Frederick Keys Game Notes 4-24-14
Good Evening Keys Fans!
Frederick gets set for game two of its three-game series against Myrtle Beach on Thursday night. Below, I’ve attached some game notes.
Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 · Game #20 · Home Game #9
Frederick Keys (8-11) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (13-6)
RHP Branden Kline (2-1, 2.65) vs. LHP Luis Parra (3-0, 4.41)
MAMA SAID THERE WOULD BE DAYS LIKE THIS: After a successful roadtrip, the Frederick Keys pitching staff was tagged for 21 runs and 23 hits, as the club fell to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 21-6 on Wednesday night at Harry Grove Stadium. The visitors pulled away in the second inning, scoring eight two-out runs off Brady Wager. Myrtle Beach also put together a pair of four-run innings, and strung together two-run frames in the third and fourth. It was the Keys worst loss since June 11, 2006, when Frederick fell to Potomac 22-6. Additionally, it marked the first time that club pitching had allowed 20 or more runs since August 6, 2008.
WILD THINGS: On the game, Frederick pitchers walked a season-high 11 batters. Coming into Wednesday, the team’s previous high for walks in a game was seven (on April 10 vs Carolina). Five of the 11 walks were issued by Lex Rutledge, a career-worst for the Mississippi native. He handed out only four total walks in his previous four games. Of the five Frederick pitchers utilized in the game, only position player-turned pitcher, Sammie Starr, did not walk a batter.
FORE: Harry Grove Stadium turned into a launching pad on Wednesday, with the Keys and the Pelicans collaborating on seven longballs. On the Frederick side, Jason Esposito, Michael Burgess and Creede Simpson all went yard. It was the most home runs the team has hit in a game this year. However, Myrtle Beach cleanup hitter Joey Gallo equaled the Keys total himself, becoming the first player to hit three home runs off Keys pitching since June 13, 2013, when Jason Martinson clubbed three for Potomac. Gallo is currently second in all of minor league baseball in home runs (nine), trailing only Toledo’s J.D. Martinez. The other Pelicans homer on Wednesday was by Nick Williams.
MACHADO TO REHAB IN FREDERICK:Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will begin a rehab assignment with the Keys on Friday night. He is expected to spend the entire weekend at Harry Grove Stadium, and will play nine innings at third base on Friday. He is currently recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee. An American League All-Star with Baltimore in 2013, the Florida native hit .283 with 14 home runs and 71 RBIs over 156 games with the O’s last season. Selected by Baltimore with the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, Machado was part of the 2011 Keys team that won the Mills Cup. The fourth title in team history, he was named series MVP after posting four RBIs in the series-clinching win.
WEBB TO THE DL: On Tuesday, Brenden Webb was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain. The move is retroactive to April 21. Over 15 games, Webb is batting .283 with one home run, eight RBIs and four doubles. He did not play in Monday’s doubleheader. Taking the outfielder’s spot on the roster is Sam Kimmel. Selected by Baltimore in the 18th round of the 2012 draft out of Stetson University, Kimmel has spent each of the last two seasons at Short-Season Aberdeen. In 39 games last season, he hit .277 with one homer, 16 RBIs, three triples and six doubles. Born in West Palm Beach, FL, Kimmel has played both catcher and leftfield.
ROAD NOTES: Frederick’s second roadtrip of the season proved to be a successful one. The team earned a win in five of its seven games, while the Keys equaled their longest winning streak of the 2013 season (four). The southern sojourn also included a three-game sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash. It marked the first time the Keys had broomed an opponent on the road since May 5, 2013. In road games this year, the Keys are 7-4, while the seven victories is tied for the second-most wins away from home in the CL (along with Potomac who is 7-4 and Myrtle Beach who is 8-0). Salem leads the loop with eight wins as a visiting club.
CLOSE CALLS: Over the recent roadtrip, the Keys played a number of tight games. Five of the seven ballgames were decided by two runs or less, and three contests hinged on just one run. This season, Frederick has been excellent in games decided by two runs (3-0), but has struggled in one-run tilts (1-6). Only Wilmington (0-7) has a worse record in such games. Luis Pujols’ club finally cracked the goose egg on Monday, when the Keys defeated Carolina 4-3 in game one of the doubleheader.
JASON, JASON, HE’S OUR MAN!: Jason Esposito has been swinging a hot bat over the last week. The former Vanderbilt Commodore has hit safely in his last eight games, raising his batting average from .194-.250. Esposito has also played dazzling defense. He currently leads all Carolina League third baseman in fielding percentage (1.000), and has successfully executed all 47 chances that have come his way.
TOP DOG: Glynn Davis recorded his 10th multi-hit game of the season on Wednesday, going 2-for-5 with a run scored. The Baltimore native currently leads Advanced-A in hitting (.414) and is the only player in the Carolina, California or Florida State Leagues with an average north of .400.Additionally, Davis leads the CL in hits (29) while he places second in runs scored (16) and third in on-base percentage (.457). He also rates fourth in total bases (37) and fifth in slugging percentage (.529). Last Wednesday, Davis wrapped up an 11-game hitting streak, where he hit .458 (22-48) with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs.
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 played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.
TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Luis Parra makes his fifth appearance of the year, his third start of the season on Thursday. His previous outing came against Wilmington last Saturday. Earning the start, Para picked up his third straight victory. In 5.1 innings, the Dominican allowed three runs on six hits, walking two, striking out one and hitting a batter. He is currently tied for the Carolina League lead in wins. Until recently, Parra was serving in a piggybacking role with fellow lefty Andrew Faulkner. As a starter, Para is 2-0 with a 5.23 ERA (10IP/6ER) and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA as a reliever (6IP/2ER). Walks have occasionally been an issue at times, as Parra has handed out nine free passes in 16.1 innings. The 22-year-old split 2013 between Myrtle Beach and Low-A Hickory. In 20 games (all starts) Parra went a combined 5-6 with a 2.68 ERA, while he went 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA as a member of the Pelicans and delivered a quality start in three of his five outings with the Birds. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, Para hails from Altamira, Dominican Republic, the same hometown as Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon.