Keys Game Notes 4-9-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try and shake off last night’s 7-0 defeat to Carolina. Dylan Baker perfect in his Carolina League debut. The righty retired all 18 men he faced before having to exit after six innings due to pitch count.

For the Keys, Frederick native Branden Kline was excellent in his home debut, going six innings and allowing two runs while striking out eight. However, he suffered the tough-luck loss. He is now 1-1 on the season.

Tonight, Frederick sends right-hander Parker Bridwell to the mound. He struggled in his first CL start against Lynchburg, allowing a career-high six walks over four innings. Carolina starter Shawn Morimando was also walk-prone last season, finishing second in the league in free tickets . The Keys hope to take advantage, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can listen to coverage of the game on 1450 AM The Source, with the pregame show beginning at 6:45. Doug and I will keep you company.

To get you all ready, a fresh batch of game notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

 

Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 · Game #6 · Home Game #2

Frederick Keys (2-3) vs Carolina Mudcats (3-2)

RHP Parker Bridwell (0-0, 6.75) vs. LHP Shawn Morimando (0-0, 3.60)

BLANKED:Carolina starter Dylan Baker set down the first 18 he faced, and the Mudcats rattled off 13 hits, as the Keys were shutout in their home opener 7-0. Making his Advanced-A debut, Baker retired every man he faced before being lifted due to pitch count. Still, Frederick managed only two hits on the game. It was the Keys lowest hit output since June 14, 2013, when Potomac right-hander Taylor Hill twirled a two-hit shutout. The two-hit game comes one game after the Keys pounded out a season-high 13 knocks at Lynchburg.

KLINE MAKES HOMETOWN DEBUT: Dylan Baker may have stolen the spotlight, but Branden Kline was superb over six innings. Pitching at his hometown ballpark for the first time, the Frederick native tossed six innings and allowed only two runs. He scattered three hits, walked a pair and struck out eight. It was the second quality start by a Frederick starting pitcher this season. Matt Taylor had the first, tossing six shutout innings at Lynchburg this past Saturday. Excellent in his first two Carolina League starts, Kline is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA (11IP/3ER). Selected by Baltimore in the second round of the 2012 draft, the former Virginia Cavalier is the highest drafted player in Frederick County history.

WHO’S THE BOSS NOW?: Torsten Boss’ stay in a Frederick uniform was a brief one. On Monday afternoon, the 23-year-old was traded to Cleveland in exchange for right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet. In three career games with the Keys (which includes a two-game stint in 2012) Boss went 2-for-10 with a double and two runs scored. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored on Saturday at Lynchburg. In a twist of fate, Boss was assigned to the Carolina Mudcats-the Indians Advanced-A club. So he will simply switch clubhouses.

ALIVE AT FIVE: Glynn Davis broke up the perfect game in the seventh inning, with a triple to right-center. In the process, the Baltimore native also extended his hitting streak to five games. Davis is one of only three players in the Carolina League to have recorded a hit in all five games (Courtney Hawkins of Winston-Salem and Kevin Keyes of Potomac are the others). Currently, the Keys centerfielder is batting .429 (9-for-21) good for fifth best in the Carolina League. His nine hits are second-most in the CL, while he is third in total bases (13) and fourth in slugging percentage (.619).

STARTING THINGS OFF:An early trend for the Keys has been strong starting pitching. In four of the team’s first five games, Frederick’s starting pitcher has gone five innings or more and allowed two runs or less. Branden Kline set the tone in the season opener, tossing five innings of one-run baseball, while he tossed six innings of two-run baseball on Tuesday night. Brady Wager allowed one run over five innings Sunday,and Matt Taylor tossed six shutout innings on Saturday. This season, Frederick starters have posted a collective 2.42 ERA (26IP/7ER).

BULLPEN BLUES: After an excellent start to the season, the Keys bullpen has taken its lumps over the last few days. After allowing one run over its first eight innings of work, the bullpen has allowed 12 runs over its last 11 innings. During that time, opponents have rattled off 24 hits. Tuesday night was particularly difficult for Jesse Beal. Over 1.1 innings, the 6-7 righty allowed four runs on seven hits. That jolted the Keys team bullpen ERA up to 6.16 (19IP/13ER).

NAME THAT PUJOLS!: Luis Pujols becomes the 20th manager in Keys history, after spending 2013 as the skipper at Low-A Delmarva. He takes the reins from Ryan Minor, who went 61-78 in his lone season as Frederick’s head man. The cousin of Angels star, Albert Pujols, the 58-year-old has considerable experience as a player, manager and coach in the majors and minors. Since spending nine years as a big league catcher with Houston, Kansas City and Texas, Pujols has worked as a bench/first base coach for Montreal (1993-00) and San Francisco (2003-06), while he served as interim manager for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, after Phil Garner was fired six games into the season. He has also managed for Double-A affiliates in the Detroit and Houston systems.

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis have played at the Advanced-A level.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.

CAROLINA ON MY MIND:The Keys finished 2013 with a 12-8 record against the Mudcats, the best mark Frederick posted against a CL opponent last season. Ryan Minor’s club dominated from the outset, winning five of the six first-half meetings

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Lefty Shawn Morimando makes the start for the Carolina Mudcats and is the No. 22 prospect in the Cleveland farm system according to Baseball America. Earning the opening day nod, Morimando earned a no-decision in his first start against Potomac. In five innings, he allowed two runs on five hits walking one and striking out three. The Virginian spent all of 2013 with the Mudcats, going 8-13 with a 3.73 ERA over 27 starts. The 13 defeats were the most in the Carolina League, while he finished second in walks (76). Still, the lefty enjoyed his share of success last season. The high point was a 23.2 innings scoreless streak which spanned five starts (May 17-June 8). During that time, he was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (May 27-June 3). In his fourth professional season, Morimando spent 2012 at Low-A Lake County (22 games, 7-6, 3.59 ERA) and made three starts for the AZL Indians in 2011. Selected by Cleveland in the 19th round of the 2011 draft, the southpaw was committed to East Carolina, but was lured away by the Indians with a $350,000 signing bonus. According to Baseball America, Morimando’s fastball sat between 87-91 mph as a high school pitcher. However the organization’s strength and conditioning programs have allowed him to sit between 90-92 mph as a professional. He also throws a curveball, changeup and mixes in a short slider.

 

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