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.

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