Guess Your Keys: Friday, March 14
Happy Weekend Keys Fans!
Hope you are enjoying all the conference tournament basketball madness. A number of us in the office went out to lunch this afternoon to take in some of the games, while enjoying some tasty barbecue. As we were sitting there, it dawned on me that this is one of the best times of the year. The NCAA Tournament is on the horizon, spring training is at the midway mark, and in a very short time, the Keys will be back on the diamond.
Before we get to the Friday Edition of Guess Your Keys, some news and notes:
- Former Key and Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy has been optioned to Double-A Bowie
- O’s rotation candidate (and another former Key) Zach Britton says he prefers to start, but is okay coming out of the bullpen
- And in Keys news, the team put out a list of Mattress Warehouse Club theme nights and weekly specials yesterday. Scroll down one blog post and check them out! Believe me, you’ll want your calendar handy.
Alright, it’s time for today’s edition of Guess Your Keys! It’s very simple. Those of us at the Unlocking the Keys blog have put together a list of 40 players that we believe may grace the hollowed grounds of Harry Grove Stadium. Then when the team’s regular season roster comes out, we’ll see how many we picked correctly.
Tonight’s terrific tandem includes a hard throwing southpaw and a hero from the “Loveliest Village on the Plains.”
2013 club: Frederick/Delmarva
More on Rutledge:
Although Rutledge checks in at only 5-11, he has a POWERFUL arm. According to Baseball America, the lefty hit 98 mph while pitching in the Cape Cod League. That cannon, plus an outstanding freshman season at Samford, contributed to the Orioles taking Rutledge with their sixth round pick in the 2012 draft. Used predominantly as a reliever since turning pro, the Mississippi native has been dominant at times. With Delmarva last season, he went 4-3 with a 1.45 ERA and struck out 45 in 43.1 innings. However, he struggled a bit more with the Keys, allowing 11 runs over 12.2 innings (7.82 ERA) in a late-season stint with the club. The only knock on Rutledge has been occasional struggles with command (39 BB in 79.1 pro innings). But if he can harness his stuff, he could be a deadly weapon late in games.
2013 club: Delmarva
More on Simpson:
One of Auburn baseball’s folk heroes, Simpson is best known for his go-ahead home run in the 2010 NCAA Regionals which helped the Tigers stay alive against another band of Tigers from Clemson:
Not bad for being down in the count 1-2 and on the brink of elimination. As far as Simpson’s professional exploits go, he spent all of 2013 at Low-A Delmarva and appeared all over the diamond. Not counting the games where he served as DH, Simpson played five different positions in 2013. At the plate, he got off to a terrific start, batting .316 over his first 23 games, but in May he was sidelined by an injury which led him to miss more than a month. Trying to get back in the swing of things, he finished the season with a .248 average to go along with nine homers (tied for the team-lead).
Enjoy the weekend and selection Sunday. And of course, shake your keys!