Guess Your Keys: Tuesday, March 11

Happy Tuesday Keys Fans,

And welcome to another edition of Guess Your Keys!! The critically acclaimed show where we peer into our crystal ball and try to pin down a roster for this year’s Frederick Keys.

First of all, thanks to everyone who has spent a couple of minutes to read our posts on a daily basis. Thanks to your support, we have not been stripped of our keyboards just yet.

Before getting to some news, I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on the baseball-friendly weather today. It couldn’t have been nicer. I was pleasantly surprised when I started to sweat with my winter coat on, leading me to shed it for an afternoon walk around the ballpark. And while I’m not sure what I’d deem a “Chamber of Commerce” day in March around the friendly confines (mostly because I’ve been in town a month), I’d say today was pretty close:

Who wants to play two?

Who wants to play two?

Sights like these help you remember that opening day is only 23 days away.

In the meantime, we’ll head s0uth to Sarasota, FL, where MLB spring training games are in session and minor league contests are set to kickoff tommorrow.

In today’s game against the Red Sox, the Orioles came up short by a run (6-5). Michael Almanzar tried to spark a comeback effort with a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth, but Boston scored two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth off Alfredo Aceves to hang on for the victory.

As we approach the middle of March, players start to get shifted from Major League camp to minor league camp. That way players who are not in consideration for roster spots can get there work in, while everyday big leaguers can also get into a consistent routine.

No doubt former Keys Michael Ohlman and Tim Berry have bright futures, but both were transferred to minor league camp and assigned to Double-A Bowie yesterday.

Buck Showalter was particularly impressed with Berry, who was protected on the 40-man roster this winter.

One other former Key we’ve been following is Jonathan Schoop, who is very much in consideration for the O’s starting second base job. Entering Grapefruit League play today, he was hitting .529 (9-for-17) with four extra-base hits and five RBIs. Jemile Weeks and Ryan Flaherty are also competing for the job, in what is truly a wide open race. As Showalter has been quick to remind reporters, all three players have minor league options remaining.

Now that we’ve told you about possible second base candidates for the O’s, who could be seeing time at the keystone for the Keys? Well, one name might sound familiar:

Jerome Pena

Jerome Pena

Vitals

Position: INF

Age: 25

Height: 5-11

Weight: 185

2013 club: Frederick

More on Pena:

A member of the Keys each of the last two seasons, the former TCU Horned Frog hit .222 over 120 games with Frederick last season. A player who hit more for average rather than power his first two seasons, Pena added some pop in 2013. He finished with a career-best 11 home runs to go along with 21 doubles and 52 RBI. Defensively, Pena was solid as well, committing only 11 errors while playing 117 games in the field. Originally taken by the Mets in the 40th round of the 2009 draft, he elected to play a couple years of college ball before Baltimore called his number two years later.

Luc Rennie

Luc Rennie

Vitals

Position: RHP

Age: 19

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

2013 club: Frederick/Aberdeen/Delmarva

More on Rennie:

The youngest player in the Carolina League at the time of his debut on May 30, the San Diego native won’t turn 20 until April 26. By then, he may have made a couple of starts for the Keys. Splitting time at three levels, Rennie went 1-2 with a 5.56 ERA in three outings (two starts) with Frederick. However, most of his work came with Delmarva, where he posted a 4-5 mark and a 3.91 ERA. A player who hit his stride at the end of last season, the righty posted a 2.18 ERA over his final six appearances with the Shorebirds. A bully on the mound as a senior at Torrey Pines (CA) High School, Rennie went 9-1 with a 0.89 ERA. Offered a scholarship to Ball State, he signed with the Orioles instead after being selected in the 16th round of the 2012 draft.

And there you go. After yesterday’s post and our pilot episode, we now have a “gang of six.” Stay tuned, we’ll have plenty more names over the coming weeks.

Get outside and shake your keys!

Geoff

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