Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-23-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The orange and black try for a series win on the Grand Strand on Wednesday night after a 4-0 shutout win an evening ago, where Dylan Bundy was able to pick up his first win of the year.

Brady Wager gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by lefty Chad James.

The broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source starting at 6:50 with the play-by-play getting underway at 7:05 p.m.

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

Geoff

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 · Game #99 · Road Game #53

Frederick Keys (47-51/15-16) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (61-40/17-16)

RHP Brady Wager (4-7, 5.86) vs. LHP Chad James (1-0, 0.00)

BIG, BAD, BUNDY: Dylan Bundy tossed six innings of three-hit baseball, while the Frederick Keys scored in each of their final four trips to bat to shutout the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4-0 on Tuesday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. Coming off a rocky outing where he allowed a career-high six runs, Bundy was in control from the start, facing the minimum over the first three innings. The three hits he surrendered were all singles, while he allowed only five total baserunners through six innings. Victor Payano was also very good, as the Pelicans starter held the orange and black to only four hits, but one bad pitch proved costly. Facing Trey Mancini with one out in the sixth, Payano gave up a long home run to the former Notre Dame star, which cleared the stands in leftfield. Chih-Hsien Chang also added a homer off Jose Leclerc in the eighth. Frederick plated individual markers in the seventh and ninth innings as well, as Matt Hobgood tossed three hitless innings to earn his fourth save.

LONG TIME COMING: After six post-Tommy John surgery starts, Dylan Bundy finally picked up a win in his seventh outing. Working a season-high six frames, the Oklahoma native walked two and struck out one and was highly efficient. With the exception of a 23-pitch fifth, the righty did not throw any more than 12 pitches in an individual inning. Thanks to the strong effort, Bundy earned his first win since August 28, 2012 when he was pitching for Double-A Bowie against Erie. Additionally, it was his longest start since August 20, 2012 when he was with the Baysox. In four starts with the Keys, the 21-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.11 ERA. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

FIRING BLANKS IN STYLE: Tuesday was the Keys seventh shutout win of the season, and marked the third time that Frederick had blanked the Pelicans on the Grand Strand. The Keys have won four straight against the Birds. The orange and black also pitched shutouts on June 6-7, winning 6-0 and 1-0 respectively. Currently, the Keys have the third-best shutout record in the Carolina League and the third-most shutout wins in the eight-team loop. Only Wilmington (11-3) and Salem (9-4) have fared better. As a cherry on top, the Keys shutout the Birds while handing out only three hits on the night. It was the second-fewest number of knocks the pitching staff had given out all season. On May 13, Frederick held Potomac to only one hit, as Parker Bridwell saw his no-hitter broken up by Tony Renda with one out in the ninth.

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: The Keys garnered wrapped up their first series win at the Grove in the second-half on Monday afternoon. Still, the team’s 3-11 home record is the worst in the Carolina League in the second-half. Wilmington has the next-worse mark (4-7), but the Blue Rocks have played the fewest second-half home games. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from Myrtle Beach to close out the first-half. Overall Frederick is 19-27 in home games, also the worst mark in the Carolina League. Wilmington’s 22 home victories are the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is the tied for the second-best in the league with Potomac (26-22). Only Myrtle Beach (33-17) has fared better in road tilts.

MOVING ON UP!!: Following Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis received word they had been promoted to Double-A Bowie. The duo become the third and fourth members of the Keys to move to Double-A this season, joining Mychal Givens and Mike Yastrzemski. Sammie Starr was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk on June 27 and later transferred to Bowie, while Zane Chavez and Ashur Tolliver opened the year with the Baysox and have shuttled between Advanced-A and Double-A. For Burgess, Monday’s call-up marks a return to Double-A, as the Tampa native spent 2012 with the Cubs Double-A affiliate in Tennessee and 2013 with the Astros Double-A team in Corpus Christi. One of the league’s top offensive threats, Burgess hit .315 over 83 games to go along with 15 homers, 68RBIs, 32 doubles and four triples. At the time of his promotion, Burgess led the league in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage (.579), extra-base hits (51), total bases (186) and intentional walks (four). He was tied for second in home runs and was third in batting average and hits (101). Burgess was named Carolina League Player of the Month for June and CL “Player of the Week” for June 9-15. Meanwhile, Davis gets his first crack at Double-A. A mid-season Carolina League All-Star, the 22-year-old hit .295 over 89 games. He heads to the Eastern League tied for the Carolina League lead in hits (104), while he was second in runs scored and tied for eighth in batting average (.295).

NEWCOMERS: Taking the roster spots of Burgess and Davis are Johnny Ruettiger and Chih-Hsien Chang who both come down from Double-A Bowie. In 61 games with the Baysox this season, Ruettiger was batting .282 with a triple, six doubles and eight stolen bases. No stranger to the Keys, the former Arizona State product hit .246 over 106 games with the orange and black last season, while he stole 43 bases, a career-high, and the seventh-most by a Keys player all-time. Chiang struggled with the Baysox, hitting .219 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. This is the first time that he has been at the Advanced-A level since 2009, when he was a member of the Salem Red Sox. Originally signed by Boston as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2005, the outfielder spent all of 2013 with the Rangers Double-A club in Frisco. There, he hit .263 over 124 games, led the club in doubles (36) and placed second in hits (125). Chiang has also spent time with the Mariners organization, advancing as high as Triple-A Tacoma in 2012.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer saw his 27-game on-base streak end on Sunday night after going 0-for-3. The longest active swing entering Sunday, the Californian failed to reach base for the first time since May 20, when he finished 0-for-3 against Myrtle Beach. Sawyer’s streak wraps up as the second-longest on-base streak in the league this year. Only Salem’s Carson Blair (28) reached in more games. Over the 27 contests, Sawyer hit .259 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 15 walks.

KELLER MAKES DEBUT: On Monday, Jon Keller made his Advanced-A debut. Tossing 2.1 innings, the hard-throwing righty allowed one run on three hits while he struck out five and walked three. Both the five strike outs and the three walks went down as season-highs. Promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva last Thursday, he takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

FORMER KEYS UPDATE: Despite joining Bowie after Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis have already played a pair of games. Following an afternoon showdown against Harrisburg, Burgess is 1-for-8 with a double and Davis is 3-for-7 with an RBI. Since being promoted to Double-A Bowie, Mike Yastrzemski has fared well with his new team. Over his first seven games in a Baysox uniform, the former Vanderbilt Commodore is batting .333 with a triple and a double. An individual who made his presence felt right away, Yastrzemski went 4-for-5 in his first game on July 17, while the following night he spoiled a no-hit bid by the Altoona Curve’s Adrian Sampson in the ninth inning. A great contributor in 23 games wirh the Keys, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Mychal Givens saw his ERA spike to 4.66 earlier today, after giving up two runs in 0.1 of an inning against Harrisburg (it was 2.89 entering Wednesday’s action). Sammie Starr is hitting .150 through seven games, while 2013 alumnus Tim Berry has performed well. In 19 starts, he is 5-5 with a 3.65 ERA. Named an Eastern League All-Star, Berry turned in his best outing of the year on Sunday at Altoona, working seven shutout inning of three-hit baseball.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) have joined the club since the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 Chad James makes his second start with the Pelicans on Wednesday night and his second as a member of the Rangers organization. In his Pelicans debut last Friday, James tossed five innings of four-hit baseball, allowing only one unearned run. He walked two, struck out two and hit a batter. Originally the 18th overall pick by the Marlins in 2009, James was signed by the Rangers last Thursday after pitching in independent ball with the Evansville Otters. In his final Frontier League start, James tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against Traverse City, the first in Otters history-he struck out 14 in the start. In total, he made nine starts with Evansville, going 4-2 with a 5.06 ERA. He struck out 67 in 46.1 innings, but walked 37. For a short time, he was teammates with current Winston-Salem starter Terance Marin.  The southpaw began the year in spring training with Miami but was released at the end of camp. Over four seasons with the Fish, James never advanced past High-A, while in 2013 he was sent down to Low-A Greensboro after pitching two years for Jupiter in the Florida State League. Control issues were often the root of James’ problems. Although he was a big league camp invitee in 2011 and 2012, the lefty walked at least three batters or more in all four of his seasons with the Marlins. His best year was his second, where he went 5-15 with a 3.80 ERA, he also registered a 3.1 walk/nine inning ratio, the best of his career. A four-pitch pitcher, James throws a upper-80s to low 90s fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup.

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