Good Morning Keys Fans!
An early Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Enjoy the time with family and friends as well as turkey and trimmings. And as a word to the wise, don’t fight the tryptophanic coma. I know it won’t end well, and deep down inside so do you….
The Keys offices will close at 1 o’clock today and will not reopen until 9 am on Monday. Nonetheless fans can still bid on the jersey of National League Cy Young Award winner and former Keys right-hander Jake Arrieta! It is autographed on the back, while bids will be accepted up until November 30.
Obviously an Arrieta jersey would be a great Christmas present, but the Keys also offer a holiday package consisting of two great options starting as low as $75!
Option one consists of two Mattress Warehouse Club tickets for the Keys Christmas in July game on July 22 (which includes a postgame fireworks show).
Option two is the Reserved Seat Flex Pack. For $95 fans receive 10 undated vouchers which can be redeemed for ANY 2016 regular season home game (s). Additionally, this option will come with a Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop DOUBLE BOBBLEHEAD. You heard that right! Both holiday packages also include your choice of a Keys Christmas ornament.
These can be purchased by calling 301-815-9900 or you can pick up one at the Keys Holiday Event on December 5 from 11am-2pm. Those who attend can do some holiday shopping, take pictures with Keyote Clause (who will be making a quick trip from the North Pole) and enjoy a holiday coo-KEY contest.
It is also the final day to make a donation to Toys for Tots. Remember, those who donate a new, unwrapped toy will receive two tickets to a 2016 game and two Keys hats!
Changing gears to baseball news a HUGE congratulations to former Keys Chris Lee and Parker Bridwell for being added to the Orioles 40-man roster last Friday. Both were highly deserving and will report to big league spring training next March.
The other individual added was Andrew Triggs who played for Double-A Bowie this year and was among the best relievers on the Orioles farm. Although never a Key, I covered Triggs when he played for Wilmington in 2013. One of the nicest, most engaging players I have ever worked with.
For more reactions from the three players, here is a piece from MASN’s Steve Melewski
Speaking of Melewski, he joined me on Tuesday afternoon for a little hot stove talk. We split this chat into two parts, with part 1 discussing Major League Orioles news and part 2 focusing on O’s minor leaguers. A link to part 1 can be found below. Among the items we covered:
- The O’s commitment to resigning Chris Davis
- Starting pitching targets
- Who takes over in the 8th inning if Darren O’Day picks up and leaves?
- Matt Wieters accepting the Orioles qualifying offer
Part 2 will run on Monday’s blog post, and will look at the additions of Lee and Bridwell to the 40-man roster among other topics.
Before saying so long in this final post before Thanksgiving, I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss some things that I am thankful for. It has been a blessing to be in Frederick for the last two seasons. Our staff has been awesome, while I’ve gotten the chance to work with some great players and coaches.
Talking about every player, coach or staff member in this space would be an impossible, time-consuming task that would take hours, so I am going to focus on just a few folks:
-Dave Ziedelis: Our General Manager for giving me the chance to come to Frederick. He is there for advice when I need it, but also gives me the space and freedom to do my thing.
-Bridget McCabe: The Keys Director of Marketing and my cube mate for the last two years. She is great at planning and organizing, and laughs at all my jokes and random musings.
Christine Roy: The Keys Promotions Manager for her fun-loving personality and all her help with graphics.
Doug Raftery: My broadcast partner of two years and hopefully many more. It’s been a fun ride partner.
Orlando Gomez: This year’s manager and one of my all-time favorites. It doesn’t matter what type of a day you’re having, he finds a way to make it better.
Kennie Steenstra: The Keys pitching coach for the last two seasons and fellow Seinfeld fanatic. His sarcastic sense of humor and love of social media always makes for fun mid-morning chats.
Paco Figueroa: “Tio Paco” is not just a great hitting coach, but a great friend. Kind, positive and engaging, he finds a way to impact everyone he encounters.
Justin Viele: Our hilarious outfield coach who is destined for great things. Always enjoyed our talks about life and the value of being yourself.
And finally to YOU the fans, the best in Minor League Baseball. Your passion and love for the Keys makes this a very special place.
Good Evening Keys Fans!
Hope everyone is enjoying their Monday. Regardless of what happened to your NFL team (looking at you Baltimore Ravens) the weekend still should have been a good one, if for no other reason than how it got started: MATT WIETERS WILL BE AN ORIOLE IN 2016! Although many of you heard the news about the former Key, rest assured you can still shout it from the mountain tops and not get any weird looks (assuming you are standing on the mountain by yourself).
Wieters will receive $15.8 million in 2016, while giving the Orioles time to work out a long-term extension. He became the first Scott Boras client to ever accept a QO and is one of three big leaguers that elected to do so, joining Houston’s Colby Rasmus and Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson.
The O’s longtime catcher said afterwards that he was “leaning towards accepting the offer all along” and that his main goal is to have a full year healthy in Baltimore.
One of those excited by the news was fellow catcher, Caleb Jospeh, who noted that he’d love to be Wieters backup for the next 10 years. Praise gets no higher than that from someone at your position group.
Not surprisingly, Chris Davis and Wei-Yin Chen both turned down qualifying offers. The Orioles are working on a deal with Davis, and on Sunday, Dan Duquette made it clear that the team DOES HAVE funds to sign Davis. Here are his comments while appearing on the MLB Network Radio show the Front Office:
Duquette also noted that the O’s would like to sign a top of the rotation starter:
Seen as a possible fit for the Orioles, Marco Estrada will not be that individual. Following a stellar season, the Blue Jays righty signed a two-year, $26 million extension with Toronto.
Estrada was just an early option as far as “top of the rotation” starters go, but how much will the Orioles pay? MASN’s Steve Melewski runs some numbers about the club’s payroll outlook for 2016.
On the Keys front, the latest Arizona Fall League update is up and it takes a look at Chance Sisco’s strong finish to the AFL slate. Following a 2-for-16 start, he is batting .333 in his last eight games.
You might also want to check out the numbers on flame thrower Tanner Scott. A left-hander who can reach triple digits, Scott figures to pitch for the Keys at some point next season.
In the Australian Baseball League (yes they play baseball in the land down under) Derek Peterson continues to thrive for the Perth Heat, batting .316 in 15 games with nine RBIs and three extra-base hits. He has four RBIs in his last three games and has hit safely in eight of nine contests. The son of Orioles Director of Pitching Development, Rick Peterson, Derek proved to be a solid contact hitter with the Keys when he was called up.
Other Keys playing for Perth include Anthony Caronia, Tad Gold and Matt Taylor. Taylor has a 3.27 ERA in four games (two starts), while Gold and Caronia have seen consistent time as well. An interview with Gold can be found here where the Martha’s Vineyard native talks about spending his fall/winter in Australia.
Speaking of interviews, we’ll try and catch up with some members of this year’s team about their season/off seasons in the coming weeks. Feel free to drop me a line if there is someone you’d like to hear from.
For Keys fans, holiday packages are on sale!
This includes two great options to chose from, while more information is available here: 2016 Holiday Package. Also, don’t forget about our annual Holiday Event! The fun will take place on Saturday, December 5 from 11am-2pm in the Mattress Warehouse Club. Fans can shop, take pictures with Keyote Clause and participate in a special cooKEYS competition by bringing your best baked goods to the event!
Have a good night and shake your Keys!
Good Evening Keys Fans!
And Happy Veterans Day to everybody. It’s easy to take it for granted, but without their service and the continued service of our military members none of us would be able to do what we love everyday. So if you see a veteran today out and about, thank them.
Before we address some O’s news, some Keys items:
-The Keys Holiday Event is set for Saturday, December 5! Fans can drop by the Mattress Warehouse Club from 11am-2 pm and enjoy some holiday cheer. There will be Keys merchandise, a holiday cookie contest is scheduled, while someone might even make a visit from the North Pole…
That’s right boys and girls Keyote Claus! So make your plans and start your holiday season with the Keys!
Our holiday celebration will also be the last day to contribute to our Toys for Tots Drive. We are currently collecting new, unwrapped toys from 9-5 each day. Fans can drop off toys in our main office, while EVERYONE who contributes will receive two Keys tickets to a 2016 home game and two hats!
Last year Nymeo Field was the top Toys for Tots collection destination in Frederick County, so let’s make it happen again!
One week after the Keys Holiday Event, we will be at O’s Fest! The event runs from 11am-6pm at the Baltimore Convention Center, so make sure to drop by the table and say hello!
On the Orioles front, congrats to former Keys shortstop, Manny Machado who won his second American League Gold Glove last night, besting Evan Longoria and Adrian Beltre. Even though he is entrenched at third base now, I still found it interesting to hear that Machado practices at shortstop during the offseason to improve his range at third.
The news was not quite as encouraging for Dylan Bundy, who after being scratched from an AFL start on Monday seems unlikely to start another game in the Fall League reports MASN’s Roch Kubatko. In two starts for Peoria, Bundy threw 26 pitches, giving up a run in two innings. Orioles officials are downplaying the injury, but it’s hard not to be disappointed. According to reports, the former Key threw all four of his pitches and touched 94 mph in his last outing. He will need to make the Orioles 25-man roster or be exposed to waivers.
At the General Managers meetings, reports have circulated that the Orioles have expressed interest in Royals outfielder Alex Gordon and Diamondbacks catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia:
Meanwhile, two articles of note:
-MASN’s Steve Melewski on will the Orioles make a big play for Darren O’Day
-ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick evaluates the argument by agent Scott Boras that his client, Chris Davis, is the market’s top free agent
Last but not least, it’s time to wrap up our countdown with the final two moments of the season:
Moment #2: The Keys Walk it Off in 16 Innings
Oh what a night. On April 13 the Keys earned a 5-4 victory over Lynchburg at Nymeo Field. As you will be able to hear in the highlight below, many folks were asleep by the time it wrapped up..Lasting 4 hrs and 57 mins this game concluded at the stroke of midnight. In total, four position players would take take the mound, before a Drew Dosch sacrifice fly ended things:
While the game winner was extra sweet, my favorite moment was seeing Brenden Webb turn in three innings of one-run baseball on the mound.
Moment #1: O’Brien delivers seven-inning no-hitter
One day before his brother’s birthday and with his immediate family in attendance, Mikey O’Brien delivered his first professional no-hitter on August 20. Facing the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Salem, Va. native delivered 90 pitches to complete his seven-inning gem, as the orange and black took down their CL North rival 2-0. Here is the call of the final out:
We will have plenty more on this blog this offseason including hot stove updates, winter league news and interviews with Keys staff. Additionally, we hope to check in with some Keys players and coaches in the coming weeks.
Talk soon and shake your keys!
Good Evening Keys Fans!
Free agency is upon us as we are a little less than a month away from the winter meetings. Former Key Matt Wieters is right in the center of that conversation, with the O’s catcher likely to decline a one-year qualifying offer. Some analysts say Wieters could be headed to locales such as Texas or Washington, but I’m sure other suitors will line up as well. In spite of a challenging season, Wieters pedigree should allow him to get a multi-year contract somewhere. We’ll see how involved the Orioles get.
Chris Davis seems to be the top priority, and as MASN’s Roch Kubatko notes, this year’s MLB home run champ will help set the market for other high priced free agents. What’s your take on Davis, should the Orioles go after him at all costs?
Personally, I side with my pal from WBAL Brett Hollander on this one: Make Davis a nice offer, be generous even, but don’t give him a blank check. Throwing in all your chips will bloat the market and make it harder to address key needs such as starting pitching. For Hollander’s complete take you can listen to the audio here.
Although the financial costs are much lower, Baseball America released its list of 2015 minor league free agents today. You’ll notice plenty of players with Keys ties on this list. One name that sticks out is Matt Hobgood, who underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his right shoulder on July 6. Moved up to Double-A Bowie this season, he pitched only six games with the Baysox before being shutdown.
According to Kubatko, it does not appear the O’s will be resigning Hobgood. As always, we’ll keep you updated of minor league signings on this blog.
Before we chronicle Keys going elsewhere though, we want to put a bow around our 2015 Keys countdown. We’ll look at moment #3 today, before discussing the top two highlights in this space tomorrow.
Although most of the countdown details a particular game, event or accomplishment, moment #3 will discuss an overlying theme of the season: player movement. And LOTS of it. In total, 17 different Keys received call-ups to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. In one of our final managers reports of the season, Orlando Gomez said it was the most number of players he ever had called up before.
Player call-ups may mean fewer Carolina League championships, but many times they help contribute to WORLD SERIES TITLES. A quick look at this year’s Royals roster shows what homegrown talent can do.
Those types of big reward usually come later. More immediately though, it’s fun to see the gratification a player receives when he gets called up and moves one step closer to his dream of playing in the big leagues.
Taking the time to revisit every single promotion would be both laborious and boring, so I’m going to highlight four guys that really stood out. These are in no particular order FYI:
Trey Mancini: “Boom Boom” as he was known by his teammates enjoyed a fantastic May en route to an early-June call-up to Double-A. In 29 May contests, he hit .362 with 5 homers and 19 RBIs. What few folks remember though is that BEFORE he won the Eastern League batting title and Orioles Minor League Player of the Year Award, Mancini hit just .244 in April. In parts of two seasons with the Keys, the thing I enjoyed about Mancini was how he made adjustments and never let one frustrating month repeat itself. Here is one of his moonshots from May off big leaguer Casey Janssen
Chris Lee: After a bit of a bumpy start, Lee was one of the Carolina League’s best after the all-star break, posting a 1.91 ERA in eight starts. Pitching coach Kennie Steenstra deserves credit for several small mechanical adjustments which helped Lee be more consistent in locating his top-shelf stuff. Considered a strong candidate to be added to the Orioles 40-man roster, Lee closed out his Keys tenure in style on August 1:
David Hess: As good as Lee was, Hess fared even better in the second-half, tallying a 7-0 record with a 1.34 ERA in 12 starts. At the time he was moved up to Bowie, he had the lowest ERA of any Carolina League starter post all-star break. He also excelled in the Eastern League postseason, helping the Baysox capture their first league title. Here is a clip from his final CL start, where he fired a one-hit complete game shutout at Potomac:
Cody Wheeler: The final player to be promoted from the Keys, Wheeler got moved up to Triple-A for the Norfolk Tides International League playoff run. Having never registered a pro save before the start of the year, the Virginian thrived in the closer’s role going 17-for-19 and holding opponents to a .194 average. He was also the club’s lone postseason all-star.
Stay tuned as we wrap up the countdown tomorrow and discuss some more of what the Keys are doing this offseason!
Shake your Keys,
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
The World Series shifts to New York tonight with the Royals holding a 2-0 series edge on the Mets. It sounds somewhat grim, but you have to remember New York’s 1986 World Title came after starting in an 0-2 hole to the Red Sox.
Plus, not every team has Thor on their pitching staff. The nickname bestowed on 23-year-0ld Noah Syndergaard, the Mets right-hander won his lone NLCS start, firing off 5.2 innings on one-run baseball against the Cubs. He struck out nine, while making abundant use of a high-90s fastball.
Syndergaard’s average fastball velocity on the season was 97.4 mph, tying him with Nathan Eovaldi of the Yankees for the top mark in the majors, but his counterpart tonight, Yordano Ventura, was not far behind. With an average heater of 96.8 mph (third-best) Ventura won 13 games in the regular season, but hasn’t been fared as well in the postseason. In four playoff games he has a 5.09 ERA, leading to an .858 opponents OPS.
Some of you might remember Ventura as a member of the Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2012. Against the Keys that year, he went 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA in three games and held Frederick hitters to a .173 average. Not many tears were shed when he got promoted to Double-A.
Although there are no former Keys on the Mets or Royals, plenty Keys players are in staying active in Fall/Winter Leagues.
In the Arizona Fall League, Donnie Hart has pitched well in relief for the Peoria Javelinas, posting a 1.69 ERA in four relief appearances. Offensively, Adrian Marin has fared the best, batting .258 with a triple, two doubles, and four runs scored in eight games. The Keys shortstop this year, Marin has been seeing time at second and third for Peoria after serving as only DH or SS in each of the last 2 years with the orange and black.
Some of you may have heard that Dylan Bundy has been added to the Javelinas roster after missing a majority of the season with right shoulder tendinitis. According to the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly, Bundy is expected to make his debut this upcoming Monday. As always we will have details in our weekly AFL updates, available on frederickkeys.com.
Moving to the land Down Under (cue Men at Work singalong) Derek Peterson, Anthony Caronia, Tad Gold and Matt Taylor are all pitching for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League. Off to a 4-1 start, Perth has been led by Peterson at the plate. In five games, he is batting .389 (7-for-18) with a triple, a double and five RBIs. That included a 2-for-4 showing earlier today (remember it’s already Saturday in Australia). Taylor earned a save in his first appearance, throwing two clean innings and striking out three.
Caronia is currently batting .263, while Gold is hitting .125 (1-for-8) in three games. The ABL is in its sixth season and spans 45 games. The Australian Baseball League is made up of professional players from affiliated Minor League teams, as well as players from the Nippon Professional Baseball League (Japan), the Korean Baseball Organization and the Chinese Professional Baseball League, as well as professional players from Australia.
Moving to Keys news, our annual Toys for Tots Drive Kicks off this upcoming Monday! That’s right, we may be in Halloween mode right now, but once trick or treating is over it’s time to start thinking about Christmas!
A big reason for the season is finding ways to help others, and for those who donate a new, unwrapped toy, we’ll be giving out two Keys tickets to a 2016 game and two hats. Last year’s showing was outstanding, as Nymeo Field was the top collection point in Frederick County.
To make your donation, visit the main office from 9-5 p.m Monday through Friday.
While we’re on the topic of gifts, if you are looking for a gift, Keys ticket plans make an excellent stocking stuffer! Plus ALL 2016 ticket plans come with a Manny Machado-Jonathan Schoop DOUBLE BOBBLEHEAD. This is an exclusive gift and will not be a giveaway item next year.
To purchase a ticket plan, fans can call the groups office at 301-815-9900.
That’s all for now folks! Happy Halloween!
Shake your Keys!
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
Another playoff doubleheader is upon us! Blue Jays and Royals followed by Cubs and Mets. There is a chance our World Series matchup could be set tonight, with Kansas City and New York each one win away from the high stakes medal round (trophy round if we want to get literal).
If the Blue Jays want to keep things alive, they’ll need a big performance from Marco Estrada, while the Cubs will be leaning on former Oriole Jason Hammel to keep their season alive. Although many of you will not remember, Hammel once donned a Frederick Keys uniform while rehabbing from right knee surgery in 2012. In his lone game, he pitched five shutout innings and struck out seven. After Kyle Hendricks (former Dartmouth teammate of Keys starter Mitch Horacek) rough outing last night, Joe Maddon and company wouldn’t mind that kind of effort from Hammel.
To improve the Cubs juju and counteract the curse of the Billy Goat, Thomas Ian Nicholas will be at Wrigley Field tonight. If the name isn’t ringing any bells (don’t worry it didn’t for me either) Nicholas played the role of Henry Rowengartner in “Rookie of the Year” and will be wearing a Rowengartner jersey.
Sounds like Cubs fans can breathe a little easier.
For those who missed it, former Key Jake Arrieta suffered the loss in game two, allowing four runs on four hits over five innings. Maddon opined Arrieta’s back-to-back sluggish starts come down to fatigue. Given Arrieta’s last outing put him on the brink of 250 innings and his previous high was 176.2, it’s not a surprise.
Moving to Keys news, have you heard about our double bobblehead? That’s right DOUBLE BOBBLEHEAD! Well if you haven’t here is the lowdown: fans who renew or buy a season ticket plan receive an EXCLUSIVE GIFT featuring the bouncing heads of Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop.
This item WILL NOT and I repeat WILL NOT be a giveaway item in 2016. So if you want one, simply purchase a ticket plan. The kind folks over at our Groups Department can help you out, by calling 301-815-9900.
Although Keys baseball might be far away, you can check out our weekly Arizona Fall League updates chronicling the play of several former players competing among the best in the minor leagues. Approximately 60% of all players who suit up in the AFL will eventually play in the big leagues.
Now it’s time for our countdown! Turning back the clock to Memorial Day weekend, we revisit May 24, when Drew Dosch did some big damage in the Hill City.
A back-and-forth battle that featured 18 combined runs and 28 total hits, the Keys held a 6-2 lead after 4.5 innings before a two-run Lynchburg fifth made it a two-run game.
Already with one RBI on his ledger already, Dosch picked up his second in the seventh with an RBI triple:
Not about to go quietly, the Hillcats responded with three unanswered runs to tie the game at seven. In the ninth, Eric Haase landed the decisive blow to send the game to extra innings:
Things wouldn’t stay tied for long though. With two outs, Lynchburg closer Casey Weathers went toe-to-toe with Dosch, who silenced the crowd:
In all, Dosch finished with six RBIs, a single-season team-high. Meanwhile it was the most by a Frederick player since August 6, 2008, when Chris Vinyard accomplished the feat against the Salem Avalanche.
And as an added bonus, the Keys held on for a 10-8 win.
Stay tuned for more of our countdown!
Shake your Keys,
Good Morning Keys Fans!
Well things are set in the NLCS and ALCS, with the Mets coming away with a 3-2 win last night over the Dodgers. New York takes on Chicago starting on Saturday, while the Royals and the Blue Jays clash. As long as you wear royal blue, you’ll be covered for the LCS.
Former Keys All-Star, Jake Arrieta, is scheduled to start game two for the Cubs. He looked human for a change on Monday against the Cardinals, giving up four runs in 5.2 innings. Fortunately, the Chicago bats stepped up in an 8-6 win.
Kansas City and Toronto get underway from Kauffman Stadium tonight, with Marco Estrada facing off against Edison Volquez. After a breakout season, MASN’s Steve Melewski noted Estrada could be on the Orioles radar this offseason, with starting pitching looking like a major offseason priority. You may remember that Estrada carried a no-hitter into the eighth against the O’s in June.
Earlier today, Roch Kubatko had a look back at Jose Bautista’s very brief stay with the Orioles in 2004 (all of 16 games). Let’s just say Bautista then was not quite the player he is now…
For those that purchase ticket plans, we have a special incentive this year: a DOUBLE BOBBLEHEAD featuring Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop! You heard that correctly. Double your pleasure, double your fun. We should note, these double bobbleheads will NOT be a 2016 giveaway item and CAN ONLY BE ACQUIRED BY PURCHASING A TICKET PLAN. You can get in touch with our groups office by calling 301-815-9900.
Our Keys Countdown rolls along with moment #6, and for the first time ever, the countdown is comprised of only one play.
It happened to be on Sportscenter, but yes only one play. On July 28, the Keys were in Zebulon for the first of three games against the Carolina Mudcats. Going to the bottom of the fourth, the orange and black held a 4-1 lead, though David Hess found himself in bit of a jam. Jacob Schrader and Carlos Franco coaxed walks to open the inning, while a single by Joey Meneses loaded the bases.
Hess struck out Sal Giardina and Joseph Odom, but still needed one more out. It appeared elusive as CL All-Star Johan Camargo lifted a ball down the right field line, but “Superman” came to the rescue:
Tad’s play was the #3 play on Sportscenter’s Top 10, a ball that even HE THOUGHT was going to drop.
In the words of Seinfeld’s Kenny Bania, “That’s Gold Jerry! Gold!” Although the catch saved a couple of runs, Carolina rallied back to win 7-4.
More of our countdown comes your way next week!
Shake your Keys!
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
Talk about an exciting postseason already! Three of the four Division series will come down to a fifth game, while on Tuesday the Cubs clinched their FIRST POSTSEASON series at Wrigley Field. Mind-boggling but true.
Today, the ALCS will be finalized as the Rangers head back to Toronto, while Houston makes the journey to Kansas City. Former Keys infielder Tony Beasley (Rangers third base coach) and radio broadcaster Matt Hicks will be involved in game five for Texas. Enjoy it fellas.
Another former Key, Jake Arrieta, was not quite Superman in game 3, but thanks to his offense, four earned runs in 5.2 innings on Monday was an afterthought. You can read more about the time Arrieta, Beasley and Hicks spent in Frederick by visiting here.
Although postseason baseball gets top-billing this time of year, Arizona Fall League baseball will get some love when the MLB postseason wraps up. Yesterday we looked at all the former Keys taking part in the AFL this year. Considered a “finishing school” for the game’s top prospects, the league runs for a little over a month and helps players prepare for higher-level professional baseball.
Since there are only six teams in the league, Orioles prospects are mixed with players from the Braves, Reds, Padres and Mariners to make up this year’s Peoria Javelinas squad.
Yesterday the league got underway, and Peoria earned a 6-5 win over Surprise. Mike Yastrzemski went 1-for-2 with a home run and an RBI in the Javelinas win. Chance Sisco went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts, while Jon Keller pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Meanwhile, pitcher O’s minor leaguer, Tanner Scott, has been added to the Javelinas reports MASN’s Steve Melewski. A 21-year-old lefty, Scott split this season between Short-Season Aberdeen and Low-A Delmarva after being drafted out of Howard (Texas) Junior College in 2014. Given that the O’s like to challenge their prospects, it is not out of the question that Scott throws for the Keys in 2016.
We’ll provide weekly AFL updates on frederickkeys.com, as well as on our Twitter and Facebook platforms so stay tuned!
On the Orioles front, there has been little movement with the postseason only heating up. Still, MASN’s Roch Kubatko picked some questions out of his “mailbag” this morning to answer. He addresses queries on Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and the coaching staff. Worth a read.
Moving to Keys news, don’t forget, time is running out on this year’s game worn jersey auction! The bidding ends on Thursday at 5:00 p.m so don’t miss out! The jerseys up for bid include those worn by Kevin Gausman and Wei-Yin Chen during their stays in Frederick this year. So how do you bid? Just click here.
Also are you in need of a speaker for an upcoming meeting, event or class? Well don’t fear, the Frederick Keys Speakers Bureau has you covered! All visits are FREE of charge, while our talks are tailored to your groups particular interests. To book your talk visit here
And now it’s time to continue the countdown! Walk-Offs were a common occurrence for the Keys in 2015, who had EIGHT TOTAL. That was FIVE MORE than 2014, while half of Frederick’s walk-offs came in April. We’ll have more about the first two walk-offs later on in the countdown, but numbers three and four will be addressed now
Both games ended in 4-3 Keys victories against the Blue Rocks, and both were of the come-from-behind variety.
In the first game on April 24, starters Matt Taylor and Luis Rico went toe-to-toe, with the southpaws turning in five shutout innings and six one-run innings respectively. After six frames, the Keys had a 1-0 edge thanks to a Jeff Kemp RBI single, but the Blue Crew answered with single markers in the seventh and eighth stanzas.
Needing a run to stay alive, Brenden Webb pinch-hit with the tying run at 3rd base in the ninth:
Wilmington answered quickly with an RBI single by Zane Evans, but once again the Keys managed to keep things alive thanks to singles by Drew Dosch, Austin Wynns and Adrian Marin:
Heading to the 11th, Tucker Nathans made a great play in right field to stymie another Rocks scoring chance, while the Keys capitalized against Andrew Edwards in the home-half of the inning. With two outs and Webb at second, Anthony Caronia came up to bat and sent everyone home happy:
One of the best extra-inning teams in the league, the Keys went 7-3 in games stretching past regulation this year.
The next day would go just nine innings, but provided just as dramatic a conclusion. After six innings, the Keys trailed 3-0, as Jakob Junis fired off six shutout inning of four-hit baseball. In the eighth though, Frederick rallied with two outs. Entering the game for Nick Green, Wilmington flamethrower Robinson Yambati walked Marin, before Dosch hitting a slicing line drive to left:
Trey Mancini then brought in the tying run:
Nik Nowottnick did his job in the ninth, while Austin Wynns provided the eventual dagger when the Keys returned to the plate:
It was just his second professional home run and gave the club a 9-1 start at Nymeo Field. We noted it numerous times on the broadcast this year, eight walk-off wins is an impressive feat, but perhaps more impressive was that EACH WALK-OFF CAME FROM A DIFFERENT PLAYER.
We’ll have more of our countdown shortly! Until then, don’t forget to make your jersey auction bids and shake your Keys!
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
Hope you all had a good afternoon and are enjoying some Monday postseason baseball! Houston and Texas are on the verge of making it an all-Lonestar State ALCS, while both NLDS sets are tied at one.
I’ll be paying close attention to game three between the Cubs and Cardinals tonight, as former Key Jake Arrieta makes his second postseason outing. For those who missed his performance in the NL Wildcard game against the Pirates, it was something to behold. A four-hit, complete game shutout, the Chicago ace struck out 11 and did not walk a batter.
To say, Arrieta’s teammates have confidence in him, would be an understatement the size of an ivy covered wall. Following the all-star break he went 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA in 15 starts. He has not been defeated since July 25, while he suffered only six losses all year (22-6, 1.77 ERA). One of those came to the Cardinals. Against St. Louis this year, Arrieta went 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA and held St. Louis hitters to a .229 average.
Although Arrieta is the signature name, he is not the only individual with Keys-ties taking part in the postseason. Former infielder Tony Beasley (1990-91) serves as the Rangers third base coach, while Matt Hicks (1989-94) Frederick’s first radio voice, is calling all of the action on the Rangers Radio Network.
Here is a cool article about Hicks that ran in the Frederick News Post a few years back.
In other news, the Arizona Fall League officially kicks off tomorrow. Keys players from both this year’s club and last year’s will be participating. That list includes: LHP Donnie Hart, RHP Jon Keller, C Chance Sisco, SS Adrian Marin and OF Mike Yastrzemski. All will be playing for the Peoria Javelinas, a team consisting of Orioles, Braves, Reds, Dodgers and Mariners farmhands.
We will be posting weekly AFL updates beginning next Monday on frederickkeys.com, so stay tuned!
Meantime, the accolades keep coming for Trey Mancini who was named a Top 20 prospect in the Carolina League and the Eastern League according to Baseball America. Chance Sisco was also a top 20 CL prospect.
Finally, are you in need of a Christmas present for a baseball fan in your house? Well you can check out our game worn jersey auction! Make sure to bid fast as the final day to act is on Thursday, with the auction closing at 5 p.m. Among the jerseys up for bid are ones worn by Kevin Gausman and Wei-Yin Chen.
Alright fans it’s time to continue our top 10 countdown of the year’s best moments! Moment #8 sends us to Wilmington on July 15 for an unusual quasi-doubleheader. In the First State one week prior, the Keys and Blue Rocks were stopped after 3.5 innings due to rain. Ahead 7-1 at the time, the orange and black suffered a 15-10 defeat after a 10-run Wilmington seventh (Frederick’s roughest inning since 2006).
Fortunately the Keys turned the page quickly. Following a two-run double by Cody Stubbs in the fourth to make it 2-1, the visitors tied the game in the seventh thanks to Anthony Caronia:
The last scheduled inning of the game, Jimmy Yacabonis got a speedy bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
Yacabonis and Donnie Hart provided lockdown relief, working six combined innings of shutout baseball to force an 11th inning. With bullpen arms running low and both sides running on empty (the game was approaching midnight, and the front-end of the doubleheader was scheduled for 5:05 p.m) Tad Gold broke the deadlock following a pair of two-out walks:
Adrian Marin added an insurance run to make it a 5-2 Keys lead, before Cody Wheeler took care of business in the ninth:
Don’t be surprised if you hear from Tad Gold again in our top 10 countdown, and make sure to stay tuned for more great moments this week!
Shake your Keys!
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
Today our top 10 countdown rolls along as we look back at one of five Orioles players to suit up for the Keys, and the impact he made for the short time he was here. Before we get to the details and the highlights, a few items:
-Had a chance to fill out the Keys year end survey? Click here to let us know what you liked/did not like about the 2015 season. We’ll then use this information to help us make decisions for the 2016 campaign. It doesn’t take long, and by participating you’ll be entered to win a VERY COOL Keys prize pack!
-In case you missed it, NINE different ex-Keys made their big league debuts this season. Can you name them all? Well if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up. It is why we have this this article to get you caught up to speed. The nine MLB debuts marks the third-most in team history, while it runs the list of Keys to the Majors up to 142
-Need a speaker for an upcoming meeting, event or class? Well look no further than our Frederick Keys Speakers Bureau! All visits are FREE of charge, while our talks are tailored to your groups interests. In the past we have visited everything from rotaries and Kiwanis clubs to high school and college classes. Hope to see you soon!
On the Orioles front, the Birds were rained out on Tuesday night and will play a doubleheader today starting at 4:05 p.m. Miguel Gonzalez and former Key Kevin Gausman start for the Orioles while Marcus Stroman and R.A Dickey throw for the Blue Jays. Toronto’s magic number to clinch the AL East is now one following a Red Sox win over the Yankees last night.
Although the Orioles are out of the playoffs, the team will still try and finish over .500 and claim third place in the AL East. To eclipse .500, the team will need to run the table against the Jays and Yankees, no easy feat. Currently, the O’s are in fourth place, one half-game behind Boston.
Missing out on the playoffs certainly stings after a 2014 season to remember. Former Key Zach Britton looks back at the season in an article by MASN’s Steve Melewski and examines the future. We also posted this article earlier in which former Frederick catcher Matt Wieters discusses his pending free agency.
Two final notes, Frederick native (and newly minted 24-year-old) Branden Kline had to leave an instructional league game early yesterday due to elbow tightness. He will be seeing Dr. James Andrews, though Roch Kubatko reports that Kline will likely need Tommy John surgery. On a more positive note, Dylan Bundy is making progress in his recovery from a right shoulder strain. The former Keys pitcher tweeted out the following yesterday:
Alright it’s time to continue the countdown! As we mentioned above, five different O’s played or rehabbed with the Keys this season. One of those was Jonathan Schoop, who joined the team for a pair of games (July 2-3) right before the Fourth of July.
Even though the stay was short, he’d leave his mark. At the time, the addition of Schoop was a big boost given the team’s struggles offensively. Entering the second baseman’s first rehab game, Frederick had been shutout in back-to-back contests, while the day before Schoop joined the Keys, the orange and black were nearly no-hit.
Looking to snap a 22-inning scoreless stretch, the Keys were held to only two hits over their first six innings, as P-Nats right-hander Reynaldo Lopez allowed only two base runners and struck out six during that time.
Things changed in the seventh though, as a two-run double by Conor Bierfeldt temporarily tied the game and ended a 28.2 inning scoreless stretch (the longest such drought of the year).
Potomac regained the lead in the eighth, but the Keys would take control for good in the home-half of the inning, as Schoop leveled the game once again:
Two batters later, Chance Sisco singled, before Jeff Kemp came through with a go-ahead RBI double:
Cody Wheeler closed things out from there to hand the Keys a 4-3 win. In his two games in Frederick, Schoop went 3-for-9 with a home run and two runs scored. Since the all-star break with the Orioles, Schoop is batting .279 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. A nice cog in the O’s order, 29 of Schoop’s 82 hits have gone for extra-bases this year. Not your typical second baseman, that’s for sure.
Stay tuned for more of our countdown in the coming days!
Shake your Keys,