June 2014

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-26-14

Good morning Keys fans!

We’re up bright and early for a long day of baseball today! After attempting to hold off through a couple innings of light rain, lightning struck and heavy rain began to fall in the bottom of the fourth inning. Quick work by the Keys’ grounds crew saved the field from damage that could very well have delayed play for a couple of days. After about twenty minutes of delay, the remainder of last night’s season opener with the Winston-Salem Dash was suspended until this afternoon where we will pick up in the fourth inning and finish through nine innings. The game will be followed by a 30 minute break and today’s scheduled game, which will be played to seven innings.

When play was suspended last night, the Keys led the Dash 3-2. Trey Mancicni’s RBI double brought in Glynn Davis and Michael Almanzar to give the Keys their one-run lead. Mancini has six RBI in the six games he has played with Frederick.

Gene Escat will take the mound for the Keys when the game resumes, countered by Winston-Salem lefty Sean Hagan. In today’s second game, right-hander Brady Wager gets the start for the Keys and face off against Dash starter Frank Montas, who will be a part of the Futures Game for the White Sox organization. Baltimore’s representatives in the Futures Game are RHP Hunter Harvey and OF Dariel Alvarez.

The sun is out and shining today at the Grove so it should be a great day for Super Splash Day! Come on out for some fun in the sun and a great day with lots of baseball! Shake your keys!

Take a look at some of the notes for today’s game below:

Thursday, June 26, 2014 · Game #74/#75 · Home Game #36/#37

Frederick Keys (33-40/1-5) vs Winston-Salem Dash (33-42/3-3)

RHP Brady Wager (2-6, 5.95) vs. RHP Frank Montas (3-0, 1.64)

TARP PLEASE: On Wednesday night, Frederick and Winston-Salem were halted in the bottom of the fourth due to rain. After a quick fourth inning by Mark Blackmar, home plate umpire Brian Peterson called for the tarp with the Keys leading 3-2. After a sac-fly by Courtney Hawkins put Winston-Salem up 1-0 in the first, the Dash used a double by Omar Narvaez, a sac-bunt by Keenyn Walker and an RBI fielder’s choice by Tim Anderson to make it 2-0. Frederick grabbed the lead in the home-third though, following a sac-fly by Mike Yastrzemski and a two-run double by Trey Mancini with men at first and third. Wednesday’s game will be picked up in the bottom of the fourth, and all nine innings will be completed. Afterwards, the two clubs will play a seven-inning ballgame.

 SWEPT AWAY: The Wilmington Blue Rocks used four home runs as well as five innings of shutout baseball from Miguel Almonte to complete a three-game sweep of the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night by a 5-1 count. The four longballs equaled a season-high allowed by Keys pitching, while half came from Cody Stubbs, who recorded the first multi-homer game of his career. Unable to counter, Frederick finished without a hit with runners in scoring position for the third straight game. The Keys have now fallen in four straight, which is tied for the team’s second-longest slide of the season. Previously, the Keys dropped four in-a-row from May 22-25 against Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. The club’s longest losing streak of 2014 is five straight (occurring between April 8-12).

 A LITTLE HELP!:During the club’s three-game series against Wilmington, Frederick did not record a hit with runners in scoring position. Finishing a combined 0-for-20 with men closest to home, the Keys went 0-for-7 on Tuesday, after going 0-for-2 on Monday and 0-for-11 on Sunday. The orange and black also left a combined 20 on base during the series. Going back to the series finale at Carolina, Frederick is just 1-for-27 with men in scoring position over their last four games. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .236 with men closest to home this season and only .195 with men in scoring position and two outs. Joel Hutter (.344), Michael Burgess (.323) and Glynn Davis (.317) have fared the best with runners in scoring position this year.

 ON A SLIDE:Tuesday marked the third time that the Keys had been swept this season, while it was the first time that the Keys had been broomed since May 29. Visiting Calvin Falwell Field, the orange and black lost three straight to the Lynchburg, after losses in three of four games to Wilmington. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s loss was the second time this season that Frederick had been swept at home. Besides struggling with runners in scoring position, the Keys pitching staff has also taken its lumps. Since the start of the second-half, Frederick arms have posted a 7.12 ERA (54.1 IP/43ER) and allowed 69 hits.

LONGBALL BLUES: Wilmington’s four home runs were tied for the most given up by Frederick’s pitching staff this year. On April 23, Keys pitchers gave up four home runs to Myrtle Beach, as the Pelicans won in a 21-6 rout. Three of the home runs were hit by Joey Gallo, the ex-Birds slugger who is currently tied for the MiLB home run lead (27). All four Blue Rocks homers came off Joe Van Meter. Prior to Tuesday, the Virginia native had never allowed more than three home runs in a game.

 MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday night after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB:On Sunday, the Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. In his first three games with the Keys, the 23-year-old is 1-for-11 with a double and three strikeouts. He has split time between third base and DH. Almanzar is the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Although the Keys did not homer on Tuesday, Frederick has favored the longball lately. Frederick has hit a home run in six of their last eight games after Jason Esposito slugged a solo shot in the seventh on Monday. Frederick is tied for second in the Carolina League in homers with 46, along with Winston-Salem and Potomac. Only Myrtle Beach (64) has hit more this season. Over their last eight games, the Keys have hit 13 home runs, with eight coming over the final two games of the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 11 deep flies, and is fourth in the CL in that department. The Floridian has homered in five of his last seven contests, and is one longball away from equaling his 2013 total at Double-A Corpus Christi.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Last Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings). On Saturday, Dennis Torres joined the club from Delmarva. A relief pitcher, the righty went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA over 17 games to go along with three saves in three attempts.

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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:21-year-old Frank Montas makes his 10th start with the Dash this season, and his third appearance against Frederick. His most recent outing came last Saturday against Salem. Receiving a no-decision, Montas tossed four innings of scoreless baseball and allowed only two hits in a rain-shortened start. Named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Tuesday, Montas has worked at least six innings in six of his last seven games and his turned in quality starts in five of his last seven tilts. He is holding opponents to a .193 batting average against, while his 1.64 ERA would rank second-best in the CL if Montas had enough innings to qualify. Against the Keys this season, the righty is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA. Acquired by the White Sox as part of the three-team Jake Peavy deal, which sent Peavy to the Red Sox in exchange for J.B. Wendelken, Avisail Garcia, and Cleuluis Rondon, Montas split 2013 between Low-A Kannapolis and Low-A Greensville (both in the South Atlantic League). Over 24 games (23 starts), the Dominican went a combined 5-11 with a 5.43 ERA. Over 111 innings, he allowed 114 hits, 50 walks and 11 home runs, but struck out 127. A pitcher who has handed out an average of four walks per nine innings, Montas really struggled with command after being traded. Over 25.2 frame with Low-A Kannapolis, he gave out 18 free tickets in 25.2 innings.  Signed by the Red Sox in 2009 as an international free agent for $75,000, Montas was clocked as high as 100 mph at the time of his signing. A pitcher with a wide-hipped frame, Montas’ build has drawn some comparisons to Livan Hernandez. The right-hander can touch the mid-90s with regularity, but will sit between 91-95 mph with his fastball. He throws both a slider and a curveball, but both pitches lack consistency, while his changeup is still in the development stages.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-25-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The Keys lost 5-1 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks last night in the last outing of their three-game series. Glynn Davis went 2-4 for on the night and represented the Keys’ only run when first baseman Trey Mancini drove him in with one out in the sixth inning. Matt Hobgood pitched three innings of scoreless relief, striking out three and allowing only one hit.

Mychal Givens, who pitched the first half with the Keys made his first appearance for the Double-A Bowie Baysox on Monday. Givens pitched a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation to close out the Baysox 9-3 win over the Trenton Thunder.

Frederick opens up a three game series against the Winston-Salem Dash, who are 3-3 in the second half and sit in third place in the Southern Division. Tonight’s starter for the Keys is right-hander Mark Blackmar, who comes in with  a 4-1 record and a 4.23 ERA. Winston-Salem sends righty Terance Marin to the mound. Marin made his first start for the Dash last Friday, pitching seven innings and allowing only one earn run, enough to earn the win.

Come on out and shake your keys as we celebrate Greek Night here at the Grove!

Take a look at some of the notes for tonight’s game:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 · Game #74 · Home Game #36

Frederick Keys (33-40/1-5) vs Winston-Salem Dash (33-42/3-3)

RHP Mark Blackmar (4-1, 4.23) vs. RHP Terance Marin (1-0, 5.63)

SWEPT AWAY: The Wilmington Blue Rocks used four home runs as well as five innings of shutout baseball from Miguel Almonte to complete a three-game sweep of the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night by a 5-1 count. The four longballs equaled a season-high allowed by Keys pitching, while half came from Cody Stubbs, who recorded the first multi-homer game of his career. Unable to counter, Frederick finished without a hit with runners in scoring position for the third straight game. The Keys have now fallen in four straight, which is tied for the team’s second-longest slide of the season. Previously, the Keys dropped four in-a-row from May 22-25 against Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. The club’s longest losing streak of 2014 is five straight (occurring between April 8-12).

 A LITTLE HELP!:During the club’s three-game series against Wilmington, Frederick did not record a hit with runners in scoring position. Finishing a combined 0-for-20 with men closest to home, the Keys went 0-for-7 on Tuesday, after going 0-for-2 on Monday and 0-for-11 on Sunday. The orange and black also left a combined 20 on base during the series. Going back to the series finale at Carolina, Frederick is just 1-for-27 with men in scoring position over their last four games. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .236 with men closest to home this season and only .195 with men in scoring position and two outs. Joel Hutter (.344), Michael Burgess (.323) and Glynn Davis (.317) have fared the best with runners in scoring position this year.

 ON A SLIDE:Tuesday marked the third time that the Keys had been swept this season, while it was the first time that the Keys had been broomed since May 29. Visiting Calvin Falwell Field, the orange and black lost three straight to the Lynchburg, after losses in three of four games to Wilmington. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s loss was the second time this season that Frederick had been swept at home. Besides struggling with runners in scoring position, the Keys pitching staff has also taken its lumps. Since the start of the second-half, Frederick arms have posted a 7.12 ERA (54.1 IP/43ER) and allowed 69 hits.

LONGBALL BLUES: Wilmington’s four home runs were tied for the most given up by Frederick’s pitching staff this year. On April 23, Keys pitchers gave up four home runs to Myrtle Beach, as the Pelicans won in a 21-6 rout. Three of the home runs were hit by Joey Gallo, the ex-Birds slugger who is currently tied for the MiLB home run lead (27). All four Blue Rocks homers came off Joe Van Meter. Prior to Tuesday, the Virginia native had never allowed more than three home runs in a game.

 MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday night after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB:On Sunday, the Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. In his first two games with the Keys, the 23-year-old is 1-for-7 with a double and two strikeouts. He served as the DH on Monday after playing six innings at third base on Sunday. Almanzar is the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Although the Keys did not homer on Tuesday, Frederick has favored the longball lately. Frederick has hit a home run in six of their last eight games after Jason Esposito slugged a solo shot in the seventh on Monday. Frederick is tied for second in the Carolina League in homers with 46, along with Winston-Salem and Potomac. Only Myrtle Beach (64) has hit more this season. Over their last eight games, the Keys have hit 13 home runs, with eight coming over the final two games of the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 11 deep flies, and is fourth in the CL in that department. The Floridian has homered in five of his last seven contests, and is one longball away from equaling his 2013 total at Double-A Corpus Christi.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Last Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings). On Saturday, Dennis Torres joined the club from Delmarva. A relief pitcher, the righty went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA over 17 games to go along with three saves in three attempts.

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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:Right-hander Terance Marin makes his fourth appearance of the season as well as his second start as a member of the Dash. His most recent outing came last Friday against Salem, and was arguably the best of his career. Tallying seven innings, the Californian gave up only one run on five hits and struck out 10 to pick up his first win of the season. Both the 10 strikeouts and the seven innings went down as career-highs. Opening the season with Winston-Salem, Marin endured a disastrous start, where he surrendered 10 runs (four earned) over his first inning-plus on 10 hits. On April 11, he was released by the White Sox organization. Moving on to the Evansville Otters of the Independent Frontier League, Marin got things back on track, going 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA over six starts, to go along with 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched (the 39 strikeouts was one off the league lead at the time his contract was purchased). Dominant as a member of the Otters, Marin carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning in three of his six outings. A member of the Dash the previous two seasons, the righty went 5-5 with a 4.76 ERA over 33 games (seven starts) last year. He placed sixth on the Dash with 92.2 innings worked. A pitcher was much better in the second-half, Marin went 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his final 18 games (one start) after going 4-5 with a 6.20 ERA in his first 15 contests. August was particularly good, as he allowed only two earned runs in 18.1 stanzas (0.98). He went 5-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 33 games with Winston-Salem in 2012. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Marin played two seasons at Modest Junior College (18 games/17 starts).

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-24-14

Hello Keys fans!

The Keys take to Harry Grove Stadium tonight looking to rebound from last night’s 9-3 loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Tonight’s game is the last of a four-game set against the Blue Rocks. Righty Joe Van Meter, who is 2-0 when pitching at Harry Grove this season, takes the mound looking to end the Keys’ cold streak that includes four losses in five games.

We hope to see plenty of you out and shaking your keys at the Grove tonight!

Take a look below at some of the game notes for tonight’s matchup:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 · Game #73 · Home Game #35

Frederick Keys (33-39/1-4) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (36-37/3-2)

RHP Joe Van Meter (3-1, 4.54) vs. RHP Miguel Almonte (4-3, 4.48

NO LOCAL LOVE: Hagerstown native Christian Binford tossed 6.2 innings of three-run baseball, while the Wilmington Blue Rocks used seven extra-base hits to top the Frederick Keys 9-3 on Monday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was Frederick’s fourth defeat in five games, and handed the team its second straight series defeat. In his second-half debut, Branden Kline allowed four runs over his first three innings, and lasted only 4.1 frames. Using balanced production from its lineup, the Blue Crew had four players tally mutli-hit games. Zane Evans led the charge going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Cam Gallagher went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.  

 TOUGH TIMES: After winning five out of six to end the first-half, Frederick has dropped four out of five to begin the second stanza. The Keys need a win to avoid being swept for the first time since May 29, when the club dropped three straight at Lynchburg. This season, the orange have been swept at home once. That occurred on April 10, when Carolina rattled off three straight wins during the first homestand of the year. Over the Keys current rocky stretch, the pitching staff has struggled mightily, posting a 7.54 ERA (45.1 IP/38ER) while allowing 62 hits.

GETTING IN A WORKOUT: Branden Kline was tagged with his first loss since June 2, allowing four runs on six hits over 4.1 stanzas. Making his first regular season start in 10 days (Kline pitched one inning in the Carolina League-California League All-Star Game), the former Governor Thomas Johnson standout was challenged from the onset. Needing 32 pitches to escape the first, the righty surrendered a solo homer to centerfield on the fourth pitch of the game before needing 10 pitches to retire Jared Schlehuber. Later in the frame, Zane Evans earned a walk before scoring on a triple by Cody Stubbs. That set the tone for the game, as three of the first six Wilmington batters worked plate appearances of six pitches or longer. Over his last two starts, Kline has allowed nine runs over 8.1 frames, on 12 hits and six walks.

A LITTLE HELP:Over the last two games, the Keys have struggled with runners in scoring position. On Sunday, the team went 0-for-11 with men at second and third base, while he orange and black also left 10 stranded, the most runners the team had left behind since June 12. Monday presented fewer chances, but the club still went without a hit when putting runners closest to home (0-for-2). Over their last three contests, the Keys are a combined 1-for-20 with men in scoring position. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .239 with men closest to home this season and only .197 with men in scoring position and two outs.

MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday night after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB:On Sunday, the Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. In his first two games with the Keys, the 23-year-old is 1-for-7 with a double and two strikeouts. He served as the DH on Monday after playing six innings at third base on Sunday. Almanzar is the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Lately, Frederick has been scoring runs via the home run ball. Monday marked the sixth time in seven games that the Keys had hit a longball after Jason Esposito slugged a solo shot in the seventh. Frederick is second in the Carolina League in homers with 46. Only Myrtle Beach (64) has hit more this season. Over their last seven games, the Keys have hit 13 home runs, with eight coming over the final two games of the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 11 deep flies, and is tied for third in the CL in that department. The Floridian has homered in five of his last seven contests, and is one longball away from equaling his 2013 total at Double-A Corpus Christi.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Last Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings). On Saturday, Dennis Torres joined the club from Delmarva. A relief pitcher, the righty went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA over 17 games to go along with three saves in three attempts.

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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:Right-hander Miguel Almonte makes his 13th start of the season for the Blue Rocks and is the No. 5 prospect in the Kansas City system according to Baseball America. His final first-half start came on June 10 at Winston-Salem. Tagged with the loss, Almonte pitched four innings and allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. The start was cut short after four innings on account of elbow discomfort. A pitcher who prefers the strikeout, Almonte is fifth in the CL in strikeout/nine inning ratio (8.68). Only 21 years old, Almonte made the jump from the Dominican Summer League to Low-A Lexington in 2013. In 25 games, he went 6-9 with a 3.10 ERA over 130.2 innings pitched, and led all qualified league starters with 9.1 punchouts per nine innings. For his effort, Almonte was named to the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game. In the game, he tossed a perfect seventh inning and struck out the game’s No.1 prospect Byron Buxton. One of Almonte’s teammates on the World squad was former Key Eduardo Rodriguez, who earned the nod after going 6-3 with a 2.99 ERA for the orange and black. Signed by the Royals as an international free agent for $25,000 in 2010, Almonte is among the Royals latest crop of pitching talent from the Dominican Republic (which includes Kelvin Herrera and Yordano Ventura). Armed with the best changeup in the Kansas City farm system according to Baseball America, Almonte complements the offering with a 91-95 mph fastball (which can touch 97) and a curveball.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-23-14

Good evening Keys fans!

We are back at the Grove tonight looking to rebound from last night’s extra-inning loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Keys got six shutout innings from starter Parker Bridwell, solid enough to maintain a 1-0 lead gained in the first inning off of another Michael Burgess home run, his fifth home run in his last six games. The Blue Rocks got on the board in the eighth inning when Terrance Gore was walked home to tie the game at one. After a scoreless ninth inning, Wilmington center fielder Bubba Starling homered to lead off extra innings, extending the Blue Rocks’ lead to 2-1. Frederick newcomer Trey Mancini was just feet short of what would have been a walk-off home run as Starling grabbed the game ending out on the warning track.

Tonight the Keys send righty Branden Kline to the mound to right the ship against the Blue Rocks. This will be Kline’s first start of the second half after going 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in the first half . Wilmington counters with righty Christian Binford.

Kids eat free tonight at Harry Grove so come hungry and get loud for your Keys. If you can’t make it to the stadium tonight, you can listen to Doug Raftery and Geoff Arnold on the call on 1450 AM The Source.

Go Keys!

Below are the game notes for tonight’s match-up:

Monday, June 23, 2014 · Game #72 · Home Game #34

Frederick Keys (33-38/1-3) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (35-37/2-2)

RHP Branden Kline (3-2, 3.33) vs. RHP Christian Binford (4-3, 2.19)

GAME OF INCHES: Trey Mancini came only feet shy of a game-winning three-run homer, but it was a Bubba Starling longball that proved the difference, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks defeated the Frederick Keys 2-1 in 10 innings on Sunday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Armed with a plethora of chances to win in regulation, Frederick finished 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. The Keys took an early lead on a Michael Burgess solo homer in the second, but the Blue Rocks tied the game in the eighth. Making his Advanced-A debut, Jimmy Yacabonis issued four walks to force home Terrance Gore, before Starling broke the deadlock in extra-innings. It was Frederick’s third loss in its last four contests.

EXTRA-TIME: Sunday marked the second time in three games that the Keys had gone extra-innings. Entering the contest with back-to-back wins in games stretching past regulation, the Keys dropped their first extra-inning tilt since May 28, when the club fell to Lynchburg 5-4 in 10 innings. This season, Frederick is 4-5 in games going 10 frames or more. All four extra-inning wins for the Keys have come on the road, while Luis Pujols’ team is 0-2 in extra-inning games at home.

LITTLE HELP!: Frederick’s one run loss on Sunday can largely be attributed to issues with runners in scoring position. Ending the game 0-for-11 with men at second and third base, the orange and black also left 10 stranded, the most runners the team had left behind since June 12. Over their last two contests, the Keys are a combined 1-for-18 with men in scoring position. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .240 with men closest to home this season and only .198 with men in scoring position and two outs.

CAN’T TOUCH THIS: Parker Bridwell continued his hot stretch on the mound, tossing six innings of two-hit baseball. He walked two and struck out five in a no-decision. It was the Texan’s sixth straight quality start, and seventh overall. He is tied with Branden Kline for the team-lead in quality outings, while all seven have come at Harry Grove Stadium. Over his last three starts, Bridwell is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA (19.0 IP/2ER) and has allowed only nine hits during that stretch. In the process, he has seen his ERA sliced by nearly a point (4.98-4.07), the lowest it has been all season.

 MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday night after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB:On Sunday, the Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. Getting the start at third base, the 23-year-old played six innings and went 0-for-3. Almanzar is the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury. In his first rehab game on Friday with the GCL Orioles he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and two errors at third. He is scheduled to be with the Keys through Thursday.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Lately, Frederick has been scoring runs via the home run ball. Sunday marked the fifth time in six games that the Keys had hit a longball after Michael Burgess slugged a solo shot in the second. Frederick is second in the Carolina League in homers with 45. Only Myrtle Beach (62) has hit more this season. Over their last six games, the Keys have hit 12 home runs, with eight coming over the final two games of the first-half. Currently, Burgess paces the Keys with 11 deep flies, and is tied for third in the CL in that department. The Floridian has homered in five of his last six contests, and is one longball away from equaling his 2013 total at Double-A Corpus Christi.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings).

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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:Right-hander Christian Binford makes his 13th Carolina League start and his third against Frederick. Rated the No. 10 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America, the Hagerstown, MD native is making his first start of the second-half. In his last outing of the first-half, Binford tossed six shutout innings of three-hit baseball against Carolina in a winning effort. He struck out five and hit a batter. A Carolina League All-Star, the righty allowed two runs on a hit while pitching the fourth inning. Binford is tied for the CL lead in strikeouts (79) with Parker Bridwell and rates third in the CL in ERA (2.19). Opponents are batting just .223 off him this year, the league’s fifth-lowest mark. Rated as the top control pitcher in the Kansas City farm system by Baseball America, Binford is also second in WHIP (1.00). The right-hander was also dominant at Low-A Lexington in 2013. Named the Lexington Pitcher of the Year as well as a South Atlantic League All-Star, Binford was 8-7 with a 2.67 ERA to go along with 130 strikeouts and just 25 walks over 135 frames. His ERA was third-best in the SAL, while he placed fifth in WHIP (1.14) and sixth in strikeouts. Binford spent 2012 at Rookie-Burlington, after being selected by Kansas City in the 30th round of the 2011 draft. He received a well over-slot bonus of $575,000 which swayed him from attending the University of Virginia (if he attended he would have been teammates with Branden Kline). As a high school senior at Mercersburg (PA) Academy, Binford posted a 0.64 ERA in 55 frames. As a sophomore he underwent Tommy John Surgery. Not a hard thrower, Binford used his 6 foot 7 frame to create a good downhill angle on his pitches. He throws a 88-93 mph fastball, a slider, curveball and changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-22-14

Good afternoon Keys fans!

Tonight is Faith Night at the Grove as the Keys are opening their first home series of the second half, a three game set against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Parker Bridwell, who went 4-6 with a 4.38 ERA in the first half of the season, will get the start for the Keys tonight and face off against Blue Rocks’ lefty Jonathan Dziedzic.

The Keys welcome Michael Almanzar to the team this week. Almanzar, who has spent the season with the Orioles, was placed on the 60-day disabled list due to a patella tendon tendinitis and is playing in Frederick as a part of his rehab assignment.

See our previous blog post summarizing some of the roster moves made during the All-Star Break.

Below are some of the game notes for tonight’s game:

Sunday, June 22, 2014 · Game #71 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (33-37/1-2) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (34-37/1-2)

RHP Parker Bridwell (4-6, 4.38) vs. LHP Jonathan Dziedzic (5-4, 2.80)

CAROLINA’S REVENGE: The Carolina Mudcats tied their season-high with 17 hits, while a five-run Muddies fourth sealed a 12-2 Frederick Keys defeat on Saturday night at Five County Stadium. Saturday’s setback ended a string of three straight series wins by the orange and black. All nine members of the Mudcats order recorded at least one hit, while LeVon Washington and Todd Hankins paced the hosts offensively. Washington tallied four hits, equaling the most by an individual player against the Keys this season, and Hankins drove in four RBIs. Frederick was led by Trey Mancini, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in his third Carolina League game. On the mound, Brady Wager gave up eight runs (six earned) on seven hits over only 3.1 frames.

SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE HAMMER, SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE NAIL: Saturday was Frederick’s second-most lopsided defeat of the season, and marks the second time in three games that Frederick pitching has surrendered 10 runs or more in a game. The Keys worst loss came on April 23, when the team fell to Myrtle Beach 21-6, the club’s worst setback since June 11, 2006. During the club’s three-game series at Carolina, Frederick’s pitching staff struggled mightily tallying a 9.23 ERA (26.1 IP/27ER) while allowing 44 hits. The Keys are currently fifth in the CL with a 4.19 staff ERA.

ICE TREY: Trey Mancini was one of the few bright spots for the Keys on Saturday night. The only Keys player with multiple hits in the series finale, the former Notre Dame standout went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Over his first three Carolina League games, Mancini has driven in five runs and is batting .286 (4-for-14). He made quite an impression in his Carolina League debut on Thursday, going 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs. The four driven-in equaled a career-high. Named a South Atlantic League All-Star while playing at Low-A Delmarva, Mancini was seventh in the league in hitting (.317) at the time of his promotion and second in hits (85).

 MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday night after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB: In one other player personnel move, the Baltimore Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. He becomes the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury. In his first rehab game on Friday with the GCL Orioles he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and two errors at third. He is scheduled to be with the Keys through Thursday.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Saturday’s game ended a string of four straight games with a longball by the Keys. Still, the team is tied with Winston-Salem for the second most dingers in the CL (44). Only Myrtle Beach (62) has whacked more longballs. Over their last five games, the Keys have hit 11 home runs, as the orange and black hit four homers last Saturday and four more on Sunday to close the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 10 deep flies, and is tied for fifth in the circuit in that department. The Floridian has homered in four of his last five contests.

 TAKE HOME SOME HARDWARE:  On Monday, Michael Burgess was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week.”  It marked the third time in 2014 that a member of the Keys had received a weekly honor, while it was the first time Burgess had received a player of the week honor since 2008, when he earned South Atlantic League Player of the Week accolades in late April of that season. Over six games, Burgess hit .500 (11-for-22) with three homers, one triple, two doubles nine RBIs and four runs scored. The three homers were tied for the most by an Advanced-A player last week and the nine RBIs were good for third-best across the Advanced-A classification. He also placed seventh across the minors in slugging percentage (1.091). Thanks to the huge week, Burgess pushed his average to .319, the highest it has been all season. That stat is good for fourth-best in the Carolina League, while he tied for second in RBIs (46), second in slugging (.564) and extra-base hits (30) and tied for third in total bases (115).

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings).

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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 Jonathan Dziedzic makes his 13th start of the season and his second against the Keys. Owner of the seventh-best ERA in the Carolina League (2.80), the Humble, Texas last pitched at Winston-Salem on June 10. Pitching the second game of a doubleheader, the lefty gave up two unearned runs on four hits over four innings. He walked three and struck out six. A Carolina League All-Star, Dziedzic tossed a clean fifth inning on Tuesday night in the Carolina League’s 3-2 defeat to their California League brethren. Although he does not possess overpowering stuff, the Texan is third in the league in strikeout/nine inning ratio (9.15). The all-time strikeout leader in Lamar University history (317), Dziedzic spent his first professional season with Rookie-Idaho Falls. In 12 games (11 starts), he went 2-0 with a 2.68 ERA. A player who hit his stride at the end of the season, Dziedzic posted a 0.87 ERA over five starts in August (5G/20.2/2R/9H). That carried over to the Pioneer League Championship Series. Facing Helena, the Texan tossed a season-high six innings in a game one victory, as he helped lead the Chukars to their first Pioneer League title since 2000. Selected by the Royals in the 13th round of the 2013 draft out of Lamar, the 23-year-old was also selected by the Red Sox out of Atascocita High School (TX) but did not sign. He throws a fastball in the upper-80s, a curveball and a changeup. A pitcher with one of the Carolina League’s better nicknames, Dziedzic is known by his teammates as “eye chart” due to the difficult spelling of his last name.

The Keys Are Back!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

Well after a three-game roadtrip to open the second-half it is good to be back at the Grove. The team’s quick trip south to Carolina was highlighted by an 8-6 victory on Friday night, where the orange and black scored seven runs over their final three trips to bat. Tucker Nathans landed the final blow with a two-run single to center, as the team earned its second extra-inning win of the year over the Mudcats.

Thursday and Saturday were not as kind to the Keys. In the second-half opener, Frederick saw an eight-run lead vanish, while on Saturday Carolina tallied a season-high 17 hits en route to a 12-2 win. It was the club’s second-most lopsided defeat of the season.

Some news and notes from the trip to Zebulon (and post-All Star Break)

-Mike Yastrzemski, Trey Mancini, Jimmy Yacabonis and Dennis Torres were all promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. To create roster space, Creede Simpson and Lucas Herbst were transferred to the Shorebirds while Matt Hauser was released by the Orioles. Mancini made a good impression in the series opener, tying his career-high with four RBIs. Yastrzemski wasn’t bad either, going 4-for-12 in three games with three RBIs and four runs scored. And if you’re wondering, yes, he is the grandson of Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Here is a little bit more about him.

-Sammie Starr went 6-for-13 over three games during the trip. Half of those hits came on Friday, as the Canadian finished only a home run short of the cycle. On Saturday, he made the defensive play of the night, robbing Yhoxian Medina of a single in the fifth (spoiler: it may or may not be the Play of the Game you hear on the pregame show Sunday).

- Michael Burgess saw his string of four straight games with a homer conclude on Saturday, after just missing on a solo-blast in the fifth (it went off the  center field fence). Still, it has been a great week for the Tampa native who has hit in six straight games and was also named the Carolina League “Player of the Week” on Monday, Over the week, he put up video game-like numbers: 11-for-22, 3HR, 3B, 2 2B, 9RBI. The three homers were tied for the most by a player in Advanced-A (Carolina, California and Florida State Leagues taken into account) last week.

On Sunday, the Keys will entertain the Wilmington Blue Rocks, as Frederick begins a six-game homestand. Remember, the last time the Rocks visited Frederick, the orange and black took three out of four. The Keys are hoping for similar results this time around. Wilmington will throw two Carolina League All-Stars in the series plus a top-5 prospect in the Royals farm system. Lefty Jonathan Dziedzic will toe the mound first and will be matched up by the red-hot Parker Bridwell. The Texan has tossed five straight quality starts at home, and will be trying for his fifth win of the year. Christian Binford faces Branden Kline on Monday, while Joe Van Meter tangles with Miguel Almonte on Tuesday night.

After the Blue Rocks, the Keys will host Winston-Salem for three games.

No doubt plenty of exciting baseball will be played, but there will also be a ton of great promotions. The fun starts on Sunday with “Faith Night.” Prior to the 6 p.m. first pitch there will be a special pregame concert (beginning at 3) by the Waterboyz for Jesus and the Grace Community Church Youth Band. Several players will also be giving testimonials, while after the game there will be fireworks!

Monday is a Kids Eat Free Night, and Tuesday is a Guaranteed Win Night! Here is how it works folks: We GUARANTEE a Keys victory. But, if things don’t play out like expected, fans can redeem their ticket stubs for any future Monday-Thursday regular season home game. On Tuesday there will also be a Bordeleau Wine Pairing Diner in the Mattress Warehouse Club. Six great wines and six great courses it what you’ll have to choose from, so don’t miss out!

Wednesday is a belly buster picnic as well as Greek Night at the Grove, while Thursday will be especially fun: SUPER SPLASH DAY!! Gametime is at noon, and we’ll be turning the Giant Eagle Funzone into a splash zone. The highlight will be the Big Kahuna Water Slide, so make sure to bring your bathing suits!

Then on Friday we’ll wrap things up with Fredneck Night. It’s one of the best nights of the year to come out to the Grove, and will be headlined by Ted DiBiase, better known as “The Million Dollar Man.” He’ll be on hand to chat with fans, while the Keys will be wearing special camo hats that will be auctioned off after the game in support of Heartly House’s “Safe at Home” night.

And there you have it folks. A ton of fun at the ballpark on the docket, so stop on by this upcoming week!

See you at the Grove and shake your keys!

Geoff

 

 

 

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-21-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick concludes its three-game set with Carolina on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. The orange and black will send Brady Wager to the mound, while lefty Shawn Morimando gets the ball for the Muddies. First pitch is at 6 p.m.

Saturday’s batch of game notes are below. Talk soon, and shake your keys!

Geoff

Saturday, June 21, 2014 · Game #70 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (33-36/1-1) vs Carolina Mudcats (30-39/1-1)

RHP Brady Wager (2-5, 5.40) vs. LHP Shawn Morimando (6-2, 3.13)

NEVER SAY DIE: One night after the Frederick Keys saw an eight-run lead slip away, the orange and black turned the tables. Trailing the Carolina Mudcats 4-1 through six innings, Frederick tied the game twice, before the Keys broke the deadlock for good in the 10th to earn an 8-6 win at Five County Stadium. Tucker Nathans provided the decisive blow on Friday night, with a two-run single to centerfield. In total, the Keys scored seven runs over their final three trips to bat. Three of those runs came in the eighth courtesy of a two-run double by Sammie Starr and a sacrifice fly by Mike Yastrzemski. Carolina briefly regained the lead in bottom of the eighth, after four walks by Matt Hobgood and a balk made it 6-4 Muddies. Frederick then evened the score in the ninth on a solo homer by Michael Burgess, and an opposite field single by Zane Chavez to force extra innings. Matt Price worked two scoreless innings to pick up his third win of the year. A victory on Saturday would give the team its fourth straight series victory.

FREE BASEBALL!: On Friday, the Keys earned their fourth extra-inning win of the season. Frederick has now won back-to-back games stretching past regulation, after the club defeated Salem 9-8 in 12 innings on June 4 at LewisGale Field. Meanwhile, half of the orange and black’s extra-inning wins have come against the Mudcats. On April 18, the club topped the Muddies 3-1 in 11 stanzas. The Keys sports the third-best extra-inning record in the Carolina League at 4-4, with only Myrtle Beach (3-1) and Lynchburg (5-1) holding better marks.

SLAMMIN SAMMIE: Sammie Starr continued his tear at the plate on Friday night, going 3-for-5 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. It was the Canadian’s third straight multi-hit game and moved his average up to .263, the highest it has been since May 1. Riding a mini four-game hitting streak, Starr is batting .500 (8-for-16) during that time with two homers, a triple, a double, six RBIs and four runs scored. Over 13 games in June, the infielder is hitting .295 with two homers, a triple, three doubles and six RBIs.

NO NAIL IN THE COFFIN YET: Friday’s victory marked only the third time all season that Frederick had won a game when trailing after eight innings. Down 6-4 entering the ninth, the Keys picked up a pair of runs to force extras before taking the lead for good in the 10th. Two of the three wins when playing from behind after eight have come over the last week, as the orange and blacked topped Myrtle Beach 7-6 last Friday at Harry Grove Stadium. Down 6-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Keys scored three times of Cody Ege, as a two-run throwing error and a bloop single to right by Zane Chavez gave the Keys the win.

UP, UP AND AWAY!: In the middle game against Carolina, the Keys continued to rack up runs via the longball. A Michael Burgess solo shot in the ninth frame marked the fourth straight game where the Keys had homered, while it pushed the team’s total up to 43. That figure is tied for second-most in the CL with Winston-Salem. Only Myrtle Beach (61) has whacked more longballs. Over their last four games, the Keys have hit 11 home runs, as the orange and black hit four homers last Saturday and four more on Sunday to close the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 10 deep flies, and is tied for fourth in the circuit in that department. The Floridian has homered in four straight games.

WHAT AN ENTRANCE!: Playing in his first Carolina League game on Thursday, Trey Mancini did not show any signs of nerves. Going 2-for-5, the former Notre Dame doubled and hit a three-run homer while he drove in four RBIs. The four RBIs tied a career-high for Mancini, who registered four on May 30 at Lakewood as a member of the Delmarva Shorebirds. Mike Yastrzemski also enjoyed a fine Keys debut, ending 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Both players were named South Atlantic League All-Stars prior to their promotion on Thursday.

TAKE HOME SOME HARDWARE:  On Monday, Michael Burgess was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week.”  It marked the third time in 2014 that a member of the Keys had received a weekly honor, while it was the first time Burgess had received a player of the week honor since 2008, when he earned South Atlantic League Player of the Week accolades in late April of that season. Over six games, Burgess hit .500 (11-for-22) with three homers, one triple, two doubles nine RBIs and four runs scored. The three homers were tied for the most by an Advanced-A player last week and the nine RBIs were good for third-best across the Advanced-A classification. He also placed seventh across the minors in slugging percentage (1.091). Thanks to the huge week, Burgess pushed his average to .319, the highest it has been all season. That stat is good for fourth-best in the Carolina League, while he tied for second in RBIs (46), second in slugging (.564) and extra-base hits (30) and tied for third in total bases (115).

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings).

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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: Lefty Shawn Morimando makes his 14th start for the Mudcats on Saturday night and is the No. 22 prospect in the Cleveland farm system according to Baseball America. In his final first-half start last Saturday at Wilmington, Morimando was dominant, tossing six innings of one-hit baseball. He walked two, struck out six and surrendered one hit. Author of five straight quality starts, the southpaw has not given up any more than two runs during those five outings. Currently, Morimando is tied for second in the circuit in wins, and has the lowest batting average against (.183). He is also third in WHIP (1.07) and allows just over 10 base runners per nine innings. Promoted to Double-A Akron on May 30, Morimando made one start with the RubberDucks, tossing six scoreless innings in a win over Harrisburg. Two days later, he was sent back to Carolina. This will be the fourth time Morimando has faced the Keys this year. In that span, he is 3-0 with a 0.48 ERA (18.2 IP/ER).  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). Additionally, he finished with second lowest batting average against (.231).  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, a slider and a changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-14-14

Good afternoon Keys fans!

The sun is out and shining at Harry Grove Stadium as the Keys continue their series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans! The Keys leveled the series at one game a piece last night when they beat the Pelicans 7-6 on a walk-off single by catcher Zane Chavez. Frederick trailed 6-1 entering the seventh inning before their comeback began. The Keys scored three runs in the ninth inning to cap their comeback. Jason Esposito and Joel Hutter scored on throwing error following a sac bunt from center fielder Glynn Davis. Davis advanced to third on the play and was driven home two batters later on the Chavez single.

Tonight, Brady Wager takes the mound for Frederick.  Lefty Alexander Claudio will get the start for the Pelicans.

Hope to see plenty of you out here enjoying this beautiful weather at the Grove!

Below are some of the game notes for tonight:

Saturday, June 14, 2014 · Game #66 · Home Game #30

Frederick Keys (30-35) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (44-22)

RHP Brady Wager (2-5, 5.93) vs. LHP Alexander Claudio (4-0, 1.05)

COMEBACK KIDS:The Frederick Keys scored three times in the bottom of the ninth off Cody Ege, while Zane Chavez delivered the final blow to lead the orange and black to a 7-6 win on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Delayed one hour and 14 minutes due to rain, Frederick was limited to one run on three hits over the first six stanzas, before a bout of wildness by Pelicans lefty Sam Stafford helped the Keys regroup in the seventh. Entering for Sam Wolff, Stafford allowed an RBI single to Jason Esposito, before Joel Hutter plated another run with a single to center. Glynn Davis and Lucas Herbst then coaxed walks to pull the Keys within a pair. In the ninth, Esposito and Hutter reached to open the inning against Ege, while both scored on a throwing error by the Birds pitcher. Davis advanced to third, but pinch-hitter Sammie Starr struck out. Electing to walk the next two batters, it loaded the bases for Chavez, who floated a game-winning single down the rightfield line.      

IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS: Friday was the Keys third walk-off win of the season and their second against the Pelicans. Frederick’s first walk-off win came against Myrtle Beach on April 24, when Wynston Sawyer stroked a game-winning double off Keone Kella in the bottom of the ninth inning. Friday’s victory also went down as the team’s biggest comeback win of the year. Prior to eliminating a five-run deficit yesterday, Frederick’s biggest comeback margin was three runs.

BREAK THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING: Friday was only the Keys second win all season when trailing after eight innings. Coming into Friday’s game, Frederick was 1-24 when playing from behind after eight stanzas, while things were equally as dire when having to make up ground after seven innings (1-23). The team’s only other win when trailing after seven or eight innings came on May 10 during a quasi-doubleheader against Winston-Salem. With the Dash ahead 3-0 in the fifth inning of a previously suspended contest, the orange and black scored the final four runs, as Brenden Webb stroked a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.

THERE’S THE LEATHER!: On Friday, Frederick snapped a string of four straight games with an error, as well as three consecutive contests with two errors. It was the team’s first game of error-free baseball since last Saturday night in Myrtle Beach. Tied for the top fielding percentage in the Carolina League, Frederick has posted a .977 mark and has committed the second-fewest errors in the league (57). The Keys are tied for the top fielding percentage with Wilmington, while the Blue Rocks have made four-fewer errors. Winston-Salem is last in the Carolina League in fielding percentage (.961) and errors (95).

MIKE CHECK 1,2,3:,Michael Burgess came within a home run of the cycle on Friday, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Scalding hot at the plate, the Tampa native as hit safely in eight of his last 11 games. During that time, he is batting .410 (16-for-39) with two home runs, three triples, three doubles, eight RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has bumped his batting average from .278 to .305, the highest it has been all season.  This year, Burgess has come one hit away from the cycle on three occasions. On June 6 at Myrtle Beach he was a double short, while on May 18 at Winston-Salem he needed only a triple to accomplish the feat. Coming into Saturday, Burgess is tied for fifth in the Carolina League in hitting (.305), sits second in slugging percentage (.523), third in extra-base hits (27) and fourth in RBIs (41).

LIKE A ROCK:  After hitting in 10 straight from May 6-31, Zane Chavez has hit safely in his last seven in-a-row. On Friday, stroked the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to cap-off a 3-for-5 day where he also doubled and scored a run. During the seven-game jaunt, the Californian is batting .357 (10-for-28) with three home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs and four runs scored. Chavez has also hit home runs in three of his last four games.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Glynn Davis and Matt Taylor had been named to the Carolina League All-Star team. It marked the second professional all-star selection for Davis and the first for Taylor. On Tuesday, June 17, the Carolina League All Stars will play the California League All-Stars in the two leagues annual clash. The No. 29 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Davis enters Wednesday’s action with the fourth-best batting average in the Carolina League (.313). He ranks second in hits (65), runs scored (46) and is third in doubles (16). The Baltimore native also paces the Keys with 19 multi-hit games. Although Taylor was named to the All-Star squad, he will not play in the game due to injury. Still, the Georgian has impressed this season, going 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in eight games. He is second in the league in ERA and is tied for second in wins. This year’s Carolina League All-Star team will be managed by Blue Rocks skipper Darryl Kennedy, while Wilmington’s Steve Luebber will serve as pitching coach.

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 Alexander Claudio makes his 15th appearance of the season and his second start on Saturday night. His last outing came on Monday against Lynchburg, and was his first start since 2012 when he was pitching for the AZL Rangers. Tossing a season-high five innings, the lefty scattered a season-high six hits but did not allow a run. He walked two and struck out three. Named a Carolina League All-Star, the southpaw has proven to be one of the toughest pitchers to face in the Carolina League this season. As a reliever, he averages almost 10 strikeouts per nine innings, while he gives out less than 1.5 walks per nine frames. Limiting opponents to a .220 average, Claudio has been equally as difficult against righties (.223) and lefties (.211). This season, Claudio has not suffered a defeat and has not allowed any more than three runs in a given outing. Rated the No. 27 prospect in the Rangers system according to Baseball America, Claudio’s success has hinged upon good command as well as an excellent changeup which has been rated as the best in the Rangers farm system. The pitch was developed at the Rangers Academy with the help of John Burgos in 2012. He was originally selected by Texas in the 27th round of the 2010 draft out of Juncos, Puerto Rico. A pitcher without overpowering stuff, Claudio’s changeup is complemented by a mid-80s fastball and a mid-70s slider.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-13-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

In the spirit of the season, it is World Cup Night at the Ballpark! It should be a ton of fun, with plenty of fun games going on between innings. We’ll also have some baseball for the Grove, as Branden Kline goes for his first win at the ballpark he attended as a kid. The righty will be opposed by Sam Wolff.

Doug Raftery (in soccer jersey BTW) and I will have the call beginning at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source. Among the pregame highlights, is an interview with Keys groundskeeper Mike Soper. He talks about working around some nasty weather, as well as his thoughts on the team’s grounds crew (you may be surprised who it consists of).

Some game notes are attached below. Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

 

 

Friday, June 13, 2014 · Game #65 · Home Game #29

Frederick Keys (29-35) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (44-21)

RHP Branden Kline (3-2, 2.92) vs. RHP Sam Wolff (6-3, 2.78)

DOING THE LYON’S SHARE OF THE WORK: Down by three runs entering the ninth inning, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored five times off Mychal Givens and Ashur Tolliver to stun the Frederick Keys 8-6 on Thursday night at Harry Grove Stadium. David Lyon provided the decisive blow with a three-run double to left which put the visitors on top to stay. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Keys got a double by Jason Esposito, but Will Lamb struck out a pair and got a strike out to end the game. A one-man wrecking crew at the plate, Lyon ended with a career-high five RBIs after also recording a two-run double in the first.

IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS: On Thursday, Frederick lost only its third game all season when leading after eight innings. Prior to the series opener against Myrtle Beach, the Keys previous loss when leading after eight stanzas came on May 23 at Wilmington. Armed with a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth at Frawley Stadium, Ashur Tolliver allowed doubles to Cam Gallagher and Terrance Gore to even the count before Kenny Diekroeger stroked a walk-off single in the 10th inning off Matt Price. Tagged with the loss on Thursday, Mychal Givens gave up five runs over 1.2 innings, but only one was earned on account of an error by Joel Hutter at second. This season Givens has struggled mightily against the Birds. Over six innings, the Floridian has allowed 14 runs (10 earned) on 13 hits (15.00 ERA). Meanwhile, Givens has allowed only two runs over 25.1 stanzas (0.71 ERA) when pitching against the rest of the league.

LITTLE HELP!!: Although the Keys tallied six runs, the team passed up a number of run scoring opportunities. Frederick left a total of 10 men on base, while the orange and black went just 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting only .243 with men at second and third base. That is the third-worst mark in the CL, as only Wilmington (.218) and Carolina (.233) hit at a lower clip. With the bases loaded, Frederick hits at only .216, while the team holds a .196 mark with runners in scoring position and two outs.

STRUGGLES WITH THE LEATHER: Despite being one of the Carolina League’s better defensive teams, Frederick has committed six errors in its last three games. The club has two errors in each of its last three contests, while the team has made at least one error in four straight affairs. That has dropped the Keys to third in the Carolina League in defense. On the season, Frederick has posted a .976 fielding percentage and has committed the third-fewest errors in the league (57). Lynchburg and Wilmington are tied for the best fielding percentage in the eight-team circuit (.977). Winston-Salem is last in the Carolina League (.960) and has committed a league-high 95 errors.

SLUMP BUSTING: Stuck in a 4-for-56 funk coming into Thursday’s action, Jason Esposito busted out in a big way. Ending 3-for-5 with two doubles, the former Vanderbilt Commodore raised his average from .215 to .224. It was his first three-hit game since May 17, and his fourth game of three hits or more this season. Not known for drawing a lot of walks, Esposito has also drawn more free passes of late, working five walks in his last eight games (he drew only one walk in his first 49 ballgames).

MIKE CHECK 1,2,3: Since returning from Aberdeen last Tuesday, Michael Burgess has hit safely in seven of his last 10 games. During that time, he is batting .371 (13-for-35) with two home runs, two triples, two doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has bumped his batting average from .278 to .295. The boost can be attributed to three multi-hit games, including a four-hit effort last Friday, where the outfielder went 4-for-5 with a homer, triple, three RBIs and three runs scored. It was his first four-hit effort since July 8, 2010, when he was a member of the Potomac Nationals, playing against the Frederick Keys. Meanwhile, it was the second time that Burgess had come one hit away from a cycle in a game this year. On May 18 at Winston-Salem, the Floridian came within a triple of the cycle. Currently, Burgess is second in the Carolina League in slugging percentage (.503) and tied for hird in RBIs (40).

LIKE A ROCK:  After hitting in 10 straight from May 6-31, Zane Chavez has hit safely in his last six in-a-row. On Thursday he extended his streak, going 2-for-5 with a home run, RBI, and run scored. During the six-game jaunt, the Californian is batting .304 (7-for-23) with three home runs, a double, six RBIs and three runs scored. Chavez has also hit home runs in three straight games, the first time he has accomplished that feat in his affiliated career. In his second season of affiliated baseball, Chavez has six RBIs in his last four games and 12 over 26 games with the orange and black this season.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Glynn Davis and Matt Taylor had been named to the Carolina League All-Star team. It marked the second professional all-star selection for Davis and the first for Taylor. On Tuesday, June 17, the Carolina League All Stars will play the California League All-Stars in the two leagues annual clash. The No. 29 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Davis enters Wednesday’s action with the fourth-best batting average in the Carolina League (.313). He ranks second in hits (65), runs scored (46) and is third in doubles (16). The Baltimore native also paces the Keys with 19 multi-hit games. Although Taylor was named to the All-Star squad, he will not play in the game due to injury. Still, the Georgian has impressed this season, going 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in eight games. He is second in the league in ERA and is tied for second in wins. This year’s Carolina League All-Star team will be managed by Blue Rocks skipper Darryl Kennedy, while Wilmington’s Steve Luebber will serve as pitching coach.

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:Right-hander Sam Wolff makes his 14th appearance and his 13th start of the season. Winner of back-to-back outings, the right-hander tossed six shutout innings against the Keys last Sunday on the Grand Strand. During that time he allowed only two hits, and walked a pair. It was his longest outing since May 14, when he turned in seven innings of three-run baseball against Winston-Salem in a winning effort. The righty is tied for the Carolina League lead in wins (six) is sixth in ERA (2.78), second in batting average against (.205) and is tied for fourth in WHIP (1.10). Wolff has not allowed a run in his last 12 innings, while he has pitched well the last two times he has faced the Keys. In addition to throwing six shutout innings on Sunday, the South Dakota native tossed seven innings and gave up only three earned runs on May 4. Friday will be Wolff’s second start at Harry Grove Stadium, a venue that was not kind to him on April 23. Although the righty earned his third win, he surrendered a career-high five runs, as well as two homers, the first two longballs he had given up in his professional career. Selected by the Rangers in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, the South Dakota native split 2013 between Short-Season Spokane and Low-A Hickory. In 21 total games (all in relief), he went 4-0 with a 0.60, surrendering only two earned runs over 30 innings. In his time with Hickory, Wolff did not allow any runs over 13.2 innings. Drafted three different times, the 22-year-old split his college career between the University of San Diego, the College of Southern Nevada and the University of New Mexico. Ending his career with the Lobos, Wolff went 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA as a starter, and was an Academic All-Mountain West selection. A player with good baseball bloodlines, his father, Steve, was a second baseman and shortstop in the San Diego Padres farm system. Wolff throws a 92-96 mph fastball, a 12-6 curveball (mid-70s) as well as a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-12-14

Hello Keys fans!

Last night’s series finale against the Salem Red Sox was cancelled as a result of heavy rain before a pitch was even thrown. Tonight, the Keys are set to begins a three game set against the Carolina League-leading Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who come in with a record of 43-21. The Keys took two of three from the Pelicans last week.

Yesterday’s scheduled starter, Mark Blackmar, will take the mound for the Keys tonight against Myrtle Beach starter Luis Parra.

This is the final series for the Frederick before the All-Star break so we hope to see plenty of you out at Harry Grove Stadium this weekend cheering on your Keys!

Take a look below at some of tonight’s game notes:

 

Thursday, June 12, 2014 · Game #64 · Home Game #28

Frederick Keys (29-34) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (43-21)

RHP Mark Blackmar (4-1, 3.91) vs. LHP Luis Parra (5-4, 4.33)

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Mother Nature did not cooperate on Wednesday night, as the Frederick Keys and the Salem Red Sox were cancelled due to rain. Since it was the final meeting between the two clubs in the first-half, the game will not be made up. By default, the Keys earned their second sweep of the season, and their first at home since April 7, 2013, when the club took three straight against Salem to open the year. In 2014, the Keys have had three games cancelled on account of rain. A morning doubleheader between Frederick and Carolina was cancelled on April 29.

 

WEIRD, WILD, STUFF:In a game that featured a plethora of twists and turns, the Frederick Keys found a way to win on Tuesday night against the Salem Red Sox at Harry Grove Stadium. Coming away with a 9-7 triumph, the orange and black were kept afloat by an eight-run second, where 11 men came to bat against Sox pitchers Cody Kukuk and Justin Haley. Despite ranking as the most productive inning of the year, the pesky Red Sox would not back down. Utilizing 14 hits, three home runs and solid relief pitching by Haley, Salem got within a run in the sixth, before an RBI single by Joel Hutter put the Keys on top 9-7. That is how things would remain, as the visitors stranded the tying run on base in each the last three innings.

JACKPOT: Tuesday’s eight-run second inning was Frederick’s most profitable of the season. Sending 11 men to bat, the Keys pounded out eight runs on six hits. The eight-run inning eclipses the seven-run frame the Keys put together against the Potomac Nationals on May 14. All seven runs came off MLB rehabber Ross Ohlendorf, while Frederick recorded a season-high 20 hits, and tied its season-high with 12 runs scored. On Tuesday, seven of the nine Keys starters tallied at least one hit, and three (Michael Burgess, Adrian Marin and Pedro Perez) ended with multi-hit games.

MIKE CHECK 1,2,3: Since returning from Aberdeen last Tuesday, Michael Burgess has hit safely in seven of his last nine games. During that time, he is batting .370 (13-for-31) with two home runs, two triples, two doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has bumped his batting average from .278 to .302, the highest it has been all season. The boost can be attributed to three multi-hit games, including a four-hit effort last Friday, where the outfielder went 4-for-5 with a homer, triple, three RBIs and three runs scored. It was his first four-hit effort since July 8, 2010, when he was a member of the Potomac Nationals, playing against the Frederick Keys. Meanwhile, it was the second time that Burgess had come one hit away from a cycle in a game this year. On May 18 at Winston-Salem, the Floridian came within a triple of the cycle. Burgess is tied for eighth in the Carolina League in hitting (.302), is second in slugging percentage (.513) and third in RBIs (40).

LIKE A ROCK:  After recording his first multi-RBI game on Sunday, Zane Chavez was back at work on Monday night. Finishing 1-for-2 with two RBIs, the Californian tied the series opener with a solo homer to right in the second, before giving Frederick the lead for good with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. In his second season of affiliated baseball, Chavez has five RBIs in his last three games and 11 over 25 games with the orange and black this season. Between the Keys and Double-A Bowie, he is batting .259 with three homers and 12 RBIs this season.

SCORELESS STREAK SNAPPED:An RBI single by Christopher Bostick in the bottom of the first on Sunday snapped a string of 20.2 innings where Keys pitching had not allowed a run. Beginning in the sixth inning of Thursday night’s regularly scheduled game at Salem, Frederick blanked Myrtle Beach 6-0 on Friday before earning a 1-0 win in 10 innings on Saturday. The 20.2 frames ranks as the longest scoreless innings streak by Frederick pitching this season. Additionally, the shutout wins on Friday and Saturday marked the first time all year that the orange and black had blanked an opponent on back-to-back days.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys third baseman Jason Esposito has walked just six times in 220 plate appearances this season, but two of them came on Sunday night. It was the first time Esposito had walked twice in a game since April 23, 2013. Four of Esposito’s six walks came during the recent six-game roadtrip, while two of them came at critical moments. Last Thursday, the former Vanderbilt Commodore earned a base on balls in the 12th inning in the suspended game continuation, and ended up scoring the go-ahead run. Then on Saturday, Esposito walked with one out against Jose Leclerc and was the only run of the game after he tagged up from third on a sacrifice fly from Pedro Perez.

NO MORE BULLPEN BLUES?: After two tough months, the Keys bullpen may have turned it around through the first week of June. Relievers recorded a 4.40 ERA in April and 4.95 ERA in 30 games in May, but have only allowed nine runs in 32.2 innings through June (2.48 ERA). In their last five games, Keys relievers have allowed three runs over 14.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and nine hits against.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Glynn Davis and Matt Taylor had been named to the Carolina League All-Star team. It marked the second professional all-star selection for Davis and the first for Taylor. On Tuesday, June 17, the Carolina League All Stars will play the California League All-Stars in the two leagues annual clash. The No. 29 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Davis enters Wednesday’s action with the fourth-best batting average in the Carolina League (.313). He ranks second in hits (65), runs scored (46) and is third in doubles (16). The Baltimore native also paces the Keys with 19 multi-hit games. Although Taylor was named to the All-Star squad, he will not play in the game due to injury. Still, the Georgian has impressed this season, going 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in eight games. He is second in the league in ERA and is tied for second in wins. This year’s Carolina League All-Star team will be managed by Blue Rocks skipper Darryl Kennedy, while Wilmington’s Steve Luebber will serve as pitching coach.

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 14th appearance of the year and his 12th start of the season on Thursday. Stellar last Saturday night against the Keys at TicketReturn.com Field, Parra was saddled with a no-decision despite throwing eight shutout innings and allowing only three hits. Going toe-to-toe with Branden Kline, Parra and his Keys counterpart accounted for 16 strikeouts and only eight hits, as neither side scored until the 10th inning, when Pedro Perez recorded a sac-fly off Jose Leclerc. This season, Parra has worked into the seventh inning or later on five occasions. That includes a nine-inning complete game on May 12 against Winston-Salem, where the southpaw gave up only five hits and one run (one of only two nine-inning complete games in the CL this season). Parra ranks fifth in the circuit in innings pitched, but is also fourth in free passes (29). In his career, the 22-year-old average four walks per nine innings. Parra opened the season in a piggybacking role with fellow lefty Andrew Faulkner. As a starter, Para is 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA (66.2IP/33ER) and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA as a reliever (6IP/2ER). 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. He received a promotion to Advanced-A on August 6. With Low-A Hickory, Parra collaborated with Ryan Bores, Keone Kella and Alex Claudio on a seven-inning no-hitter, the Crawdads first in four seasons. Parra was the starting pitcher, working three no-hit innings. The no-no came against Low-A Delmarva, and came on the heels of a C.J. Edwards complete game one-hitter. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, Para hails from Altamira, Dominican Republic, the same hometown as Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon.

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