg’s Greg Allen leads with nine) while Gonzalez has yet to be caught trying to steal.

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland has been a pleasant surprise for the Keys this season. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent out of the independent ranks in 2013, Kneeland leads all Orioles minor league farmhands with a .406 average in nine games. Owner of a five-game hitting streak, Kneeland is batting .400 (8-for-20) during that stretch with three doubles and three runs scored. Among Carolina Leaguers, Kneeland is third in hitting, trailing only Wilmington’s Ryan O’Hearn (.429) and Potomac’s Khayyan Norfork (.440). Additionally, the Massachusetts native is tied for the league lead in doubles (six) and is second in on-base percentage (.513). Last year, Kneeland played 112 games for Low-A Delmarva in 2015 batting .267 with six home runs and 63 RBIs.

WRAPPING UP GAUSMAN AND MATUSZ’S OUTING: Kevin Gausman made the start for the Keys on Friday, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 3.1 innings. He walked two and struck out eight, but had to exit in the fourth after hitting his pitch count. Brian Matusz came on in the fifth and pitched three innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. It marked the second straight season that Gausman had appeared on an MLB rehab with the Keys, while it was Matusz’s first appearance since 2011. Gausman is rehabbing from right shoulder tendinitis, while Matusz is on the mend from a lower back strain.

LONG STRETCH TO START: Thursday night marked the first of seven games the Keys will play away from home to open the year. After wrapping up this series against Myrtle Beach, Frederick will bus to Virginia to battle the Salem Red Sox before playing its home opener next Thursday. A month that features just one off day, the orange and black open the year with 18 consecutive games, before getting their first off day on April 25.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns, Chipper Smith and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Justus Sheffield makes his third Advanced-A start on Saturday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America (and the No. 2 pitching prospect. In his last outing against Potomac on Tuesday, the southpaw tossed six shutout innings of two-hit baseball to earn his first win. He walked three and struck out four. So far, opponents are hitting just .194 against Sheffield so far. Last season, the Tennessee native pitched all year for Low-A Lake County, going 9-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 26 starts. Over 127.2 innings, he allowed 135 hits, walked 38 and struck out 138. Opponents batted .264 against him. A MWL all-star, he finished second in the Midwest League in strikeouts and paced all starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.73). A first round pick by the Indians in 2014, Sheffield was selected by Cleveland with the 31st overall pick and received a $1.6 million signing bonus. The Gatorade National Player of the Year, the Indians were able to select Sheffield as compensation for Ubaldo Jimenez leaving via free agency (he received a qualifying offer). He chose the Indians over a scholarship offer to Vanderbilt.

The Keys Try to Snap a Two-Game Slide Saturday

Saturday, April 16, 2016 · Game #10 · Home Game #3

Frederick Keys (4-5) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (6-3)

LHP Chipper Smith (0-1, 10.80) vs. LHP Sean Brady (0-1, 11.25)

                                                                                                                                                              

BIG LEAGUE REHABBERS NOT ENOUGH: Despite facing two big league rehabbers, the Lynchburg Hillcats scored the only runs of the game, as the visitors topped the Frederick Keys 4-0 at Nymeo Field on Friday night. In the game, Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz combined on 6.1 innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out 11 combined batters. Lynchburg plated single markers in the first and fourth innings against Gausman. Yu-Cheng Chang brought in the first run on a bounce out to the right side, after the Hillcats opened the game with the bases loaded. Gausman exited in the fourth for Max Schuh, who allowed a sac-fly to Ivan Castillo, before Matusz entered in the fifth. After recording the first two outs, the lefty gave up a solo homer to Bobby Bradley to make it 3-0. Lynchburg added one more run in the ninth, but the Keys could not respond. On the game, Frederick was limited to just five hits (equaled a season-low).

WRAPPING UP GAUSMAN AND MATUSZ’S OUTING: Kevin Gausman made the start fir the Keys, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 3.1 innings. He walked two and struck out eight, but had to exit in the fourth after hitting his pitch count. Brian Matusz came on in the fifth and pitched three innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. It marked the second straight season that Gausman had appeared on an MLB rehab with the Keys, while it was Matusz’s first appearance since 2011. Gausman is rehabbing from right shoulder tendinitis, while Matusz is on the mend from a lower back strain.

BLANKED: Saturday marked the first time in 2016 the Keys had been shutout, and the first opponent shutout since September 6 of last season, the penultimate contest of the 2015 regular season. This year, the orange and black have been limited to a season-low five hits on three separate occasions (including twice in the last five games). In 2015, Frederick was shutout 12 times, and finished with a shutout mark of 8-12.

LITTLE HELP!: Last night the Keys went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while over the first two games of the homestand, the club is 2-for-14 in that department. Currently, Frederick is last in the CL with men closest to home, batting .183. Although that is a mark the Keys are trying to address, few Carolina League teams have done well with men in scoring position so far. The high-water mark so far is .261 (by Potomac) while half of the league is batting .224 or worse in run scoring opportunities.

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland has been a pleasant surprise for the Keys this season. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent out of the independent ranks in 2013, Kneeland leads all Orioles minor league farmhands with a .407 average in eight games. Among Carolina Leaguers, Kneeland is second in hitting, trailing only Potomac’s Khayyan Norfork (.476). Additionally, Kneeland leads the league in on-base percentage (.529) is tied for second in doubles (five) and fifth in slugging (.593). Last year, Kneeland played 112 games for Low-A Delmarva in 2015 batting .267 with six home runs and 63 RBIs.

WILKERSON GAINING STEAM: After opening the season 0-for-13, Steve Wilkerson has started to find his way. The Georgian has hit safely in four of his last five games and is batting .375 (6-for-last 16) during that time with two doubles and two RBIs. Additionally, Wilkerson has upped his on-base percentage to .371 by earning six walks in his last four contests. He has walked twice in each of his last two games, and is tied for second in the CL in free rides.

LONG STRETCH TO START: Thursday night marked the first of seven games the Keys will play away from home to open the year. After wrapping up this series against Myrtle Beach, Frederick will bus to Virginia to battle the Salem Red Sox before playing its home opener next Thursday. A month that features just one off day, the orange and black open the year with 18 consecutive games, before getting their first off day on April 25..

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

FAMILIAR FACES: The Frederick Keys opening day roster features 11 returning players. Of this group, Mitch Horacek, Jimmy Yacabonis, Austin Wynns and Anthony Caronia also suited up for the orange in black in either 2013 or 2014. To go along with some familiar faces, the Keys boast plenty of experience. Of the 25 players on the Keys roster, 16 have played at the Advanced-A level or higher. Among this group, Wynns, Chipper Smith and Aderlin Rodriguez have reached the Double-A level, while Caronia and Erick Salcedo have played at the Triple-A classification.

BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Sean Brady makes his second Carolina League start on Saturday, after making his Advanced-A debut on Monday against Potomac. Pitching only four innings, Brady allowed eight runs (five earned) on 11 hits. He walked three and struck out two. To get through four innings, the lefty needed 86 pitches. Only 21 years old, Brady spent all of 2015 at Low-A Lake County. His third professional season, he went 7-12 with a 3.81 ERA in 26 games (all starts). Logging 146.1 innings (a season-high and fourth in the Midwest League) the Floridian gave up 151 hits, walked 29 and struck out 118. He posted better numbers in the first-half, going 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA before the break as opposed to a 2-9 record and a 4.22 ERA afterwards. Selected by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2013 draft out of Ida Baker High School, Brady was a third team All-American and recorded a 0.74 ERA as a high school senior, striking out 90 in 44 innings. Originally committed to play baseball at the University of Florida, Brady signed with Cleveland after receiving an $800,000 signing bonus. Brady hails from Cape Coral, Florida, located in the Fort Myers area and stationed on the Gulf of Mexico. Occasionally known as the “Waterfront Wonderland” Cape Coral contains more than 400 miles of navigable canals, giving the city more miles of canals than anywhere in the world.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: