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Upcoming Homestand Promotions 4-22-14

Hey Keys Fans,

I hope all of you are enjoying your Tuesday, and are all excited for the start of another SEVEN GAME HOMESTAND beginning tomorrow night! It will be the Keys first look at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who are red-hot entering Wednesday night’s action. The Birds pace the Carolina League with 12 victories, and have taken five in a row.

The good news, is that the Keys are coming off an excellent roadtrip. Frederick claimed five of seven against Winston-Salem and Carolina, which included a three-game sweep of the Dash at BB&T Ballpark. It marked the first time the Keys had broomed an opponent on the road since May 5, 2013 (when they accomplished the feat at Carolina).

Other news and notes from the Trip:

  • Glynn Davis saw his hitting streak end at 11 games, after being held hitless in game one of last Wednesday’s doubleheader at Carolina. Over the streak, he hit .458 with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. It is the second-longest streak in the CL this season (Carolina’s Erik Gonzalez leads the way with an active 14-game hitting streak)
  • After a tough start, the bullpen found its footing. From game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Dash until Sunday afternoon, Keys bullpen arms went 13 straight innings without allowing a run
  • Brady Wager became the first member of the Keys to reach two wins on the season. On Monday, Matt Taylor followed suit, tossing five innings of three-run baseball against the Mudcats
  • This season Frederick has done very well on the road. The club has won 7 of the 11 games it has played away from Harry Grove Stadium (tied for the second-most road wins in the CL)
  • Newcomer Lucas Herbst has gotten off to a strong start. Since being promoted from Low-A Delmarva, the California native is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with an RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base.

Lastly one injury note concerning the Keys. On Monday, Brenden Webb was placed on the seven-day disabled with a right-shoulder sprain. The Orioles have not made a corresponding move yet, so at the moment Frederick’s roster is one short of the league limit (24).

Outside of baseball, the upcoming homestand will feature a ton of terrific promotions.

Things get kicked off on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. with a Flying Dog Beer Pairing Dinner in the Mattress Warehouse Club. For only $41 dollars you’ll get a terrific choice of Flying Dog Beer, as well as food items such as Pork BBQ Sliders, Curry Chicken Sate and Oysters (to name just a few).

Flying Dog Beer Pairing 4-23

 

Friday’s game als0 gets underway at 7 p.m. and will feature a fireworks extravaganza presented by Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps, while on Saturday dress up as Yoda, Luke Skywalker or even…Darth Vader for Star Wars Day!

Star Wars

 

Fans will have an opportunity to meet their favorite characters from the George Lucas brainchild, while throughout the game there will be light saber battles on the field. Should be a blast.

Then on Tuesday morning, come out and enjoy an early lunch with the Keys. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m., while it will be STEM Day, presented by AstraZeneca.  There will be a pre-game STEM presentation, as well as in-game videos which will highlight the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Industries.

Finally this homestand will feature a Keys for Reading Weekend! So if you are from Howard and Montgomery Counties, bring your signed bookmark, and come take in a Keys game! Given the way Frederick is playing, coupled with the talent on the Myrtle Beach and Carolina rosters, the timing couldn’t be better.

Two closing items regarding food options at the ballpark. Starting tomorrow, fans can try out the brand new Keyote Dog. This chunk of all-beef goodness is loaded with homemade crab mac and cheese and topped with candied bacon. All for just seven bucks. Needless to say, I may be trying it out a time or two…..

The other culinary note is in regards to the Key City Eating Challenge! If you dare, head on over to Guest Services and see if you can eat this massive sandwich:

 

Key City Eating Challenge

As Harry Caray might say, Holy Cow….The ingredients: 10 third lb burgers, 2 lbs of pulled pork and 1 lb of onion rings, complete with barbecue sauce.

Now the rules: You have 1.5 hours to eat this monster. However once you start the challenge, you CANNOT get up. If you manage to corral this thing, then you’ll get your picture on our Wall of Fame and the sandwich is on the house. If you don’t, then you’ll be shoved onto the Wall of Shame, and you’ll have to pony up 40 bucks. Amateur and professional eaters alike are encouraged to participate…

Alright folks, that’s all for now. Look forward to seeing some of you at the ballpark over the next week!

Talk soon!

Geoff

 

 

 

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 4-21-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick and Carolina wrap up their four-game series on a beautiful day in Zebulon, NC. Matt Taylor goes for his second win in game one, and will be matched up by Michael Peoples. In the nightcap, Jesse Beal toes the hill against lefty Ryan Merritt, who paces the Carolina league with a 0.52 ERA.

Broadcast starts at 4:45, with first pitch slated for 5 p.m.

Some game notes are below.

Chat in a few hours!

Geoff

Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 · Game #17/18 · Road Game #10/11

Frederick Keys (7-9) vs Carolina Mudcats (9-7)

      G1: LHP Matt Taylor (1-0, 1.13) vs. RHP Michael Peoples (0-0, 4.91)

                 G2: RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 4.35) vs. LHP Ryan Merritt (2-0, 0.52)     

FUN WHILE IT LASTED: The Frederick Keys four-game winning streak came to a close on Sunday afternoon, as the Carolina Mudcats earned a 6-1 triumph at Five County Stadium. In the game, the home team used a pair of two-run innings as well as excellent starting pitching from Shawn Morimando to hand the Keys their first loss in nearly a week. Frederick’s only run came on a solo homer to left by Creede Simpson in the top of the fourth.

STREAK NOTES: The Keys four-game winning streak was the team’s longest of the season, and equaled the team’s longest swing since May 3-6, 2013. During that streak, Frederick won also four in a row against, Winston-Salem and Carolina (though three of the four victories came against the Mudcats). A fifth straight victory would have given the team its longest streak since July 2011. The recent four-game stretch often contained close games, with the Keys taking three of the four by two runs. To keep leads safe, manager Luis Pujols leaned on his bullpen and got excellent results. Over 13 innings, Keys relievers gave up only one run on four hits and struck out 13.

ROAD WARRIORS: Through 16 games, the Keys have preferred the road rather than the friendly confines. In nine road road tilts this season, Frederick is 6-3, and has won five of its last six away from Harry Grove Stadium. Currently, the club is tied with Lynchburg for the third-best road mark in the Carolina League (behind only Myrtle Beach who is 7-0 and Salem who is 7-3). Nonetheless, road success has been the norm so far throughout the league. Entering Monday’s action, only Carolina (5-4) and Potomac (4-3) have winning records in home contests. In games at Harry Grove this season, Frederick is league-worst 1-6, while in 2013, the Keys went 29-40 at home and 32-38 on the road.

OUT OF BLANKS:The bullpen’s scoreless inning streak came to a close on Sunday, when Carolina’s Alex Monsalve doubled home two in the seventh off Miguel Chalas. That ended a string of 11 frames where Keys relievers did not allow a run. During that stretch, club bullpen-hands allowed only four hits and struck out 14. Prior to Monsalve’s RBI double, the bullpen had not allowed a run since game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Winston-Salem.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL!:For the third straight game, Frederick picked up a home run. It is the only time all season the club has gone deep in back-to-back-to-back games On Sunday, Creede Simpson did the trick, with a solo shot to left off Shawn Morimando. All three dingers have come without runners on base, as Michael Burgess struck for a solo shot on Thursday night and Adrian Marin took Mudcats starter D.J. Brown deep on Friday. Burgess currently leads all Keys with a pair of dingers, one-third of the club’s total (six). That total is tied for the second-fewest by a CL team (along with Salem and Winston-Salem). Wilmington (three) has hit the fewest, while Potomac (14) paces the loop.

SLICK WITH THE LEATHER: Since making two errors on April 12 against Lynchburg, the Keys have played error-free baseball over the last seven games. The team currently ranks second in the Carolina League in team-defense (.978 fielding percentage), trailing only Wilmington (.979). Meanwhile, Jason Esposito (1.000) leads all third baseman in fielding percentage.  During the recent series at Winston-Salem, the Keys saw first-hand how poor defensive play can hurt a team. Over three games, the Dash committed eight errors, resulting in seven unearned runs.

TOP DOG:  For only the second time all season, Glynn Davis was held without a hit on Sunday, going 0-for-4. Even without a base-hit in two of his last three games, the Baltimore native still leads the Carolina League in hitting (.414) and remains one of only two players in Advanced-A with an average north of .400 (Kyle Waldrop of Bakersfield is the other at .419).Additionally, Davis leads the CL in hits (24) while he places second in on-base percentage (.460) and runs scored (13). Last Wednesday, he wrapped up an 11-game hitting streak, where he hit .458 (22-48) with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs.

FREDERICK VS CAROLINA 2014: Sunday’s loss dropped Frederick to 1-4 against Carolina this season, with the Keys only victory coming in 11 innings on Friday. In the first game between the two clubs in 2014, Dylan Baker tossed six perfect innings, as the Keys were shutout 7-0. In game two, it was Shawn Morimando’s turn to shine. Over six strong innings, the southpaw allowed only three hits and one unearned run, while the Mudcats exploded for five runs in the fifth to win 8-1. In the final game, the Keys held a 3-1 lead going into the eighth, but Miguel Chalas could not protect it, as Carolina posted three runs and batted around to complete the sweep, 5-4. The early results represent a departure from 2013, when the Keys went 12-8 record against the Mudcats, the most wins Frederick earned against a CL opponent last year.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Michael Peoples makes his third start of the season and his second against the Keys. The Texan’s last start came against Frederick on April 10, when he tossed six innings and allowed three runs. This is Peoples’ second year in the Carolina League, after splitting 2013 between Low-A and Advanced-A. In eight games with the Mudcats, he went 1-4 with a 5.27 ERA over 41.0 innings. Prior to joining Carolina in late-May, Peoples spent the majority of the first two months as a bullpen-hand for Low-A Lake County. In nine relief appearances with the Captains, he was 1-2 with a 1.59 ERA. The Texan also made a pair of starts, allowing five runs in eight innings. Selected by Cleveland in the 14th round of the 2012 draft, Peoples played his college baseball at Western Oklahoma State College. As a freshman, he was part of a ballclub that won the NJCAA Division II National Championship. Some of WSOC’s alumni include Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Giants outfielder Juan Perez. Peoples throws a fastball, curveball and a changeup. Originally from Weatherford, Texas, Peoples hails from the same hometown as current Orioles reliever and ex-Frederick Key Zach Britton. Former Cubs pitcher Hippo Vaughn was also born in Weatherford. Pitching for Chicago in the 1910s, the left-hander won over 20 games in five seasons (that includes a National League-leading 22 in 1918.

 

 

 

Keys Game Notes 4-20-14

Good Morning Keys Fans!

And a Happy Easter to everybody. I hope the Easter Bunny was extra-kind to you this year. Here in Zebulon, Mother Nature provided the Keys with pseudo off-day on Saturday, after the rains rendered Five County Stadium unplayable. That allowed the team to relax, while we all took a late-afternoon trip to the mall to stretch our legs, do some shopping, and get something to eat. For all of you wondering (and I doubt you’d care, but I’m telling you anyways), I spent the majority of my time at the Barnes and Noble (decent size, multiple floors and not a bad selection either). Everyone seemed to have a good time.

However today it is back to work. Frederick goes for its fifth straight win and sixth straight on the road, when the team plays the second game of four against the Mudcats. Saturday’s rainout will be made up as part of a Monday doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. Some notes and nuggets are attached below. I’d pay special attention to #2, which discusses the last time the Keys posted five straight victories (hint: it was a VERY good year to be a Keys fan).

Talk to you on the radio!

Geoff

Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014 · Game #16 · Road Game #9

Frederick Keys (7-8) vs Carolina Mudcats (8-7)

RHP Parker Bridwell (0-1, 7.53) vs. LHP Shawn Morimando (1-0, 2.81)

 

RAIN DROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD: On Saturday night, the Frederick Keys and the Carolina Mudcats were rained out. It marks the second time that Mother Nature has reared her ugly head this season, and on this roadtrip. The game has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Monday night starting at 5 p.m. Frederick has swept the only twinbill it has played in 2014.

WALK THIS WAY:Tied 1-1 in the top of the 11th inning, the Frederick Keys made use of two walks and a wild pitch by Mudcats reliever Elvis Araujo, as well as two sacrifice flies from Michael Burgess and Wynston Sawyer, to defeat Carolina 3-1 in 11 innings on Friday night at Five County Stadium. It was the club’s first extra-inning win of 2014, and first against the Mudcats, who swept the Keys in three games at Harry Grove Stadium from April 8-10. With a win on Saturday, Frederick can get back to .500 on the year for the first time since April 6, when the Keys defeated Lynchburg 6-2.

LET’S GO STREAKING!: With Friday’s victory the Keys have now won four straight games, the team’s longest string of success this season. That four-game streak, equals Frederick’s longest winning streak of the 2013 campaign, when Ryan Minor’s club took four in-a-row from May 3-May 6 against, go-figure, Carolina and Winston-Salem. Frederick has not won five straight since the 2011 season, when the team rattled off that amount against Myrtle Beach and Salem from July 22-26. Under manager Orlando Gomez that season, the Keys won the Mills Cup Championship, three games to one, defeating the Kinston Indians (the precursor to the Carolina Mudcats).

ROAD WARRIORS: Through 15 games, the Keys have preferred the road rather than the friendly confines. In eight road road tilts this season, Frederick is 6-2, and has won each of its last five games away from Harry Grove Stadium. That road mark is third-best in the Carolina League (trailing only Myrtle Beach who is 7-0 and Salem who is 7-2). Nonetheless, road success has been the norm so far throughout the league. Entering Sunday’s action, only the Potomac Nationals (4-3) have a winning record in home contests. In games at Harry Grove this season, Frederick is 1-6, while in 2013, the Keys went 29-40 at home and 32-38 on the road.

LOCAL FLAVOR: Branden Kline made one mistake on Friday night, but was excellent otherwise. In his fourth Carolina League start, the right-hander tossed a career-high seven innings, allowing one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out four. Saddled with a no-decision, Kline surrendered a game-tying home run to Erik Gonzalez in the seventh inning, while the Keys did not score again until the 11th. A former standout at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Kline has posted two quality starts (both against Carolina) to go along with a 1-1 record and a 3.27 ERA. He has tossed a league-high 22.0 IP. An early strength of the ballclub, Frederick starters have posted a collective 3.35 ERA, and put together six quality starts (half of which have come this week).

ROLAIDS RELIEF:Things may have gotten off to a shaky start, but the Keys bullpen has been lights out of the current roadtrip. Frederick bullpen-hands have not allowed a run over their last 11 innings, while they’ve allowed only three hits and struck out 13. The last run given up by a Keys reliever was by Mychal Givens in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Winston-Salem.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL!:For the first time all season, the Keys recorded home runs in back-to-back nights. After Michael Burgess struck for a solo shot on Thursday night, Adrian Marin added his first Carolina League home run off D.J. Brown on Friday. Burgess currently leads all Keys with a pair of dingers, a little less than half of the team’s total (five). Only Winston-Salem (four) and Wilmington (three) have hit fewer home runs as a team.

SLICK WITH THE LEATHER: Since making two errors last Saturday at Lynchburg, the Keys have played error-free baseball over the last six games. The team currently ranks second in the Carolina League in team-defense (.977 fielding percentage), trailing only Wilmington (.980). Meanwhile, Creede Simpson (.992) leads all first baseman in fielding and Jason Esposito (1.000) is tied for the lead at third base.  During the recent series at Winston-Salem, the Keys saw first-hand how poor defensive play can hurt a team. Over three games, the Dash committed eight errors, resulting in seven unearned runs.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:  Glynn Davis’s 11-gamehitting streak came to an end in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader, as he finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Tied for the longest streak in the Carolina League this season, the Baltimore native hit .458 (22-48) during the 11-game swing with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. Quickly putting the 0-for-3 game behind him, Davis finished 2-for-3 in the second contest, to bump his average back up to .444. That mark paces all Advanced-A hitters. Additionally, Davis leads the CL in hits (24) and on-base percentage (.492) while he is second in runs scored (13). He also rates fifth in slugging percentage (.556) and is tied for fifth in total bases (30).

THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN: On Tuesday, the Keys roster received a bit of a shakeup. Outfielder Trent Mummey and infielder Michael Mosby were both released, while infielder Jerome Pena was activated from the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Lucas Herbst was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. In seven games with Frederick this season, Mummey hit .182 (4-for-22) with a run scored. Mosby was 0-for-12 at the plate in three games. As for Herbst, he was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with two RBIs over four games with the Shorebirds. Starting the second game of the doubleheader in right field, he finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.

FREDERICK VS CAROLINA 2014: Despite an extra-inning victory, the Keys still trail Carolina in the season series 3-1. In the first game between the two clubs in 2014, Dylan Baker tossed six perfect innings, as the Keys were shutout 7-0. In game two, it was Shawn Morimando’s turn to shine. Over six strong innings, the southpaw allowed only three hits and one unearned run, while the Mudcats exploded for five runs in the fifth to win 8-1. In the final game, the Keys held a 3-1 lead going into the eighth, but Miguel Chalas could not protect it, as Carolina posted three runs and batted around to complete the sweep, 5-4. The early results represent a departure from 2013, when the Keys went 12-8 record against the Mudcats, the most wins Frederick earned against a CL opponent last year.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Lefty Shawn Morimando makes the start for the Carolina Mudcats and is the No. 22 prospect in the Cleveland farm system according to Baseball America. In his last start at Potomac this past Monday, Morimando surrendered three runs on five hits over five innings. He walked one, struck out three and gave up two home runs. In his lone start against Frederick this season, Morimando earned the win, going six innings and allowing one unearned run on three hits. 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 4-18-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys have arrived at Five County Stadium, and are set to begin a four-game series with the Carolina Mudcats tonight. Frederick goes for its fourth straight win and also looks for some payback after the Muddies pulled a three-game sweep at Harry Grove Stadium.

I’ll have the broadcast starting at 6:45. First pitch gets thrown at 7.

I’ve tossed in some notes below.

Chat soon.

Geoff

Friday, Apr. 18, 2014 · Game #15 · Road Game #8

Frederick Keys (6-8) vs Carolina Mudcats (8-6)

RHP Branden Kline (1-1, 4.20) vs. RHP D.J. Brown (1-0, 3.38)

SWEEP COMPLETE!:Frederick earned a three-game sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday night, as the team used a three-run sixth to take down their Southern Division foe, 7-3. It was the Keys first sweep of the season, and marked the first time that Frederick had earned a three-game road sweep since May 5, 2013, when the club broomed Carolina.  Down 3-2 to start the sixth, Michael Burgess evened the count with a deep home run to right, while Adrian Marin put the Keys on top for good on a two-run single to left. On the mound, Brady Wager tossed six innings of three-hit baseball, and Mark Blackmar slammed the door, tossing three scoreless innings to earn the save.

ATTACK OF THE BATS:On Thursday night, the Keys pounded out 12 hits in the ballgame. The bulk of those came between the fifth and seventh innings, where Frederick recorded nine hits and tallied six runs. This season, when Luis Pujols’ club ends with 10 or more hits in a game, Frederick is 4-0. In the series finale, eight out of the nine starters recorded at least one hit in the game, while Lucas Herbst, Wynston Sawyer, Adrian Marin and Jason Esposito each finished with two knocks apiece.

SLICK WITH THE LEATHER: Since making two errors last Saturday at Lynchburg, the Keys have played error-free baseball over the last five games. The team currently ranks third in the Carolina League in team-defense (.975 fielding percentage), trailing only Wilmington (.984) and Lynchburg (.977). Meanwhile, Jason Esposito has been perfect on all his chances at the hot corner, and leads all CL third baseman in defense.  During the recent series at Winston-Salem, the Keys saw first-hand how poor defensive play can hurt a team. Over three games, the Dash committed eight errors, resulting in seven unearned runs.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:  Glynn Davis’s 11-gamehitting streak came to an end in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader, as he finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. The longest streak of its kind in the Carolina League this season, the Baltimore native hit .458 (22-48) during the 11-game swing with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. Quickly putting the 0-for-3 game behind him, Davis finished 2-for-3 in the second contest, to bump his average back up to .444. That mark paces all Advanced-A hitters. Additionally, Davis leads the CL in hits (24) while he is second in runs scored (13) and on-base percentage (.492). He also rates fourth in total bases (30) and fifth in slugging percentage (.556).

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO WAGER?: Brady Wager became the first Keys pitcher to two wins on Thursday night. Picking up his second quality start of the season, the right-hander tossed six innings of three-run baseball. One more triumph would equal Wager’s total from last season with the Keys, where he went 3-10 over 15 games. Over six strong innings in the series finale, the 23-year-old scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out three. Wager also earned a quality start the outing before, surrendering just one run over six innings to Lynchburg. Currently, the Arizona native is tied for second in the Carolina League in victories, trailing only Jonathan Dziedzic of Wilmington.

ROAD WARRIORS: Through 14 games, the Keys have preferred the road rather than the friendly confines. In seven road tilts this season, Frederick is 5-2, and has won each of its last four games away from Harry Grove Stadium. In contrast, the Keys are 1-6 in home games. That includes being swept in three games by the Carolina Mudcats. This reverse home-road trend was the norm in 2013, with the Keys going 29-40 in home games and 32-38 in road games.

THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN: On Tuesday, the Keys roster received a bit of a shakeup. Outfielder Trent Mummey and infielder Michael Mosby were both released, while infielder Jerome Pena was activated from the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Lucas Herbst was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. In seven games with Frederick this season, Mummey hit .182 (4-for-22) with a run scored. Mosby was 0-for-12 at the plate in three games. As for Herbst, he was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with two RBIs over four games with the Shorebirds. Starting the second game of the doubleheader in rightfield, he finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.

FREDERICK VS CAROLINA 2014: The Keys try for their first win over Carolina on Friday night, after the Muddies pulled a three-game sweep in the first head-to-head matchup of the year. In the first game between the two clubs in 2014, Dylan Baker tossed six perfect innings, as the Keys were shutout 7-0. In game two, it was Shawn Morimando’s turn to shine. Over six strong innings, the southpaw allowed only three hits and one unearned run, while the Mudcats exploded for five runs in the fifth to win 8-1. In the final game, the Keys held a 3-1 lead going into the eighth, but Miguel Chalas could not protect it, as Carolina posted three runs and batted around to complete the sweep, 5-4. The early results represent a departure from 2013, when the Keys went 12-8 record against the Mudcats, the most wins Frederick earned against a CL opponent last year.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander D.J. Brown makes his fourth appearance of the season and his second start of the year. His first one came last Sunday at Potomac, when he tossed five innings and allowed two runs on two hits to earn his first Carolina League win. Opening the season in the bullpen, Brown takes the rotation spot of Dylan Baker, who suffered a fractured right ankle last weekend. Prior to joining the rotation, Brown allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over three innings of work as a relief pitcher. That includes one game against the Keys on April 9, when he allowed one unearned run over two innings. Primarily a reliever in 2013, the Virginian spent his first season at Low-A Lake County. Named by MLB.com as the Indians A-Ball “Pitcher of the Year”, Brown went 3-4 with a 2.71 ERA and earned one save over 27 games (two starts). With the Captains, he held opponents to a measly .238 average, and was brutal against lefties, limiting them to a .200 clip. In two late-August starts, he was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA (10IP/2ER). Selected by Cleveland in the 39th round of the 2012 draft out of James Madison University, Brown missed his entire junior season due to a right labrum injury. However he thrived as a sophomore, going 9-1 with a 4.00 ERA and over team-high 96.2 innings. Starting the season as a starter, he finished the year as the Dukes closer, striking out 92 and holding opponents to a .245 batting average, as JMU claimed the 2011 CAA Championship. Standing at 6-6, Brown throws a low-90s fastball, a curveball, slider and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 4-17-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick wraps up its three-game series with Winston-Salem on Thursday night with thoughts of a sweep on their minds. Yesterday, the team scored five times in the first four innings of game one and benefited from three Dash errors, while in game two, it was the three-headed monster on the mound that got the job done. Jesse Beal, Gene Escat and Matt Price collaborated on a four-hit shutout, and struck out 13 of the 21 batters they faced.

Tonight, Brady Wager goes for his second win of the season. He comes off an excellent performance last Friday against Lynchburg, where he allowed one run over six innings. Unfortunately, his counterpart that night, Wes Parsons, was even better, tossing six shutout innings, as the Hillcats earned a 1-0 victory.

Wager will tangle with Tony Bucciferro, who walked only SIX batters in 90.2 IP last season. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. from the Triad. Pregame show starts at 6:45.

A fresh batch of game notes is below. Talk soon!

Geoff

 

Harry Grove Stadium · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

 

Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 · Game #14 · Road Game #7

Frederick Keys (5-8) vs Winston-Salem Dash (4-9)

RHP Brady Wager (1-1, 1.64) vs. RHP Tony Bucciferro (0-1, 3.00)

BREAK OUT THE BROOMS!:Frederick swept Tuesday’s twinbill against the Winston-Salem Dash, to give the Keys their first series victory of 2014. It was also the club’s first sweep of a road doubleheader since June 8, 2012, when the club swept Lynchburg in a doubleheader. In game one, the Keys benefited from three Dash fielding errors, as the visitors scored at least once in each of the first four innings. Matt Taylor also earned his first win on the mound, as Frederick claimed a 5-3 win. In game two, pitching reigned supreme. The trio of Jesse Beal, Gene Escat and Matt Price collaborated on a four-hit shutout, while the Keys used a productive second inning to secure a 2-0 triumph.

FIRING BLANKS:After being shut out twice during the recent seven-game homestand, Frederick blanked Winston-Salem in the second game of Wednesday’s twinbill. In the game, the Dash advanced only three runners to second base, while Keys pitching limited their opposition to only two hits over the final six innings. It was the club’s first shutout victory since August 3, 2013, when Brady Wager blanked the Carolina Mudcats 2-0 in nine innings and retired the final 18 batters he faced.

BRING A TENNIS RACKET NEXT TIME: In the game two, Frederick arms leaned heavily on the strikeout. Keys pitching recorded 13 of its 21 outs via the punch-out, one short of its season-high (set on April 9 vs Carolina). Gene Escat led the way, fanning six over three innings. Not normally reliant on the strikeout, the six whiffs establishes a new career-high for the former Fresno State Bulldog, who also struck out the side in the fourth.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:  Glynn Davis’s 11-gamehitting streak came to an end in game oneon Wednesday, as he finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. The longest streak of its kind in the Carolina League this season, the Baltimore native hit .458 (22-48) during the 11-game swing with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. Quickly putting the 0-for-3 game behind him, Davis finished 2-for-3 in the second contest, to maintain his league-best .444 batting average. That mark also paces Advanced-A, as the Keys leadoff man leads the circuit by 11 pts (Salem’s Kevin Heller is hitting .433). Additionally, Davis leads the CL in hits (24) and runs scored (13), is second in total bases (30),  third in RBIs (nine) and fourth in slugging percentage (.556).

SEND IT IN JEROME!: Jerome Pena made his 2014 debut on Wednesday, after starting the season on the disabled list. Playing at second base in both contests, the former TCU Horned Frog also went 3-for-8 at the plate with two doubles and two runs scored. In his third season with the Keys, Pena hit .222 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs last season (both career-bests). He also finished with a career-high 21 doubles, and led the club in games played (120).

ROAD WARRIORS: Through 13 games, the Keys have preferred the road rather than the friendly confines. In six road tilts this season, Frederick is 4-2, and has won each of its last three games away from Harry Grove Stadium. In contrast, the Keys are 1-6 in home games. That includes being swept in three games by the Carolina Mudcats. This reverse home-road trend was the norm in 2013, with the Keys going 29-40 in home games and 32-38 in road games.

THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN: On Tuesday, the Keys roster received a bit of a shakeup. Outfielder Trent Mummey and infielder Michael Mosby were both released, while infielder Jerome Pena was activated from the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Lucas Herbst was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. In seven games with Frederick this season, Mummey hit .182 (4-for-22) with a run scored. Mosby was 0-for-12 at the plate in three games. As for Herbst, he was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with two RBIs over four games with the Shorebirds. Starting the second game of the doubleheader in rightfield, he finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.

FREDERICK VS WINSTON-SALEM 2013: The Dash controlled the 2013 season series, winning 12 of the 20 meetings. Still, the games were often close. Of the 20 matchups, half were decided by two runs or less, while six came down to only one run. To add a little more excitement, this year’s Winston-Salem team is skippered by former Frederick manager Tommy Thompson. From 2007-08, he posted a 97-96 record, while he led the 2007 Keys to the club’s third Mills Cup title.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Tony Bucciferro makes his third Carolina League start and his first against the Frederick Keys on Thursday night. The right-hander last pitched on Friday at Wilmington, suffering the loss after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings. All four runs allowed by Bucciferro came in the fourth inning, as he allowed just one hit over the other five stanzas. His other start also came against Wilmington. In his Carolina League debut, the Floridian tossed six innings and allowed one unearned run, but received a no-decision. Last season, Bucciferro split the year between Rookie-Bristol and Low-A Kannapolis, appearing in 16 combined games. A majority of that time came with the Intimidators, where he went 3-5 with a 2.50 ERA over 12 games (12 starts). Armed with laser-like command, Bucciferro struck out a combined 96 batters in 2013 and walked only six over 90.2 innings. He played his first season with Rookie-Bristol, tallying a 2.57 ERA, but only pitched in six games due to a shoulder injury. Selected by Chicago in the 14th round of the 2012 draft, Bucciferro played his college baseball at Michigan State, where he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss. A team captain his senior season, the 24-year-old closed out his career as the Spartans all-time leader in innings pitched (372.1) and starts (55). Twice an All-Big Ten selection, he led the conference in strikeouts as a senior. During his college career he also pitched in the Cape Cod League for the Brewster Whitecaps in 2011, and got to play at Fenway Park during the Cape Cod League All-Star game that season. Not overpowering, Bucciferro throws both a four-seam (89-91 mph) and two-seam (88-90 mph) fastball, a slider (81-84 mph) and a changeup (78-82).

Game Notes 4-16-14

Good Morning Keys Fans!

Enjoy brunch with the Keys this morning, as Frederick and Winston-Salem play a doubleheader following a rain-out last night.

To get you ready I’ve attached some game notes below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 · Game #12/#13 · Road Game #5/#6

Frederick Keys (3-8) vs Winston-Salem Dash (4-7)

Game 1: LHP Matt Taylor (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Brad Goldberg (0-1, 8.64)

     Game 2: RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 6.14) vs RHP Bryan Blough (0-0, 2.45)

DANCING IN THE RAIN:Mother Nature was not so kind on Tuesday night, as the Keys and the Winston-Salem Dash were postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a rare Wednesday morning twinbill at BB&T Ballpark. Both games will be seven innings in length, with a break of approximately 30 minutes in between games. This is the Keys first doubleheader of the 2014 season.

FREE BASEBALL DOESN’T MEAN FUN BASEBALL:Playing for a series-split with Lynchburg, the Keys forced extra-innings, but a sac-fly by Kyle Wren in the 12th allowed the Hillcats to prevail 5-4 on Monday night. The defeat ended a difficult homestand, where Frederick went just 1-6, and was swept by the Carolina Mudcats in three straight games. Monday’s loss also dropped the Keys to 0-2 in extra-inning games this season (with the first defeat also coming to the Hillcats on April 4 at City Stadium).

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: Frederick may only be 11 games into the season, but five have been decided by one run. Sadly, the Keys have not won any of them. That 0-5 mark is the worst in the Carolina League, while Wilmington (0-4) is the only other club yet to win a one-run game. On the other side of the coin, Lynchburg is a perfect 4-0 in games decided by a single tally, with all four of those triumphs coming at Frederick’s expense. This season, the Dash are 2-2 in one-run games.

THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN: On Tuesday afternoon, the Keys roster received a bit of a shakeup. Outfielder Trent Mummey and infielder Michael Mosby were both released, while infielder Jerome Pena was activated from the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Lucas Herbst was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. In seven games with Frederick this season, Mummey hit .182 (4-for-22) with a run scored. Mosby was 0-for-12 at the plate in three games. As for Herbst, he was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with two RBIs over four games with the Shorebirds.

DON’T MESS AROUND WITH GLYNN: Arguably the hottest hitter in the Carolina League, Glynn Davis recorded a hit for the 11th straight game on Monday-the longest streak in the Carolina League this season. Finishing 1-for-4, the outfielder’s start has been something to behold. He currently paces all Advanced-a hitters with a.458 batting average, 18 points higher than his next closest competition. Meanwhile, he leads the Carolina League in hits (22) and runs scored (13). Additionally, Davis is tied for the lead in total bases (28), is second in on-base percentage (.490) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.583). Despite an all-around great start, Davis was not named Carolina League Player of the Week-an honor that went to Joey Gallo of Myrtle Beach.

SPEAK SOFTLY, AND CARRY A BIG STICK: Keys catcher Wynston Sawyer continued his hot stretch of hitting on Monday. After going 2-for-3 on Friday night, the San Diego native went 3-for-4 on Monday with a home run, a double, an RBI and a run scored. In the process, it moved his batting average up to a season-high .233. The three hits also tied a career-high for Sawyer, who most recently accomplished the feat on April 11, 2013 as a member of the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds. Of Sawyer’s seven hits this season, four (three doubles and a homer) have gone for extra-bases.

GOING LONG: After failing to homer in six games at Harry Grove Stadium, the Keys finally recorded their first longballs at home on Monday night. Wynston Sawyer got things started with a monster shot to left, before Brenden Webb followed suit in the third with a deep fly to right. Prior to the game, the Keys had hit only one home run as a club through 10 games-a two-run shot by Michael Burgess on April 6 at Lynchburg. Currently, Frederick is tied for last in the league in longballs with Winston-Salem and Wilmington. Potomac leads all CL clubs with nine home runs on the season.

THAT’S QUALITY: After two rocky outings to open the season, Parker Bridwell turned in his best Carolina League start on Monday night. Tossing a season-high six innings, the right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits, while he walked one and struck out four. All three runs came across in the sixth. It was his first quality start of the season, and the fourth by a member of the Keys starting rotation this year.

FREDERICK VS WINSTON-SALEM 2013: The Dash controlled the 2013 season series, winning 12 of the 20 meetings. Still, the games were often close. Of the 20 matchups, half were decided by two runs or less, while six came down to only one run. To add a little more excitement, this year’s Winston-Salem team is skippered by former Frederick manager Tommy Thompson. From 2007-08, he posted a 97-96 record, while he led the 2007 Keys to the club’s third Mills Cup title.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Brad Goldberg makes his third start of the season on Wednesday and his first against Frederick. Rated the No. 28 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, Goldberg last pitched on Thursday at Salem and received a no-decision. Over 4.1 innings, he allowed six runs on eight hits. He walked two, hit two batters and struck out three. In 2013, Goldberg made stops in Great Falls of the Pioneer League, Low-A Kannapolis and Advanced-A Winston-Salem. Over 16 combined games (all out of the bullpen), he went 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA. In only two relief appearances with the Dash last season he went 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA (5.2 IP/2ER). Selected by Chicago in the 10th round of the 2013 draft out of Ohio State, Goldberg began his college baseball career at Coastal Carolina in 2009. However he transferred to OSU after the 2010 season. After sitting out all of 2011 on account of NCAA transfer rules, the right-hander missed all of 2012 when some of his Coastal Carolina credits did not transfer and he was ruled academically ineligible. Finally getting his chance in 2013, Goldberg shined, going 6-1 with a 2.99 ERA. He was signed for a reported $10,000. Goldberg’s signature pitch is a power sinker which will sit in the low-mid 90s and can top out at 96 mph. He also throws a curve (75-78), slider (82-84) and a changeup.

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After a 12-run, 16-hit onslaught yesterday, the Keys look for the split against the Lynchburg Hillcats. It should be a fun evening with an excellent pitching match-up on tap. The Keys will send Parker Bridwell to the mound (No. 19 prospect in the Orioles system) against Hillcats right-hander Lucas Sims, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Atlanta organization. The Keys fared well against Sims on Opening Day, tallying three runs on five hits over four innings.

Meanwhile Glynn Davis continues to lead all of Advanced-A in hitting….by A LOT. Entering Monday’s action, he is batting an unreal .477, a mark that is more than 30 pts higher than his next closest competition.

So come on out and see if Davis can continue the hot hitting tonight. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. It’s also a Kids Eat Free Night.

Today’s batch of game notes are below. Chat soon!

Geoff

 

Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 · Game #11 · Home Game #7

Frederick Keys (3-7) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (6-4)

RHP Parker Bridwell (0-1, 9.72) vs. RHP Lucas Sims (1-1, 4.00)

BREAKING OUT:After five straight losses, the Keys offense put its foot down on Sunday. Pounding out a season-high 16 hits and batting around in consecutive innings, Frederick disposed of Lynchburg 12-6 at Harry Grove Stadium. On the game, eight of the nine starters finished with at least one hit, while four posted two hits or more. Meanwhile, the club’s struggles with runners in scoring position also came to a close. After finishing 2-for-31 with men at second or third base in the previous three games, the Keys were a robust 8-for-23 in those spots on Sunday afternoon.

DON’T MESS AROUND WITH GLYNN: Arguably the hottest hitter in the Carolina League, Glynn Davis was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday. In the game, he set new career-highs for RBIs (four) and runs scored (four) while he also tied his career-best for hits in a game (four). If that was not enough, the Keys centerfielder pushed his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest of its kind in the Carolina League this season. Off to an outstanding start, Davis leads all Advanced-A hitters with a .477 batting average (a mark that is 30 points higher than his next closest competition). Meanwhile, he leads the Carolina League in hits (21), runs scored (12) and total bases (27), is second in the league in on-base percentage (.500) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.614).

MAN OF STEEL: Davis was not the only one to put together a monster day at the plate. Hitless in his first seven Carolina League at-bats, Steel Russell got on track going 4-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. He also reached in all five of his plate appearances. The four hits and four runs scored establish new career-highs for the Pennsylvania native, who is now hitting .364 on the season. The son of Orioles bench coach, John Russell, Steel is in his first season at Advanced-A.

EVERYBODY HITS!: In the third and fourth innings, the Keys sent a combined 18 men to the plate to the plate against Andrew Waszak and Patrick Scoggin. During that time, Frederick scored eight runs on nine hits and walked five times. The highlight of this onslaught came in the fourth inning, when the Keys recorded four consecutive doubles and put six straight on base. In the process, it gave Frederick its first come-from-behind victory of the year.

THE KLINE CHRONICLES: Following a quality start in his home debut, things were not as smooth for Branden Kline in his second outing at Harry Grove Stadium. Hurt by one tough frame, the Frederick native exited after four innings. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked two and struck out one and did not factor into the decision. All four runs allowed by Kline came in the fourth, an inning where the Hillcats sent eight men to bat. Over three starts this season, the former Virginia Cavalier is 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA.

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 4-3 advantage in the season-series. However, three of Lynchburg’s four wins over Frederick have come by one run, and two have occurred in walk-off fashion. On April 4, Daniel Castro supplied a walk-off single in extra-innings, while the next night, Kyle Wren singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Both Keys wins have come by 6-2 margins. A closely contested series in 2013, Lynchburg held a slim 10-9 edge, with six of the 19 games being decided by a single run.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:The No. 1 overall prospect in the Atlanta farm system according to Baseball America, Lucas Sims makes his third Carolina League start on Monday. In his last outing at Potomac on April 9, the right-hander tossed five innings of one-run baseball to earn his first win of the season. This will be the second time he faces the Keys this season. Pitching against Frederick on Opening Day, he was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings. Sims comes off a stellar 2013 season at Low-A Rome. In 28 games for the Braves (18 starts), the Lawrenceville, GA native went 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA. In the process, he finished second in the South Atlantic League in wins and ERA, fourth in strikeouts (134), and held opponents to a league-low .203 batting average. For his efforts, the right-hander was named the Braves’ Minor League pitcher of the Year. Only 19 years old (he will turn 20 on May 10), Sims was on a strict innings limit last year, and pitched out of the bullpen until late May. Selected by Atlanta in the first round (21st overall) of the 2012 draft, the righty signed with the Braves for a reported $1.65 million rather than attend Clemson University. A Braves fan as a kid, Sims cites John Smoltz as his favorite player growing up. He features a 93-95 mph fastball, a mid-70s curveball, and a changeup.

Game Notes 4-13-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick tries to snap a five-game losing streak when the team plays game three of four against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Branden Kline makes his second start of the year at Harry Grove (and third of the season), and if that’s not enough motivation to come out, before the game fans can MEET THE TEAM!!! So make sure to drop on by. However if you’ve got plans or are out of town, you can still listen to the game on 1450 AM The Source or frederickkeys.com. Doug and I will keep you company.

Here are some game notes for today. The highlight: Glynn Davis not only leads the Carolina League in hitting, but paces ALL OF ADVANCED-A. That means he has the highest batting average of any player in the Carolina, Florida State or California Leagues.

Talk soon!

Geoff

Sunday, Apr. 13, 2014 · Game #10 · Home Game #6

Frederick Keys (2-7) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (6-3)

RHP Branden Kline (1-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Andrew Waszak (0-0, 6.23)

 

UNLUCKY SEVEN:Lynchburgsent eight men to bat during a four-run seventh inning, while Frederick’s struggles with men in scoring position continued, as the Keys dropped their fifth straight, 8-1. After finishing 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Friday night, the team ended 0-for-9 on Saturday. Over the last three games, the Keys are a collective 2-for-31 with runners at second or third base. Meanwhile, the club’s five-game losing streak is its longest since last June 10-14, when the Keys dropped five straight to Myrtle Beach and Potomac.  

LET’S GO STREAKING!:On Saturday, Glynn Davis extended his hitting streak to nine games. Finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored, it was also his sixth multi-hit effort of the season. Davis now has the longest hitting streak in the Carolina League, after Winston-Salem’s Courtney Hawkins went 0-for-3 on Saturday night. Off to an outstanding start, Davis leads all CL hitters with a .447 average (30 pts higher than his closest competition). That mark is also tied for the highest at Advanced-A, with Jupiter’s Terrence Dayleg. Additionally, Davis paces the loop in the hits (17), ranks second in total bases (22), second in on-base percentage (.472) and fourth in slugging percentage (.579).

BULLPEN BLUES:Following an excellent performance by Matt Hobgood on Friday, the club’s bullpen struggles returned on Saturday. Pitching for the third time, Mark Blackmar was roughed up over 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned). The majority of those came in the Lynchburg seventh, when six straight Hillcats reached base. This season, the Keys bullpen has posted a 5.70 ERA (36.2 IP/23ER) over nine games. In contrast, the starting rotation has been sharp, tallying a 3.05 ERA (44.1/15ER) since the start of the season.

SLUMPBUSTING:Coming into Saturday on a 2-for-16 slide, Brenden Webb busted out, recording singles in each of his first three at-bats. He closed out of the day 3-for-4, and moved his batting average back over the .300 mark. The three hits was the most Webb had recorded in a Carolina League game since Opening Day 2013, when he went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs against Salem. In his third season at Advanced-A, Webb hit .201 over 84 games last season.

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 4-2 advantage in the season-series. However, three of Lynchburg’s four wins over Frederick have come by one run, and two have occurred in walk-off fashion. On April 4, Daniel Castro supplied a walk-off single in extra-innings, while the next night, Kyle Wren singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Both Keys wins have come by 6-2 margins. A closely contested series in 2013, Lynchburg held a slim 10-9 edge, with six of the 19 games being decided by a single run.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

BLAST FROM THE PAST:In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Andrew Waszak takes the mound for Lynchburg on Sunday. In his first start of the season this past Tuesday at Potomac, he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits over three innings. He walked two, struck out one and hit a batter. His Carolina League debut came against the Keys on Opening Day. In 1.1 innings, the Michigan native struck out one and did not allow any runs. A 22nd round selection by Atlanta in 2013, Waszak spent his first professional season in the Appalachian League. With Danville, he went 3-5 with a 2.03 ERA over 13 games (nine starts) and paced the team with 53.1 innings pitched. He also held opponents to a .175 batting average. For his efforts, Waszak was named Danville’s Pitcher of the Year, and the club’s pitcher of the month in June and July. A standout pitcher at Michigan State, the right-hander earned third team All-Big 10 honors as a senior, and ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (2.36). In his college career, he went 18-11 with a 3.82 ERA. As a member of the Spartans, he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss.

Keys Game Notes 4-12-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!!

It’s Hockey Day at Harry Grove Stadium, and Craig Loughlin and Alan May will both be in attendance, signing autographs and greeting fans. On the field, Frederick tries to end a four-game slide following a 1-0 defeat on Friday. Frederick will send right-hander Jesse Beal to the mound. He is countered by Lynchburg’s Jarrett Miller, who pitched against the Keys on Sunday. It is his second year in the Carolina League.

Doug and I will have the pregame show at 1:45 with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. And don’t forget, today is the first edition of the 2014 Keys Corner! So make sure and tune in early, as Doug and I run down the highlights, chat with members of the Keys and highlight the first week-plus of action.

So tune make sure and tune us in, and if you’re coming to the game, make sure and wear your favorite hockey jersey!

A full batch of game notes are below.

Talk soon!

Geoff

 

Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 · Game #9 · Home Game #5

Frederick Keys (2-6) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (5-3)

RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 8.31) vs. RHP Jarrett Miller (0-0, 2.08)

A LITTLE HELP!:Frederick out-hit the Lynchburg Hillcats by a 6-5 tally on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium, but an inability to convert with runners in scoring position resulted in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss. Unable to provide any run support for starter Brady Wager, the team went 0-for-8 with runners at second and third base. A trend that has been problematic of late, the Keys are just 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position over their last two contests, and are hitting a collective .208 as a club in those situations this year. As a result, the Keys have often come up short in close games, with half of the team’s defeats coming by one run.

LET’S GO STREAKING!:For the eighth straight game, Glynn Davis recorded a base hit. Going 2-for-4 on Friday, he was one of only two Keys players to record multiple hits on the game. The eight game streak is tied for the longest in the Carolina League this season (Courtney Hawkins of Winston-Salem has also hit safely in all eight games). Thanks to his fifth multi-hit effort of the year, the Baltimore native now leads all CL hitters with a .441 average. He also paces the loop in the hits (15) ranks second in total bases (20), and sits fourth in on-base percentage (.472).

SIGH OF RELIEF: Although the Keys came up short, reliever Matt Hobgood helped keep things close. Pitching against Lynchburg for the third time this season, the right-hander tossed three shutout innings. He walked a pair and struck out two. The three innings equaled the longest outing by a relief pitcher this season (Jesse Beal also pitched three at Lynchburg on April 4). Meanwhile, it was a welcome sign of life from the Keys bullpen, which had surrendered 16 runs over its previous 19.2 innings entering Friday’s action. Formerly a first round pick by Baltimore in 2009, Hobgood leads all Keys relievers with a 1.17 ERA (7.2 IP/1 R).

QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Brady Wager produced the third quality start by a Frederick starting pitcher this season. Tossing a season-high six innings, the 23-year-old surrendered one run on five hits. In total, he has allowed only two runs over his first 11 innings this year (1.64 ERA). Frederick’s rotation has been one of its strengths in the early going. Through eight games, the rotation has tallied an impressive 3.05 ERA, while Keys starters have given up only one earned run over their last 11 innings of work.

SPEAK SOFTLY, AND CARRY A BIG STICK: Wynston Sawyer enjoyed a nice performance at the plate in the series opener. After going just 2-for-19 over his first six games, the Keys catcher doubled his hit total, going 2-for-3 with a pair of base hits. On the night, Sawyer and Glynn Davis accounted for four of the team’s six hits. In his first season at Advanced-A, the Californian spent the last two seasons as the primary backstop at Low-A Delmarva. He was selected by the Orioles in the eighth round of the 2010 draft.

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 3-2 advantage in the season-series. However all three of Lynchburg’s wins over Frederick have come by one run, and two have occurred in walk-off fashion. On April 4, Daniel Castro supplied a walk-off single in extra-innings, while the next night, Kyle Wren singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Both Keys wins have come by 6-2 margins. A closely contested series in 2013, Lynchburg held a slim 10-9 edge, with six of the 19 games being decided by a single run.

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 have played at the Advanced-A level.

BLAST FROM THE PAST:In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Jarrett Miller makes the Saturday start for Lynchburg. Making his 2014 debut against Frederick last Sunday, the right-hander allowed one run on four hits over 4.1 innings and drew a no-decision. In his second Carolina League season, the 24-year-old posted a 9-8 record and a 3.73 ERA over 30 games (25 starts) with the Hillcats last season. Miller finished fifth in the CL in strikeouts (122) and fourth in innings pitched (147.0), but occasionally struggled with command, as he also ended third-overall in walks (63). The righty spent 2011-12 with Low-A Rome. Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round of the 2011 draft out of UNC-Greensboro, Miller went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 games (four starts) as a junior. Miller tries to become the first Spartans pitcher to reach the Major Leagues since Brian Moehler, who made his big league debut with Detroit in 1996, and pitched 14 years with the Tigers, Reds, Astros and Marlins. Miller throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curve, a slider and a changeup.

 

Game Notes 4-11-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

Frederick tries to shake off a three-game losing streak when the Lynchburg Hillcats come to town. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, and the broadcast kicks off at 6:45 with Doug and yours truly.

To get you ready, I’ve attached some game notes below.

Chat soon!

Geoff

Harry Grove Stadium · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

 

Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 · Game #8 · Home Game #4

Frederick Keys (2-5) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (4-3)

RHP Brady Wager (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Wes Parsons (0-0, 4.15)

 

KEYS LOCKED OUT IN FIRST HOME SERIES:Ahead 3-1 going into the top of the eighth, the Keys saw their two-run cushion slip away on Thursday night, as the Mudcats batted around and scored three runs off Miguel Chalas. In the ninth, Frederick put the first two aboard against Muddies closer Louis Head, but the hard-throwing righty struck out the side to hand the Keys a 4-3 defeat.  It marked the first time Frederick had been swept in a series since last August 11, when the club dropped three straight to Myrtle Beach. Currently, Frederick is on a season-worst three game losing streak.

BULLPEN BLUES: On Thursday night, the struggles for the Keys bullpen continued. After Keys relievers allowed one run over eight innings to open the year, the group has surrendered 16 runs its last 19.2 frames (7.47 ERA). During that time, Keys bullpen-hands are 0-for-3 in save opportunities and have given up 30 hits. In contrast, Frederick starting pitching has been strong, posting a 3.31 ERA (35.1 IP/13 ER) in seven games.

LET’S GO STREAKING!: Glynn Davis extended his hitting streak to seven games on Thursday. He ended the night 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and a run scored. Currently, Davis and Winston-Salem outfielder Courtney Hawkins are the only two Carolina League players to hit safely in all seven games this season. Entering Friday, the Keys centerfielder is second in the Carolina League in hitting (.433). He trails only Odubel Herrera (.450) of Myrtle Beach. Davis’ 13 hits pace the league, while he is second in total bases (18), second in on-base percentage (.469) and fifth in slugging percentage (.600). His only bugaboo has been strikeouts (10) as he has the fifth most in the league.

TOUGH LUCK TAYLOR:  For the second straight start, Matt Taylor pitched well, but received a no-decision. Over five innings, the former Crimson Tide lefty allowed one unearned run on six hits. He walked three and struck out two. Over 11 innings this season, Taylor has yet to allow an earned run. The excellent start comes after a strong season at Low-A Delmarva in 2013. He finished 12th in the South Atlantic League in ERA (3.77) and fourth in innings pitched (138.1).

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG RD 1: 2014: The Keys and the Hillcats have split four games this season. Frederick earned wins in the series opener and the finale (both by 6-2 scores) but lost the middle two games. On both occasions, the Hillcats triumphed in walk-off fashion, as Daniel Castro and Kyle Wren delivered game-winning singles on consecutive nights. Glynn Davis was the primary offensive force against the Hillcats, going 8-for-17 with three RBIs and a pair of doubles. Brenden Webb and Creede Simpson also fared well against Lynchburg pitching. In four games, Webb went 5-for-16 with four RBIs, while Simpson went 5-for-18 with four doubles and four RBIs.

NAME THAT PUJOLS!: Luis Pujols becomes the 20th manager in Keys history, after spending 2013 as the skipper at Low-A Delmarva. He takes the reins from Ryan Minor, who went 61-78 in his lone season as Frederick’s head man. The cousin of Angels star, Albert Pujols, the 58-year-old has considerable experience as a player, manager and coach in the majors and minors. Since spending nine years as a big league catcher with Houston, Kansas City and Texas, Pujols has worked as a bench/first base coach for Montreal (1993-00) and San Francisco (2003-06), while he served as interim manager for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, after Phil Garner was fired six games into the season. He has also managed for Double-A affiliates in the Detroit and Houston systems.

PROSPECTING:This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis have played at the Advanced-A level.

BLAST FROM THE PAST:In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Wes Parsons makes the start for Lynchburg on Friday and is the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America. Making his Carolina League debut against Frederick on April 5, Parsons drew a no-decision, allowing two runs over 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. The righty made his professional debut with Low-A Rome in 2013, going 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts. Joining the club in late May, the Tennessee native was nearly unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, Parsons tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits over 84.2 innings. On the season, he limited opponents to a .224 batting average and displayed excellent command. Over 109.2 total innings, he walked only 21. Signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Parsons gave up baseball early in his high school career to focus on golf. By his junior year he returned to the hill and later pitched at Jackson State Community College. There, he missed the fall of his first semester due to a weightlifting accident, but made an immediate impact once the regular season got started. That success carried over to the summer collegiate Northwoods League, where Parsons pitched for the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Against top-college competition, he posted a 2.61 ERA and tossed a scoreless inning in the league’s All-Star game, where he was clocked at 95mph. Although multiple teams showed interest, Parsons signed with the Braves for $200,000. Employing an easy delivery, the 6-5 righty pitches with a low-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a changeup that is developing.

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