The Keys open a four-game homestand tonight at 7 p.m. against Wilmington. It’s Casino Night at Harry Grove Stadium, too.
Reasons to come to tonight’s game:
- Tonight’s pitching matchup – Keys LHP Tim Berry vs. Blue Rocks RHP Kyle Zimmer — has double-digit strikeout potential. Both are top-5 in strikeouts in the Carolina League and Zimmer leads the league in K/9 at 12.41. When these two started opposite one another on April 12, 16 batters walked away with a K after six innings.
- One fan will win a suite to a future Keys game as part of our Casino Night. We’ll have several special in-game promotions, as well.
- Zimmer is Kansas City’s top pitching prospect and has been known to throw 99 mph fastballs.
- The Keys are playing well right now, leading the Northern Division at 18-14 and leading the Carolina League in runs scored.
- Zane Chavez’s mustache: view it here when he rounds second base after hitting a homer at Winston-Salem.
- Buy your tickets here, call 301-815-9939 or visit the box office at The Grove.
*Some game notes:
WHIFF IT, WHIFF IT GOOD: Tonight’s starters are two of the best strikeout pitchers in the Carolina League. Zimmer leads the league in strikeouts per nine innings, striking out 12.41 batters per nine. Zimmer’s 40 strikeouts are tied for second in the league and Berry’s 38 are fourth.
FEELIN’ HOT, HOT, HOT: Keys catcher Zane Chavez and second baseman Jerome Pena have been swinging hot bats as of late. Chavez is batting .389 with 13 RBIs in his last nine games, providing some pop in the middle of Frederick’s order. He’s also walked 11 times in the last six games, putting him in second in the Carolina League with 21 free passes on the season. And after a dreadful start to the season, Pena is batting .344 over his last 10 games with two homers and eight RBIs, raising his batting average to .224.
BORN TO (SCORE) RUN(S): The Keys remain the worst hitting team in the Carolina League by batting average, hitting just .230 as a team, but lead the league in runs scored with 156. Possible explanations for the Keys’ offensive efficiency – they lead the league in walks (156) with 36 more than the teams tied for second and have the second-best OBP in the league (.329). Frederick’s batting .244 with runners in scoring position and have hit 24 homers this season.
*Keys lineup for tonight:
*Another chance to win a Manny Machado bobblehead on our Facebook page today before we give out 1,000 courtesy of BayRunner Shuttle at the gate at tomorrow’s 6 p.m. game. Keep your eyes peeled for a Manny trivia question on our Facebook timeline. Buy your tickets for Saturday’s game here, call 301-815-9939 or visit the box office at The Grove.
Shake your Keys.
Scott Rice spent once season in the Frederick Keys’ bullpen – 2003. Ten years later, he became the 126th former Key to reach the Majors.
Rice made his debut with the New York Mets on April 1 at age 31. During his season with the Keys, Rice, a left-handed reliever, went 1-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 31 innings pitched over 25 appearances. He reached Triple-A in 2006 and played for nine clubs, including an independent league team in 2008, after making his first Triple-A roster before getting the call to the majors.
The Orioles selected Rice in the 14th round of the 1999 draft out of high school. He spent three seasons in rookie ball before reaching the Single-A level in 2002 and after starting 2003 with Delmarva, he spent the second half of the year with the Keys.
Rice spent 14 seasons in the minors and threw 805 innings, becoming almost exclusively a reliever in 2003. Those 14 seasons and his persistence in the minors are paying off now.
In 18 games this season, Rice has a 1.76 ERA in 15.1 inning pitched for the Mets, the eighth Major League organization he’s signed with.
Other off day news:
*We’re giving away another Manny Machado bobblehead today on our Facebook page. To win it, like us and then keep your eyes peeled for a Manny Machado trivia question we’ll post later. Be the first to correctly answer, and the bobble is yours.
*Don’t forget we’re also giving away 1,000 Manny bobbles courtesy of BayRunner Shuttle when the gates open for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Wilmington. Fireworks will follow Saturday’s game and Friday’s 7 p.m. game, the opener of a brief four-game homestand at Harry Grove Stadium.
Get your tickets here, call the Keys’ box office at 301-815-9939 or purchase them at the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.
*The Baltimore Sun’s Ed Encina asks, “Why isn’t Manny Machado mentioned in the same breath as fellow phenoms Trout and Harper?“
Your first-place Keys are back in town tomorrow. Shake your Keys.
Shortly after yesterday’s blog post went up, the Keys got rained out in Winston-Salem.
The good news is you don’t have to wait long for Keys baseball today. Frederick takes on Winston-Salem this morning at 11 a.m., looking to cap off an undefeated road trip.
If the Keys, who have won their first four games on this trip, win today, it will be their most successful road swing in recent Keys history. The best trips in recent memory:
- 5/27-29/11 – Keys swept Salem Red Sox; 4 games in 3 nights – 4-0 road trip
- 7/13-20/11 – 8 game trip to Wilmington & Kinston; Lost game 1 in Wilmington, won 6 in a row, lost game 8 in Kinston
- 8/19-24/05 – 7 game road trip to Myrtle Beach & Kinston; Won first 5 games but lost final 2 in Kinston
Listen to today’s game on AM1450 The Source, online at wthu.org or through the TuneIn Radio App by searching for WTHU. The Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show starts 30 minutes before first pitch.
*We’ll be giving away Manny Machado bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans in the gates at Harry Grove Stadium for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Wilmington. Gates open at 5.
We’re also giving away a bobble today, tomorrow and Friday on our Facebook page. To win it, like us and then keep yours eyes peeled for a Manny Machado trivia question. Be the first to correctly answer, and the bobble is yours.
Tickets to Saturday’s game and the rest of the four-game series with Wilmington that begins Friday at 7 p.m. can be purchased online here, by calling 301-815-9939 or by visiting the Keys’ box office at The Grove.
For those of you who want a Manny bobblehead, but don’t want to fight the crowd Saturday, a free bobblehead comes with the purchase of any of our ticket plans. One bobble head per seat. We have Dylan Bundy, too.
*Speaking of Manny, his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is better than that of fellow phenoms Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, for all you lovers of advanced metrics. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal gives Machado love in this story.
*For those of you wondering, Tuesday’s postponed game will be made up in Winston-Salem as part of a Memorial Day Doubleheader.
Shake your Keys.
If you haven’t been paying close attention, the Keys seem to have hit their stride again.
Back atop the Carolina League Northern Division standings at 18-13, Frederick has won four in a row, six of its last seven and eight of its last 11 games. The Keys take the field again at 7 p.m. tonight in Winston-Salem. Listen on AM1450 The Source or wthu.org. The Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show starts 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
As for last night’s 10-3 victory at Winston-Salem:
*LISTEN: The highlight of the game - Glynn Davis’ bases-loaded triple
*As for tonight, some notes:
CLOSE CONTESTS: Winston-Salem swept the Keys in their second series of the season, but won the three games by a combined five runs. Winners of eight of their last 11, the Keys hope to continue their perfect record (4-0) on this road trip and take the series from the Dash tonight.
HE’S HEATING UP: Keys catcher Zane Chavez and second baseman Jerome Pena have been swinging hot bats as of late. Chavez is batting .412 with 9 RBIs in his last nine games, hitting in the middle of Frederick’s order. He’s also walked nine times in the last five games, putting him in a tie for the Carolina League lead with 20 free passes on the season. And after a dreadful start to the season, Pena is batting .368 with two home runs and five RBIs in the last five games, raising his average to .214.
NO RUNS FOR YOU: The Keys have lowered their team ERA nearly six points in the last week, bringing it to 3.54, which is second-best in the Carolina League. Frederick was in last place in pitching and had the only ERA over 4.00 before their recent stretch.
*In light of Chavez’s hot streak and strong start to the season, you might be interested in reading this story about him and teammate Marcel Prado (12 games, 1.72 ERA, three saves) getting a shot with the Keys after spending last season with independent El Paso.
Editor’s Note: This is the first entry in a season-long series written by Keys super-fan Chaz Packan.
In the Keys first home stand of the 2013 season the Keys compiled a 3-3 record.
The first home stand of the season began with a 3-game sweep of the Salem Red Sox. In the season opener at the Grove, starting pitcher Devin Jones tossed six innings of three-hit ball with 3 strikeouts, 1 walk and 1 earned run. The Keys offense provided the fireworks to back up Jones’ stellar six-inning performance with a 3-run homer by Trent Mummey and a 2-run homer by Branden Webb capping off a 5-run sixth inning extending the Keys’ lead to 10-1. The Keys would add on another run in the seventh inning on a Glynn Davis double scoring Sammie Starr to make it an 11-1 game. Keys relief pitcher Gene Escat shut down Salem in the 9th and the Keys began their first home stand of 2012 with a 1-0 record overall.
The Keys games on Saturday April 6th and Sunday April 7th were both won in walk-off fashion. On Saturday the Keys won 3-2 in the ninth inning on a Sammie Starr sacrifice fly with Jerome Pena scoring the winning run with a season-opening sweep in their sights on Sunday. On Sunday, the Keys were trailing Salem 1-0 when Glynn Davis stepped to the plate in the sixth inning with a chance to tie the game, Davis proceeded to hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1. The game would remain tied at 1 until the tenth inning when Davis again stepped in the box with Connor Narron on second base. On the ensuing pitch Davis hit a 2-run walk-off bomb to deep left-center field to win the game 3-1 and lead the Keys to a season opening three-game sweep.
The home stand continued on Tuesday night with the Keys hosting the Winston-Salem Dash in the first game of a 3-game series the Dash entered the series with an 0-3 record but unfortunately by the end of the series with the Dash, the Keys would begin their first road trip with a 3-3 record after three straight defeats at the hands of the Dash. The first loss of the season for the Keys came in the series opener where they dropped a 5-4 decision after leading 4-2 after the first five innings of play. From there the visiting Dash would answer with a run in the sixth, a run in the ninth, and a run in the tenth holding on for a 5-4 victory dropping the Keys record to 3-1 on the year.
The next game on Wednesday night was one to forget as the Keys fell behind 5-0. The only bright spot came in the seventh when Sammie Starr rocketed a 2-run shot out of the park to cut the deficit to 5-2, however in the end it was not enough as the Dash hung on to win 5-2. In the final game of the six-game home stand on Thursday night the Keys fell 5-4 despite tying the game twice which included a Jason Esposito homer to tie the game at 4 apiece, the Dash would answer with a run in the seventh to take the lead for good and hang on for a 5-4 victory dropping the Keys overall record to 3-3 heading to Wilmington to face the Blue Rocks in a three game series.
In case you missed it, the Keys lost their first game of the season yesterday, falling 5-4 in 10 innings to previously winless Winston-Salem.
The Keys held a 4-3 lead with two out and nobody on in the ninth, but the Dash rallied with an infield single and three walks to tie the game and win it the next inning. Tonight’s game starts at 7 at The Grove. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, the Orioles’ No. 3 pitching prospect according to Baseball America, squares off against righty Justin Collop from Winston-Salem. Get your tickets now.
Coverage of last night’s game is below.
*LISTEN: Kevan Smith’s game-winning RBI single for Winston-Salem.
*WATCH: Highlights on WHAG news
*READ: A scouting report on Zach Davies’ start from Baltimoresportsandlife.com’s Tucker Blair
*Other bits of interest from this afternoon
-Keys broadcaster and AGM Adam Pohl talked with the guys at Baltimore Sports Report for their podcast. Listen Here.
-On Flag Day, June 14, The Keys will be part of a special ceremony in honor of the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key, for whom the Keys are named, penning the poem that would become our national anthem. As part of the two-day ceremony that will feature the original manuscript of The Star-Spangled Banner, a marker will be installed at Harry Grove Stadium before the 6 p.m. game against Potomac that evening.
Read all about it in Find it Frederick magazine, beginning on page 56.
*Some notes on tonight’s game:
BREAKING OUT: After putting up a combined six runs in its first three games, Winston-Salem put five on the board Tuesday night in the Dash’s first victory of the season. The Dash raised their team batting average from .170 to .191 last night, thanks to nine hits.
HOT GLOVIN’: Frederick has made a just one error on the 2013 season, which is tops in the Carolina League. The Keys turned their first double play of the season last night, a 6-4-3 twin-killing.
NO GLOVE CONNECTION HERE: Winston-Salem has struggled mightily in the field this season. In four games, the Dash have committed nine errors and made four blunders in the field during Tuesday night’s victory, Winston-Salem’s first of the season. They lead the Carolina League in errors.
STREAKING IN CENTER FIELD: Don’t look now, but Keys center fielder Glynn Davis has started 2013 with a four-game hit streak. Frederick’s leadoff man is hitting .278 with five hits, two homers – one a walk-off shot against Salem on April 7 – four RBIs and one walk. He’s the only Key to have a hit in all four games this season and leads the team in runs with four.
TOP PROSPECT: The top White Sox prospect Courtney Hawkins went 1-for-10 with a single, six strikeouts and a stolen base in his first three games this season. A 19-year-old outfielder, Hawkins did not play Tuesday, but had five hits in five games with the Dash in 2012.
This Day in Keys History: April 10, 2000 - Led by OF Papy Ndungidi, the Keys topped Kinston 8-7 at Harry Grove Stadium. Ndungidi, who is Canadian, went 2-for-3 with a home run and 2 RBIs.
*And tonight’s Keys lineup:
See you at The Grove. Shake your Keys.
If you didn’t make it out to The Grove this weekend, you missed quite a series.
The Keys opened their 2013 campaign with a sweep of Salem, winning by 10 on Friday and walking off the Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday. Frederick’s pitchers allowed just four runs to Sox hitters for the series.
To cap the series off, outfielder Glynn Davis blasted a two-run 10th inning homer Sunday afternoon.
And, in blog-related news, this blog finished 28th on MLBlogs March leaderboard. Movin’ on up!
Below are all the links from this weekend, including game stories, radio calls and interviews.
Pre-first pitch Friday
*READ: Carroll County Times writer Pat Stoetzer wrote this advance piece on the Keys 25th season.
*READ: Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post penned a feature on Keys opening day starter Devin Jones.
*WATCH: WHAG’s Dorian Craft talks to Keys players about the start of the season.
Opening Night – Keys 11, Salem 1
Saturday – Keys 3, Salem 2
*LISTEN: Sammie Starr’s game-winning sac fly (Call of the Season nominee, IMO)
Sunday – Keys 3, Salem 1 (10)
*LISTEN: Glynn Davis’ two-homer day
*WATCH: WHAG highlights
*READ: After four seasons of independent baseball, Zane Chavez and Marcel Prado are getting a shot in Frederick.
*LISTEN: To the Chavez and Prado story, the first edition of our Mike’d up segment that airs during The Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show on Sundays and during Keys Corner on Saturdays, which airs from 1:05-1:30 p.m. Both can be heard on AM1450 The Source and wthu.org.
As we swing into season-mode, the Keys will be in the papers, on the web and on the airwaves more and more frequently. Below is a hearty helping of this week’s Keys media coverage.
From our friends at the Frederick News-Post:
*Swatek’s story on Connor Narron, son of Keys’ first manager Jerry Narron. It’s a good read.
*Stan Goldberg gets you ready for opening weekend with this all-encompassing story on the season starting at The Grove
From some other print/online media outlets:
And some audio:
*Current Key and O’s prospect Nicky Delmonico was on WNST 1570 AM in Baltimore this morning. Listen here.
*If you didn’t catch the Keys’ roster breakdown with our own broadcast team, that is here.
*And here’s an interview of Keys AGM and broadcaster Adam Pohl on WFMD 930 AM in Frederick.
Shake your Keys.
The Keys have their initial roster for the 2013 season. Players and coaches will be arriving today, with media day tomorrow and a few days of practice before Friday’s night’s 7 p.m. home opener against Salem.
The roster release and the roster is below:
Frederick Keys News Release
For Immediate Release: April 1, 2013
KEYS RELEASE INITIAL ROSTER FOR 2013 SEASON
Frederick’s break camp roster includes several highly-rated prospects, 16 Keys from 2012
FREDERICK, Md. – The Frederick Keys have released their initial roster for the 2013 season, which includes 16 returning players from the 2012 team that nearly made the postseason with a late-season surge. Led by new manager Ryan Minor, The Keys’ break camp roster also features two of Baltimore’s top-five prospects and eight of the Orioles’ top-30, as rated by Baseball America.
Nick Delmonico and Eduardo Rodriguez, rated fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Orioles’ system, highlight a roster laden with young, talented players. The Keys open their 25th season Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium against the Salem Red Sox.
A left-handed pitcher from Venezuela, Rodriguez, who will turn 20 on April 7, started 22 games for class-A Delmarva last season, going 5-7 with a 3.70 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. Delmonico, 20, also spent 2012 with the Shorebirds, hitting .249 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 95 games as a first and second baseman.
Returning Keys Devin Jones, Tyler Wilson and Tim Berry join Rodriguez, Zach Davies and Zach Petersime in Frederick’s starting rotation. Baltimore’s No. 18 prospect Jones, a 22-year-old right-hander, proved dominant in the Carolina League after joining the Keys last July, going 7-1 with a 2.80 ERA in nine starts and throwing two complete games. He’ll be the Keys’ opening-night starter.
The Orioles’ 26th-ranked prospect, Wilson, 23, struck out 114 batters and walked just 19 in 111 innings with the Keys last season, recording a 7-7 record and a 3.49 ERA, and Berry, a 22-year-old southpaw rated as the 11th-best O’s prospect, went 5-5 with a 4.32 ERA for Frederick. Davies, rated as Baltimore’s 20th-best prospect, started his professional career as a 19-year-old with the Shorebirds, going 5-7 with a 3.86 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 114.1 innings, and Petersime, 24, was promoted from Delmarva to triple-A Norfolk for three starts in August after posting a 2.78 ERA in the Shorebirds’ bullpen. Davies and Petersime are both right-handed.
All five outfielders on the Keys’ roster are returning players from last season. Orioles’ No. 14 prospect and Baltimore native Glynn Davis (22 games, .256 batting average, 8 stolen bases with 2012 Keys), No. 27 prospect Brenden Webb (23 games, .270, three homers, 13 RBIs) and John Ruettiger (64 games, .274, 16 SB, .373 on-base percentage) were all important pieces in August and September, when Frederick posted a 19-14 record. Mike Planeta started the season with the Keys but was sent to Delmarva in May where he would hit .272. Injuries limited Trent Mummey in 2012, but he hit four home runs, drove in 22 RBIs and stole fifteen bases in 72 games with the Keys last season.
In the bullpen, lefties Zach Fowler and Trent Howard – all Keys in 2012 – join right-handers Eric Beaulac, Gene Escat, Marcel Prado, Jesse Beal and Matt Bischoff, who posted a 2.89 ERA in 16 games as a 2012 Key. Howard (4-10, with a 4.83 ERA with the Keys in 2012) moves from the rotation to the bullpen this season while Beal (4.70 ERA, 6.8 strikeouts per-nine-innings in 2012) and Escat (3.58 ERA) are slated to make their advanced class-A ball debuts.
Prado, a 25-year-old righty, is one of two independent league players, both of whom played for the El Paso Diablos, to make Frederick’s break camp roster. Prado, a former Dodgers farmhand, saved 15 games for the Diablos, throwing to catcher Zane Chavez, who joins him in Frederick this season. A four-year independent player, Chavez, 26, hit .339 with four homers and 51 RBIs between El Paso and Grand Prairie.
Michael Ohlman, 22, hit .304 in 51 games as a catcher and first baseman with Delmarva in 2012 and Allan de San Miguel, 25, spent the final month of the year with Keys and hit .260 while guiding Frederick’s pitching staff to their most successful stretch of the season.
Joining Delmonico in the infield are 2012 Keys Travis Adair, Jerome Pena and Sammie Starr and former Shorebirds Connor Narron and Jason Esposito. Adair hit .285 playing primarily third and second base while second baseman Pena, who was promoted twice in 2012 to reach Frederick, finished the season with the Keys and hit .308 in 20 games. Starr, a middle infielder, played just two games with the Keys last season and hit .238 in 106 games in Delmarva. Esposito drove in 51 runs as the Shorebirds’ everyday third baseman in his first professional season and Narron, son of the Keys’ first manager Jerry Narron, slugged 10 homers and drove in 55 runs while serving as Delmarva’s utility player.
Keys players and coaches will be made available to the media for interviews and photographs during the Keys’ Media Day on Tuesday, April 2, from 4-5:30 p.m.at Harry Grove Stadium. All credentialed media are invited to attend. To obtain a press pass, please contact Mike Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Frederick Keys, advanced-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, open their 2013 season against the Salem Red Sox Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. Ticket plans and single-game tickets are on sale now at the Keys’ box office and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 301-815-9939 or online at FrederickKeys.com.
Contact: Mike Mueller, 301-815-9915
We’re seven days away from opening the 2013 season at Harry Grove Stadium, four days from the first Keys player and coach arrivals and less than a day from KeysFest and single-game tickets going on sale.
Here are five things you should know heading into the weekend.
The Keys’ annual fanfest event takes place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. The event is free and will also include the fourth annual Tots2Tweens.com Egg Hunt. There will be free food samples, free games and activities for kids, including a baseball card station and the chance to play catch in right field. Tours will also be available at no cost, along with other activities to get you primed for Keys baseball in 2013.
Check out the final 10 players on our list of potential Keys for the 2013 season here. That group includes:
Tim Berry - He’s ranked the 11th-best prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America and the 12th-best O’s farmhand by MLB.com. A slender southpaw, look for him in Frederick’s rotation this season.
Jesse Beal – This right-hander missed all of 2011 after having shoulder surgery, but began his comeback in the bullpen with Delmarva in 2012. In 2013, he could be an important piece of the ‘pen in Frederick.
Jason Esposito – He struggled in Delmarva last season, but hit .340 with 22 doubles, nine homers and 59 RBIs in 66 games in college the year prior. Steve Melewski of MASN wrote that the Shorebirds’ third baseman might be moving across the diamond to first this season.
Connor Narron – His father Jerry managed the Keys in the team’s first season and 25 years later, Connor might wear a Keys uniform. A player with the ability to play multiple positions, Narron’s more likely to be promoted to Frederick than start the season here.
Read about those four and the rest of the final 10 here.
3. More roster cuts from spring training
At one point, the Orioles had about 200 minor league players in camp this spring. As a result, the paring down of that bunch to fit regular season rosters has been in full effect over the last week or so. Since March 22, The O’s have released 21 players, according to this Steve Melewski tweet, which came before word of two more releases today.
Among those that have been released are several former Keys and several players that could have landed in Frederick this season, including:
Jeremy Nowak - He led the Keys in batting average and hits last year and was a Carolina League All-Star. Odds are he’ll be picked up by another team.
Joe Oliveira – A Key in 2011 and 2012, Frederick’s catcher hit .209 in 72 games last season.
Buddy Sosnoskie - He has the best name on our list of potential Keys for 2013, but, sadly, it looks as if it name won’t be crammed on the back of a Keys jersey this season. Despite being released, the independent league outfielder was very gracious with his tweets following the bad news.
Other cuts include independent SS Chris Wade, former Keys first baseman Tyler Townsend (retired), former Keys reliever Matt Bywater and independent pitchers Kyle Mertins and Mike Recchia.
4. Keys 25th season gear
2013 marks Frederick’s 25th season of baseball since the Keys inception in 1989. With that silver anniversary comes lots of commemorative swag. A sneak peak of throwback jerseys to be worn on Thursday home games and a 25th season pin is below:
5. A few links
*It looks as if 2000 Key Brian Roberts will move from the top of the O’s lineup to the bottom to start the season, according to Roch Kubatko’s story.
*ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian has love for 2011 Key Manny Machado.
*Watch 2012 Key Johnny Ruettiger lay out and make a nice grab against the Phillies.
Shake your Keys.