Author Archive

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!!

The Keys try and even up the series against Potomac at one game apiece.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. tonight. You can catch Doug and I on 1450 AM The Source beginning at 5:45!

Some notes are below.

Shake your keys!

Geoff

Saturday, July 12, 2014 · Game #90 · Home Game #42

Frederick Keys (42-47/10-12) vs Potomac Nationals (48-40/10-9)

RHP Sebastian Vader (1-0, 4.50) vs. LHP Matthew Spann (5-4, 4.15)

OVER AT SIX: Austin Voth twirled seven shutout innings, limiting the Frederick Keys to only two hits, while the Keys mustered only two hits off Richie Mirowski and Jake Walsh in a 4-0 loss to the Potomac Nationals on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium. The loss snapped the Keys season-best six game winning streak. Despite receiving a seven-inning start from Branden Kline, the Frederick bats could not figure out Voth, who did not allow a hit through his first five innings of work. In the process, the right-hander saw his ERA shrink to 0.35 (26 IP/R) and pushed his scoreless innings streak to 19 innings. Meanwhile, the loss and a win by Wilmington dropped the Keys into third place in the CL Northern Division standings (10-12). This season, the Keys have been shutout six times, while Friday marked the first time that the club had been blanked in the second-half.

WINNING STREAK NOTES: On Friday night, the Keys string of six straight wins came to a close. It was the club’s first six-game streak since June 1-8, 2011, when the club took eight in-a-row against Myrtle Beach, Salem and Potomac. Prior to the recent swing, the club’s longest winning streak had been four games (stretching from April 16-18 against Winston-Salem and Carolina). In 2013 and 2012, Frederick had never won any more than four games in a stretch. Perhaps most impressive, was that all six wins came on the road. Ending the recent seven-game roadtrip 6-1, Frederick pushed its road record to 25-23, the second-best mark in the eight-team circuit (Myrtle Beach is 31-16 in road games this year). In contrast, the Keys home record is the worst in the league at 17-24.

THREE-HEADED MONSTER: For the third straight day, the Keys struggled mightily against an opposing starting pitcher. On Wednesday, Frederick mustered only one run on three hits in six innings against Justin Haley, while Red Sox righty Pat Light gave up one run on six hits over six innings the following day. Following Voth’s performance on Friday, the Keys have scored only two runs on 11 hits in 19 frames against the last three starters they have faced. Voth’s performance was one of the best of the year by an opposing starter. Surrendering only two hits through seven stanzas, the former Washington Husky became the fourth visiting pitcher to carry a no-hitter through five innings or more against the Keys this season. Voth lost the no-hitter in the sixth, when Wynston Sawyer began the inning with a single. In addition to Voth, former Myrtle Beach starter Chi Chi Gonzalez (six innings), Carolina’s Dylan Baker (six innings) and Wilmington’s Luis Santos (five innings) have also kept the Keys out of the hit column for five frames or more.

NO HOME COOKIN: Branden Kline turned in his sixth seven-inning start of the season on Friday, but was hit with his fourth loss of the year. Allowing four runs on eight hits, the Frederick native walked two and struck out four. Saturday’s loss ended a two-game winning streak, while Kline remained winless at Harry Grove Stadium. Over eight games at the friendly confines this year, Kline is 0-4 with a 5.02 ERA.

BULL MARKET: Frederick’s offense carried the club during its seven-game roadtrip. Over the trip to Virginia, the club scored 56 runs on 87 hits.  The club finished with 10 or more hits in six of the seven contests, while the Keys finished with 19 knocks in last Saturday’s 17-3 dismantling of the Lynchburg Hillcats at Calvin Falwell Field. Thanks to that impressive display, Frederick is batting .304 as a team over 10 July games, the second-best mark in the Carolina League (Carolina is hitting .308). Glynn Davis has led the way during that time, batting .367, while Mike Yastrzemski is one point below at .366, and has driven in 12 runs and scored 13 times in 10 contests.

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: On Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Saturday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (66), extra-base hits (47), and total bases (173) while he is tied for the lead in doubles (28). Additionally, he rates second in homers (15), slugging percentage (.595), home run to at-bat ratio (1/19.40) and, is tied for second in hits (92) and is fifth in batting average (.316).

YASTRZEMSKI NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK:On Monday morning, Mike Yastrzemski was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week” for June 30-July 6. The first weekly honor of his professional career, the 23-year-old hit .400 (12-for-22) over six games with a home run, a triple, four doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored. The nine runs scored were the most by a Carolina League player over the last week, while only Michael Burgess (12) ended with more RBIs. The majority of Yastrzemski’s damage came on Saturday night, when he became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014. In total, four Keys players have now earned weekly honors this season. Burgess and Adrian Marin also received player of the week recognition, while Parker Bridwell was named the CL’s pitcher of the week for May 12-19. The four weekly winners eclipses last year’s total of three, when Michael Ohlman (twice) and Christian Walker took home player of the week honors three weeks in-a-row.

TYSON FINALIST FOR HALL OF FAME: Keys hitting coach Torre Tyson has been named a finalist for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday by the organization’s advisory committee. The winningest manager in Charleston Riverdogs history (Yankees Low-A), Tyson put together a 232-186 record during his tenure with the Riverdogs from 2007-09. Currently, Tyson is in his second year with the Keys as hitting coach, after serving as the Yankees minor league defensive coordinator from 2011-12. Three individuals will be selected for enshrinement, with two being voted on by the fans and one being voted on by the committee. The three individuals will be inducted on August 15, prior to Charleston Riverdogs’ game against the Rome Braves. Notable members of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame include Roberto Alomar, David Cone and Willie Randolph.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy made his second rehab start with the Keys on Thursday and fifth overall. Limited to 75 pitches, the righty last only three-plus innings and surrendered three runs on five hits. The second inning was problematic, as Bundy allowed a pair of runs and needed 32 pitches to escape. He received a no-decision. Bundy’s first outing came on July 4, when he gave up three runs on four hits in 4.2 stanzas. In two starts with the Keys, he has posted a 7.04 ERA (7.2 IP/6R). Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 22 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 5.91 ERA (190.1 IP/125ER) and allowed 222 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 59 home runs, the second-most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Matthew Spann makes his 15th appearance with the Nationals on Saturday as well as his 10th start. His most recent outing came last Sunday against Myrtle Beach. Turning in his third quality start of the season, the lefty gave up one run on seven hits over six innings, while he walked four and struck out four. It was his third straight defeat. A member of the rotation since late-May, Spann is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA as a starter and 3-0 with one save to go along with a 2.03 ERA in five games as a relief pitcher. June was a rough month for Spann, who tallied a 6.04 ERA over five appearances (25.1 stanzas). In 25.1 frames, he gave up 19 runs (17 earned) while opponents hit .302 against him. Spann began the year at Low-A Hagerstown, and recorded a 2-0 record and a 1.20 ERA over 20 relief appearances. In 15 innings, he gave up just two runs and 13 hits, while opponents hit .228 against him. Selected by the Rays in the 25th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Columbia Central High School (TN), Spann was acquired by Washington in late-August of 2013 as part of a trade which sent veteran MLB outfielder David DeJesus from Washington to Tampa Bay. Before joining Washington, Spann was 4-3 with a 2.87 ERA over 19 games for Low-A Bowling Green. He spent 2012 with Short-Season Hudson Valley. A native of Columbia, Tennessee, Spann’s hometown is known as the “Mule Capital of the World.” It is roughly one hour south of Nashville.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-11-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try for their first seven-game winning streak since 2011 when the team begins a four-game homestand tonight against Potomac.

Catch me and Doug Raftery on the radio tonight at 6:45 before first pitch at 7:00! All the action can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. Some game notes are below!

shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, July 11, 2014 · Game #89 · Home Game #41

Frederick Keys (42-46/10-11) vs Potomac Nationals (47-40/9-9)

RHP Branden Kline (5-3, 3.83) vs. RHP Austin Voth (1-0, 0.47)

DON’T STOP NOW BOYS!: The Frederick Keys completed a four-game road sweep of the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night, with a 5-4 win at LewisGale Field. It was the Keys sixth straight win, and put a capper on the best roadtrip of the season. Over the seven-game swing, Frederick went 6-1, while the club jumped up to second place in the CL Northern Division second-half standings (10-11) from fourth (4-10). Making his second rehab start with the Keys since undergoing “Tommy John” surgery last June, Dylan Bundy allowed two runs in the second on RBI singles by Kendrick Perkins and Jordan Weems, while an RBI single by Mario Martinez knocked him out in the fourth. From there, the Keys scored the next three runs. A double by Michael Burgess and a sac-fly by Brenden Webb got the orange and black on the board, while a two-run single by Trey Mancini leveled the count in the seventh. In the ninth, the Keys took the lead for good. After a one-out single by Jerome Pena, Mike Yastrzemski drove his teammate home with a double to right-center. Two batters later, Mancini went back to work, with a double to right-center. Dennis Torres gave up one run in the ninth, but held on to pick up his first Carolina League win.

IT’S CALLED A WINNING STREAK: The Keys have won six straight games for the first time since June 1-8, 2011, when the club took eight straight against Myrtle Beach, Salem and Potomac. Prior to the recent roadtrip, the club’s longest winning streak (stretching from April 16-18 against Winston-Salem and Carolina). In 2012 and 2013 Frederick’s longest winning streak was just four games.

BULL MARKET: Frederick’s offense carried the club during its seven-game roadtrip. Over the trip to Virginia, the club scored 56 runs on 87 hits.  The club finished with 10 or more hits in six of the seven contests, while the Keys finished with 19 knocks in last Saturday’s 17-3 dismantling of the Lynchburg Hillcats at Calvin Falwell Field. Thanks to that impressive display, Frederick is batting .320 as a team over nine July games, the best mark in the Carolina League. Mike Yastrzemski has led the way during that time, batting .405 in nine road tilts with 12 RBIs. A team that has gotten great production from top to bottom during that time, the Keys currently have five players riding hitting streaks of five games or better. That list includes Michael Burgess (seven games), Zane Chavez (six games), Glynn Davis (five games), Jason Esposito (eight games), and Yastrzemski (seven games)

RBI GUY: Trey Mancini finished out his roadtrip on a high note,going 2-for-5 on Thursday with three RBIs. It was his second three RBI game in four contests, while the Floridian has driven in 20 over his first 21 games in the Carolina League. Owner of a four-game hitting streak, Mancini is 6 for his last 19 with two doubles, three runs scored, and seven RBIs. Despite being known as a power threat, Mancini’s strikeout numbers are low, whiffing only 11 times in 86 at-bats.

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: On Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Friday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (66), extra-base hits (47), and total bases (172) while he is tied for the lead in doubles (28). Additionally, he rates second in homers (15), slugging percentage (.599), home run to at-bat ratio (1/19.13), is third in hits (91) and is fifth in batting average (.315).

YASTRZEMSKI NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK:On Monday morning, Mike Yastrzemski was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week” for June 30-July 6. The first weekly honor of his professional career, the 23-year-old hit .400 (12-for-22) over six games with a home run, a triple, four doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored. The nine runs scored were the most by a Carolina League player over the last week, while only Michael Burgess (12) ended with more RBIs. The majority of Yastrzemski’s damage came on Saturday night, when he became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014. In total, four Keys players have now earned weekly honors this season. Burgess and Adrian Marin also received player of the week recognition, while Parker Bridwell was named the CL’s pitcher of the week for May 12-19. The four weekly winners eclipses last year’s total of three, when Michael Ohlman (twice) and Christian Walker took home player of the week honors three weeks in-a-row.

TYSON FINALIST FOR HALL OF FAME: Keys hitting coach Torre Tyson has been named a finalist for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday by the organization’s advisory committee. The winningest manager in Charleston Riverdogs history (Yankees Low-A), Tyson put together a 232-186 record during his tenure with the Riverdogs from 2007-09. Currently, Tyson is in his second year with the Keys as hitting coach, after serving as the Yankees minor league defensive coordinator from 2011-12. Three individuals will be selected for enshrinement, with two being voted on by the fans and one being voted on by the committee. The three individuals will be inducted on August 15, prior to Charleston Riverdogs’ game against the Rome Braves. Notable members of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame include Roberto Alomar, David Cone and Willie Randolph.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy made his second rehab start with the Keys on Thursday and fifth overall. Limited to 75 pitches, the righty last only three-plus innings and surrendered three runs on five hits. The second inning was problematic, as Bundy allowed a pair of runs and needed 32 pitches to escape. He received a no-decision. Bundy’s first outing came on July 4, when he gave up three runs on four hits in 4.2 stanzas. In two starts with the Keys, he has posted a 7.04 ERA (7.2 IP/6R). Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 21 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.01 ERA (181.1 IP/121ER) and allowed 222 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 59 home runs, the second-most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Austin Voth will toe the slab for the fourth time this year at Advanced-A with Potomac. In his last outing on Saturday, the righty tossed six shutout innings of three-hit baseball and struck out seven, but received a no-decision. Over his first 19 Carolina League innings he has given up one run on seven hits. A 5th round pick last year by the Washington Nationals, Voth dominated at Low-A Hagerstown, recording a 4-3, 2.45 line in 13 starts. In 69.2 IP, he gave up 51 hits, 19 earned runs, and struck out 74 to just 22 walks (opponents his .206 against him). He had the third-best ERA in the South Atlantic League, second-lowest BAA (Harvey: .200), and third-best strikeout per nine inning ratio (9.56). Taken out of the University of Washington, the former Huskie had a solid but unspectacular three-year career. His best season was his junior year, when he went 7-6 with a 2.99 ERA. He spent two summers in the ever-popular Cape Cod League, where he ditched his “bendy” curveball, as he called it, for a slider in 2012, which has developed into a promising pitch. The righty’s bread and butter is his fastball, which tends to sit in the 89-92 mph range for the first five innings, then bumps to 95 in the middle innings. He also has an average changeup with late sinking action.

 

The Streak is at Six!!

Good Morning Keys Fans!!

The Keys completed a four-game sweep of the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night and have now won six in-a-row! It is the Keys longest winning streak since July 14-19, 2011, when the club took six straight against Wilmington and Salem. After a 1-8 start to the second-half, the orange and black are now within one gave of the .500 mark (10-11) with a chance to gain some ground in the CL North standings. With Thursday’s victory, the Keys are now tied for second with Wilmington, and trail Potomac by only half a game. That means a Friday win will move Frederick into first place, given that the P-Nats are the team the Keys will be facing. A couple of closing notes from the roadtrip:

- Michael Burgess continued his assault on Carolina League pitching. During the roadtrip he went 13-for-31 with two homers, seven doubles, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored. He is batting .317 on the year and is at the top of every triple crown category. Burgess leads all active CL players in home runs (15)-second to Joey Gallo who is now in Double-A-and leads in RBIs (66), while he is fifth in batting average (.317). He also leads the league in total bases (172) and extra-base hits (47), is tied for the lead in doubles (28), is second in slugging percentage (.599) and  third in hits (91). That impressive body of work can be attributed to an outstanding June. On Thursday afternoon, he was recognized as the Carolina League Player of the month for June. Here is a link to the full release.

-Mike Yastrzemski was named the Carolina League Player of the Week after hitting .400 (12-for-22) with a homer, a triple, four doubles and eight RBIs and nine runs scored over a six-game stretch. That was highlighted by a cycle on Saturday night. It was the first by a Key since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did the trick against Winston-Salem. Yastrzemski wouldn’t stop there, hitting a combined .412 (14-for-34) with a homer, two triples, five doubles,  11 RBIs and 12 runs scored. Not bad…

-Dylan Bundy made a pair of rehab starts on the road as he recovers from Tommy John surgery last June. In his first outing at Lynchburg, the righty allowed three runs over 4.2 innings, while on Thursday he surrendered three runs in three-plus innings. Buck Showalter announced on Wednesday that Bundy will be limited to 75 pitches a game in each of his outings this year. However, he won’t be precluded from joining the Orioles in September if need-be. No word on what Bundy’s next step is after Thursday’s outing.

-Wynston Sawyer has reached base in 22 straight games, a streak that dates back to May 21

Overall, plenty to be happy about going into the upcoming homestand. One where there will be lots of great baseball to watch, but also one that will feature a number of great promotions.

The fun begins on Friday with Daddy Daughter Date Night. So dad’s spend some time with your daughter, and enjoy a fireworks SUPER SHOW after the game.

Saturday night should also be a ton of fun. There will be a Scout Night Sleepover after the game presented by Wegmans. So scout troops…. unite! Come pitch a tent, watch a movie and enjoy a fun night at Harry Grove Stadium.

On Sunday come on out for Sunday Funday sponsored by Hearfields of Frederick! There will be a pregame catch in the outfield, as well as a chance to meet players before the game and get autographs! First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.

The series wraps up on Monday with Kids Eat Free Night, as well as Social Media Night! So if you follow the Frederick Keys and twitter, facebook or both? We are going to be relying on YOU to help us run the show! There will also be a “Tweet Me in the Club” special.

And there you have it. A TON of fun to be had over the next four days at the Grove. So make sure and join us tomorrow night, and see if the Keys can make it seven straight wins!

Until tonight, shake your keys!

Geoff

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-8-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black try and tie their longest winning streak of the season on Tuesday night, as Brady Wager takes the mound against Salem lefty Cody Kukuk.

First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m, and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. Some game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 · Game #86 · Road Game #46

Frederick Keys (39-46/7-11) vs Salem Red Sox (42-44/9-9)

RHP Brady Wager (3-7, 5.62) vs. LHP Cody Kukuk (2-6, 7.30)

NO FINGERNAILS LEFT:The Salem Red Sox mounted a late rally, scoring the final five runs of the game, however the Frederick Keys managed to hang on for a 9-8 win on Monday night at LewisGale Field. Trailing 9-3, the Sox gradually chipped away, scoring one run in the seventh, before batting around in the eighth. Utilizing an RBI single by Matt Gedman, three straight walks, a wild pitch, and a two-run base knock by Reed Gragnani, the Sox pulled within one, but Matt Price struck out Jantzen Witte with the tying run at third. In the ninth though, Price retired the Sox in order to give the Keys their third straight win. On Tuesday, the club tries to tie its longest winning streak of the season, a four-game stretch from April 16-18 against Winston-Salem and Carolina. Since that time, the Keys have put together three three-game winning streaks (with the most recent coming from June 13-15 against Myrtle Beach), but the team has not earned four straight victories.

GIVE AND TAKE: In the series opener, the Keys handed out eight walks, the second-most the Keys pitching staff had handed out in a game this year. Mark Blackmar and Matt Price each issued three walks and Matt Hobgood issued a pair. All three of the free tickets by Price came in succession in the bottom of the eighth, while Blackmar walked three for the second straight start. Entering his start yesterday, the Texan had not allowed multiple walks in back-to-back games all year. The eight free passes came three short of the club’s season-high of 11 on April 23 against Myrtle Beach. Fortunately, the Keys were beneficiaries of five Salem errors, tied for the most committed by an opponent this year. Three were pinned on Aneury Tavarez, including two on one play.

BOOMER: Trey Mancini led the way for the Keys offensively on Tuesday, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs. That included a two-run double in the fifth. Promoted to the Keys on June 19 from Low-A Delmarva, the former Big East batting champion has recorded an RBI in three straight games and a total of 16 over his first 18 Carolina League games. That includes two three-RBI games, as well as a four-RBI game in his CL debut. A player equipped with plenty of power, nine of Mancini’s 19 Advanced-A hits have gone for extra-bases.

YASTRZEMSKI NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK:On Monday morning, Mike Yastrzemski was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week” for June 30-July 6. The first weekly honor of his professional career, the 23-year-old hit .400 (12-for-22) over six games with a home run, a triple, four doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored. The nine runs scored were the most by a Carolina League player over the last week, while only Michael Burgess (12) ended with more RBIs. The majority of Yastrzemski’s damage came on Saturday night, when he became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014. In total, four Keys players have now earned weekly honors this season. Burgess and Adrian Marin also received player of the week recognition, while Parker Bridwell was named the CL’s pitcher of the week for May 12-19. The four weekly winners eclipses last year’s total of three, when Michael Ohlman (twice) and Christian Walker took home player of the week honors three weeks in-a-row.

BIG MIKE: Although Yastrzemski’s last week was a memorable one, Michael Burgess also put together a fine showing. Over six games, the Floridian hit .400 (10-for-25) with three homers, 12 RBIs, four doubles and seven extra-base hits. The 12 RBIs were tied for the most by an Advanced-A ballplayer, and were tied for the second-most by a minor leaguer. Burgess was outstanding on Saturday, going 4-for-6 with two homers, a double, four RBIs and four runs scored, while he became the first Keys player to hit multiple home runs in a game this year. It was his ninth game of two homers or more since 2008, and the first multi-homer game by a Frederick player since August 26, 2013, when Michael Mosby hit a pair of longballs at Lynchburg. Currently, Burgess leads the Carolina League in RBIs (63), and is the active leader in home runs (15). He also leads the loop in extra-base hits (44) and total bases (164) while rating second in slugging percentage (.599) and third in doubles (25). A hitter that torched Carolina League pitching in June, Burgess hit .371 over 23 contests during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June.

TYSON FINALIST FOR HALL OF FAME: Keys hitting coach Torre Tyson has been named a finalist for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday by the organization’s advisory committee. The winningest manager in Charleston Riverdogs history (Yankees Low-A), Tyson put together a 232-186 record during his tenure with the Riverdogs from 2007-09. Currently, Tyson is in his second year with the Keys as hitting coach, after serving as the Yankees minor league defensive coordinator from 2011-12. Three individuals will be selected for enshrinement, with two being voted on by the fans and one being voted on by the committee. The three individuals will be inducted on August 15, prior to Charleston Riverdogs’ game against the Rome Braves. Notable members of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame include Roberto Alomar, David Cone and Willie Randolph.

BUNDY BLURBS:On Friday, Dylan Bundy made his fourth rehab start since undergoing “Tommy John” surgery last June, and his first with the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches, the right-hander allowed three runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. He exited after allowing a sac-fly to Jose Martinez, and received a no-decision. It was the Oklahoma native’s first appearance in a Frederick uniform since August 8, 2012. Prior to joining the Keys on Thursday, Bundy made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 18 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.46 ERA (153.1 IP/110ER) and allowed 191 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 59 home runs, the second-most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Cody Kukuk makes his 12h start of the season and his third against Frederick. Rated the No. 21 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America, the lefty’s most recent start came last Wednesday against the Keys. Earning his first win since May 8, the southpaw gave up one unearned run and just two hits over five innings. He hit one, walked three and struck out six. It was his longest outing since May 20. A pitcher who has battled command issues, the three walks was a vast improvement over the seven he allowed on June 27. Still, he has walked 19 in his last 10 innings (four starts). Over 40.2 stanzas in the Carolina League, he has walked 40 and struck out 40, giving him the third-most free passes among CL pitchers. Promoted to Salem on May 3 from Low-A Greensville, Kukuk went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA over five games with the Drive. Dominant over 24 innings, he handed out 18 hits and struck out 29. Opponents batted just .217 against him, though he did walk 12. Kukuk spent all of 2013 at Greensville, where he went 4-13 with a 4.63 ERA over 26 games (24 starts). In 107 innings, the lefty walked 81, but gave up only 77 hits, struck out 113 and held opponents to a .197 batting average. His first true professional season, Kukuk threw only 10 innings in 2012 following an arrest for a suspicion of DUI. The charges were later dismissed. A pitcher that has drawn physical comparisons to Boston starter Jon Lester, Kukuk was selected by the Red Sox in the seventh round of the 2011 draft out of Lawrence Free State High School. As a senior, he went 7-1 with a 2.89 ERA and was named a Louisville Slugger All-American. Originally committed to play at the University of Kansas, he was swayed by an $800,000 signing bonus. Kukuk throws a low-90s fastball that can reach the mid-90s, a slider and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-6-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Saturday night will be one to remember for the Keys. A cycle, a two home run game, and a 17-3 beheading of the Lynchburg Hillcats. Mike Yastrzemski became the first Keys player since 2005 to hit for the cycle, when he tripled off Benito Pruneda in the top of the ninth. Michael Burgess also had a fabulous night, with a two home run game, the first by a Keys player this season, as Frederick put together its best night offensively since June 5, 2008, when the orange and black disposed of the Winston-Salem Warthogs 19-4.

On Sunday, the team looks for a series win in its final game at City Stadium in 2014. Sebastian Vader makes his Carolina League debut for the Keys and will be opposed by Lucas Sims, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. from the Hill City, and you can listen to the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source starting at 5:50. I’ll keep you all company on the broadcast.

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

Geoff

Sunday, July 6, 2014 · Game #84 · Road Game #44

Frederick Keys (37-46/5-11) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (42-44/8-8)

RHP Sebastian Vader (0-0, –) vs. RHP Lucas Sims (6-6, 5.22)

OH WHAT A NIGHT: Mike Yastrzemski hit for the cycle, while the Frederick Keys bats erupted for 19 hits in a 17-3 beatdown of the Lynchburg Hillcats on Saturday night at Calvin Falwell Field. It was runs Frederick had scored in a game since June 5, 2008, when the team defeated the Winston-Salem Warthogs 19-4 (the Keys lineup was headlined by Matt Wieters, who ended 4-for-5 with four runs scored). On Saturday, the Keys pounded out 12 extra-base hits, while every starter finish with at least one RBI. Eight out of nine starters finished with at least one hit, with Yastrzemski leading the charge going with a 5-for-6 showing. Michael Burgess finished with four-hit game, and Adrian Marin tied his season-high with three hits. The lopsided victory forces a rubber game on Sunday, as the Keys play their final game at Calvin Falwell Field in 2014.

IT’S CALLED THE CYCLE: Saturday night was a memorable evening for Mike Yastrzemski. For the first time in his professional career, the former Vanderbilt Commodore hit for the cycle, going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles, five RBIs and three runs scored. Yastrzemski completed the feat in the top of the ninth inning with a three-bagger to left-center. It was the first cycle by a Keys player since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino accomplished the feat against Winston-Salem. The five hits for the Keys outfielder was a career-high. Not the only member of his family to hit for the cycle in a professional game, Yastrzemski’s legendary grandfather, Carl, did it on May 14, 1965 against the Detroit Tigers while playing for the Boston Red Sox.

BIG MIKE: Although Yastrzemski’s triple was the main attraction, Michael Burgess also enjoyed a monster night at the plate. Finishing 4-for-6 with two homers, a double, four RBIs and four runs scored, the Tampa native became the first Keys player to hit multiple home runs in a game this year. It was his ninth game of two homers or more since 2008, and the first multi-homer game by a Frederick player since August 26, 2013, when Michael Mosby hit a pair of longballs at Lynchburg. Thanks to the big night, Burgess took over the CL lead in RBIs (60), while he leads all active players with 15 homers. He also leads the league in extra-base hits (42) and total bases (159) while rating second in slugging percentage (.602) and third in doubles (23). A hitter that torched Carolina League pitching in June, Burgess hit .371 over 23 contests during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June.

SATURDAY NIGHT CLOSING NOTES:Saturday’s showing ranked as Frederick’s most lopsided win of the season, prior to last night, the Keys biggest margin of victory was seven (a feat which has occurred five times, most recently on May 30 against Wilmington). The 17 runs were five more than Frederick’s previous season-high, while the 19 hits were one short of the club’s high-water mark for the season (the Keys had 20 on May 14 against Potomac). Although the Keys 17-run outburst was impressive, it was not the best showing by an Orioles farm team. The Short-Season Aberdeen Ironbirds clobbered the Brooklyn Cyclones 18-2 on Seinfeld Night at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

BUNDY BLURBS:On Friday, Dylan Bundy made his fourth rehab start since undergoing “Tommy John” surgery last June, and his first with the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches, the right-hander allowed three runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. He exited after allowing a sac-fly to Jose Martinez, and received a no-decision. It was the Oklahoma native’s first appearance in a Frederick uniform since August 8, 2012. Prior to joining the Keys on Thursday, Bundy made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

FOUR-RUN FORCE:In two of their last three games, the Keys have been victimized by a four-run inning. On Wednesday night against Salem, Parker Bridwell surrendered four runs in the top of the first inning, while the Keys managed only two runs the rest of the way in a rain-shortened 6-2 defeat. Since the start of the second-half, many of the Keys woes can be attributed to one bad inning. Six times, Frederick pitching has allowed an opponent to score four or more runs in an inning, while all six times the Keys have lost the game. The most number of runs allowed by the pitching staff in a second-half inning is seven, a feat accomplished by the Potomac Nationals on June 29.

NO LOVE FROM THE NORTH: Despite the Keys win on Saturday, the Keys are just 13-20 against Northern Division ballclubs, while the Keys only have a winning record against Potomac (5-4). In contrast, nearly half of the Keys losses against intra-division competition have come to Lynchburg (3-9). That includes five straight defeats to the Hillcats going back to April 14, Lynchburg’s first visit to Harry Grove Stadium this season. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the Keys wins in 2014 have come against southern teams. Currently, Frederick is 24-26 against southern teams, with the bulk of those wins coming against Myrtle Beach (9-8).

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: On Sunday, right-hander Sebastian Vader will make his first start for the Keys. He was promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games (all starts), the righty went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he gave up 79 hits, walked 15 and struck out 25. A native of San Marcos, CA, Vader spent all of 2013 at Short-Season Aberdeen where he went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 games. Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 16 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.58 ERA (135.1 IP/99ER) and allowed 170 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 58 home runs, the second-most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff. In the second-half, Frederick starters have put together only three quality starts (Bridwell has two and Blackmar has one) and have not worked past the sixth inning in any start.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Lucas Sims makes his 18th start of the season on Sunday night and his fourth against the Keys. The No.1 overall prospect in the Atlanta Farm system according to Baseball America, the righty’s most recent outing came on Tuesday night, and was the roughest of Sims’ career. Over four innings, he allowed seven runs on nine hits and was tagged with his third loss in four games. That defeat comes on the heels of a seven-inning outing on June 26, where Sims collaborated with Alex Wilson on a no-hitter of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. One night later, Cody Scarpetta and Benito Pruneda did the same. It was believed to be the first time in Carolina League history that a club had thrown back-to-back no-hitters. Sims was at his best in the month of May, going 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA, but struggled mightily in June posting a 6.04 ERA and a 1-2 record over five games. Against the Keys this year, he is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA. Sims leads the league in earned runs allowed (51). Sims comes off a stellar 2013 campaign at Low-A Rome, where he went 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA over 28 games (18 starts). 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 righty was named the Braves Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Only 20 years old (his birthday was 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 dollars rather than attend Clemson University. A Braves fan growing up, the Lawrenceville, GA native idolized John Smoltz growing up. Sims features a 93-95 mph fastball, a mid-70s curveball, and a changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-5-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys continue their three-game series with Lynchburg, as Frederick plays its second-to-last game at Calvin Falwell Field in 2014. Lynchburg won last night 8-4, using a four-run sixth to pull away for good. Branden Kline gets the nod for the Keys tonight, and goes for his second win at Lynchburg this year (remember he won his opening night start here). He will be countered by Hillcats righty Wes Parsons.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m, while our radio coverage gets underway at 5:50 on 1450 AM The Source.

Some game notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Saturday, July 5, 2014 · Game #83 · Road Game #43

Frederick Keys (36-46/4-11) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (42-43/8-7)

RHP Branden Kline (4-3, 3.74) vs. RHP Wes Parsons (4-4, 3.96)

WILD THING: The Lynchburg Hillcats used one big inning and a good start from Jarrett Miller to defeat the Frederick Keys 8-4 on Friday night at Calvin Falwell Field. Entering the contest on a four-game losing streak, Lynchburg used a four-run sixth to take the lead for good. Sending eight men to bat in the frame, Will Skinner got the ball rolling with a two-run homer to right, while two singles, two walks, and three wild pitches by Jimmy Yacabonis made it a 7-4 Hillcats lead. The sixth inning surge would ensure a win for Miller, who allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits over 6.2 innings. The Keys recorded three of those runs in the top of the sixth, thanks to RBI doubles by Michael Burgess and Adrian Marin as well as an RBI single by Brenden Webb. However the Hillcats big inning, as well as 2.1 frames of shutout relief by Alex Wilson sealed the Keys fate.

FOUR-RUN FORCE: In their last two ballgames, the Keys have been victimized by a four-run inning. On Wednesday night against Salem, Parker Bridwell surrendered four runs in the top of the first inning, while the Keys managed only two runs the rest of the way in a rain-shortened 6-2 defeat. Since the start of the second-half, many of the Keys woes can be attributed to one bad inning. Six times, Frederick pitching has allowed an opponent to score four or more runs in an inning, while all six times the Keys have lost the game. The most number of runs allowed by the pitching staff in a second-half inning is seven, a feat accomplished by the Potomac Nationals on June 29.

BUNDY BLURBS:On Friday, Dylan Bundy made his fourth rehab start since undergoing “Tommy John” surgery last June, and his first with the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches, the right-hander allowed three runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. He exited after allowing a sac-fly to Jose Martinez, and received a no-decision. It was the Oklahoma native’s first appearance in a Frederick uniform since August 8, 2012. Prior to joining the Keys on Thursday, Bundy made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

NO LOVE FROM THE NORTH: Friday was the Keys 20th loss to a Northern Division ballclub. On the season, the orange and black are just 12-20 against their closest geographic rivals, while the club only has a winning record against Potomac (5-4). In contrast, nearly half of the Keys losses against intra-division competition have come to Lynchburg (3-9). That includes five straight defeats to the Hillcats going back to April 14, Lynchburg’s first visit to Harry Grove Stadium this season. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the Keys wins in 2014 have come against southern teams. Currently, Frederick is 24-26 against southern teams, with the bulk of those wins coming against Myrtle Beach (9-8).

 ALL GOOD THINS MUST COME TO AN END: Parker Bridwell’s string of seven straight quality home starts came to an end on Wednesday. Lasting only four innings, the Texan allowed six runs on eight hits, while he walked three and struck out six. It was Bridwell’s shortest outing since June 4, and his first loss since May 20. Additionally, the six runs were the second-most the righty had given up all season (he surrendered seven on April 9 against Carolina).June was Bridwell’s best month of the year, as he went 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA over five games.

BIG MIKE: Michael Burgess ended his month of June on a high-note racking up his 21st multi-hit game of the year. Ending the night 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored, the Tampa native also finished with four RBIs which tied his season-high. A player that is sad to see the calendar flip, Burgess hit .371 over 23 contests during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June. Currently, Burgess is fifth in the eight-team circuit in batting average (.313), tied for second in home runs (13), while he leads the league in extra-base hits (39) and total bases (148).

NO RELATION TO DARTH: On Tuesday, right-hander Sebastian Vader was promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games (all starts), the righty went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he gave up 79 hits, walked 15 and struck out 25. A native of San Marcos, CA, Vader spent all of 2013 at Short-Season Aberdeen where he went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 games. Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 15 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.84 ERA (126.1 IP/96ER) and allowed 160 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 58 home runs, the most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff. In the second-half, Frederick starters have put together only three quality starts (Bridwell has two and Blackmar has one) and have not worked past the sixth inning in any start.

MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday June 21, after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Wes Parsons make his 16th start of the season and his fourth against the Keys. Rated the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America, the righty is coming off his worst outing of the season on Monday. Facing Myrtle Beach, Parsons allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits over five innings in a no-decision. It was the most runs he had allowed in a game since July 13 at Hagerstown, when he was pitching for Low-A Rome. One of the Hillcats most consistent starters this season, Parsons went 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA during the first-half of the season. A pitcher whose command has been very sharp, the right-hander is fifth in the Carolina league in walk/nine inning ratio, handing out only 1.93 free tickets per game. On the season, he has walked only 19 in 84 frames, and has not given out any more than three walks a game. In three starts against the Keys this year, Parsons is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA, and has allowed only three runs on 11 hits over 13.1 stanzas. 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 unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, he tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits in 84.2 innings. Displaying excellent command, he walked only 21 over 109.2 innings. 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. The success carried over to the simmer 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 95 mph. Multiple teams showed interest in Parsons, but he signed with the Braves for a reported $200,000. Employing an easy deliver, the 6-5 Tennessean throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-4-14

Happy Fourth Keys Fans!

I hope you are enjoying your cookouts and pool time on this Fourth of July. Here in Lynchburg the weather is beautiful, while Dylan Bundy will once again try to make his fourth rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m., and I’ll have the call starting at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source. Some game notes are below. Talk soon, and shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, July 4, 2014 · Game #82 · Road Game #42

Frederick Keys (36-45/4-10) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (41-43/7-7)

RHP Dylan Bundy (0-0, –) vs. RHP Jarrett Miller (3-6, 4.26)

RAIN WINS AGAIN: On Thursday night, the Frederick Keys and the Salem Red Sox were postponed on account of rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 27 at 5 p.m. During the series, the Keys and the Red Sox never completed a full nine innings on account of Mother Nature. Wednesday night’s game was called after 7.5 innings due to rain, while the Keys earned a rain-shortened 3-0 win on Tuesday, after the two sides completed just 4.5 innings. In addition to having a pair of games called early, the orange and black have also been suspended due to poor conditions three times this year. In resumed games this season, the Keys are 2-1.

FIRST ROUND KNOCKOUT: The Salem Red Sox used a four-run first inning to set the tone for the game, and got a strong outing from Cody Kukuk to top the Frederick Keys 6-2 on Wednesday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Limited to only four hits, the Keys were denied their final two trips to bat on account of Mother Nature. With rains falling, the tarp was put on the field just before the start of the eighth inning. It was removed a little more than 20 minutes later, but with worse weather on the way and a soggy outfield, the game was called.

ALL GOOD THINS MUST COME TO AN END: Parker Bridwell’s string of seven straight quality home starts came to an end on Wednesday. Lasting only four innings, the Texan allowed six runs on eight hits, while he walked three and struck out six. It was Bridwell’s shortest outing since June 4, and his first loss since May 20. Additionally, the six runs were the second-most the righty had given up all season (he surrendered seven on April 9 against Carolina). June was Bridwell’s best month of the year, as he went 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA over five games.

IT’S BUNDY TIME! (TAKE TWO): On Friday, Dylan Bundy is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys, his fourth since having “Tommy John” surgery in June 2013. All three of Bundy’s prior rehab starts came at Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him. Rated the top prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Bundy will be making his 13th overall appearance as a member of the Keys. Promoted to Frederick in May 2012 from Low-A Delmarva, the righty went 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA over 57 innings and was named a Carolina League All-Star.

WHERE’S THE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY!: Wednesday’s loss was Frederick’s fourth in its last five games to a team from the Carolina League Southern Division. A win in the series opener ended a four-game slide to CL south competition, after the orange and black lost three straight to Winston-Salem from June 25-27, as well as the series finale to Carolina on June 21. Despite the rocky stretch, two-thirds of the Keys wins in 2014 have come against southern teams. Currently, Frederick is 24-26 against southern foes, and just 12-19 against northern clubs. Luis Pujols’ club has more wins over Myrtle Beach (nine) than any other Carolina League team, while Frederick has fared the worst against Lynchburg (3-8). The Keys have lost four straight to the Hillcats, and were swept during Frederick’s most recent trip to Calvin Falwell Field (May 27-29).

BIG MIKE: Michael Burgess ended his month of June on a high-note racking up his 21st multi-hit game of the year. Ending the night 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored, the Tampa native also finished with four RBIs which tied his season-high. A player that is sad to see the calendar flip, Burgess hit .371 over 23 contests during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June. Currently, Burgess is fifth in the eight-team circuit in batting average (.313), tied for second in home runs (13), while he leads the league in extra-base hits (38) and total bases (146).

NO RELATION TO DARTH: On Tuesday, right-hander Sebastian Vader was promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games (all starts), the righty went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he gave up 79 hits, walked 15 and struck out 25. A native of San Marcos, CA, Vader spent all of 2013 at Short-Season Aberdeen where he went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 games. Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 13 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.69 ERA (118.1 IP/88ER) and allowed 151 hits during that time as well as 18 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 57 home runs, the most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff. In the second-half, Frederick starters have put together only three quality starts (Bridwell has two and Blackmar has one) and have not worked past the sixth inning in any start.

MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday June 21, after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jarrett Miller makes his 18th appearance for the Hillcats on Friday night and his 17th start of the season. His most recent start came last Sunday against Myrtle Beach. Tossing 5.2 innings, Miller received a no-decision, giving up three runs on eight hits, the second-most knocks the 24-year-old had given up in a game this season. He struck out five and walked one. By coming up one out short of six stanzas, Miller saw his string of three straight quality starts come to a close. Still, the Palmetto State native finished June with a 3.90 ERA, more than a point better than his May ERA (4.96). This is Miller’s second year in the Carolina League, after the righty went 9-8 with a 3.73 ERA over 30 games (25 starts) last season. He finished fifth in the CL in strikeouts (122) and fourth in innings pitched (147.0), but occasionally struggled with command, as he ended third-overall in walks (63). Although his walk/nine inning ratio has improved this season (3.3), in his career, Miller averages 4.1 free tickets per nine innings. The right-hander spent all of 2011-12 with Low-A Rome. Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round out of UNC-Greensboro, Miller went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 games (four starts) as a junior. He is trying 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. He hails from Easley, South Carolina which is the home of the Big League World Series. Big League is a section of Little League for 15-18 males. Easley will host its 14th Big League World Series on July 23.

Plenty of Fun In Store Over Next Two Days at the Grove! Including…BUNDY TIME!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

Well on Tuesday night we saw something that doesn’t happen all that frequently: a five inning shutout win. Facing the Salem Red Sox, the Keys tallied three runs off Sox starter Joe Gunkel in the third, while the rains started to fall in the fourth. After Brady Wager worked through the fifth, the tarp was called for by home plate umpire Travis Godec. It was removed after a 54 minute wait, but after the umpires and each manager checked things over, the field was deemed too wet for baseball, and the Keys were awarded a 3-0 victory.

Why you might ask? Well, in the event a game cannot be completed due to rain, the home club is awarded a win if they lead after 4.5 innings. It is also an official game if the visiting team is leading after five complete innings and they hold the lead.

Tuesday night was slightly different from last homestand against Winston-Salem, where the Keys led the Dash 3-2 after 3.5 innings. Since the two sides had not played long enough for it to become an official game, it turned into a suspended game. Both sides then had to pick things up from the point of interruption the following day. Fortunately, Mother Nature allowed the Keys a little more wiggle-room on Tuesday night. A few closing notes about the game:

-The win was Frederick’s first shutout victory since June 7, when the Keys blanked Myrtle Beach on the Grand Strand 1-0. In that contest, Pedro Perez recorded the game-winning RBI, a sac-fly in the 10th off Jose Leclerc.

- Brady Wager earned his third win of the season, and his first since April 17 at Winston-Salem. Credited with a complete-game shutout (also highly unusual), it was the Arizona native’s second as a member of the Keys. Last August 3, he was even better at Carolina though.

- Jason Esposito finished 2-for-2 with a run scored, his second multi-hit effort in his last three ballgames.

Some additional Keys Nuggets from yesterday:

-Michael Burgess wrapped up his June with a .371 batting average. Never seeming to cool off, the Tampa native clubbed 9 home runs and 22 RBIs during the season’s third month. The nine homers was the most by a Carolina Leaguer in the month of June.

-Sebastian Vader has been added to the Keys roster from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games with the Shorebirds, he went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he surrendered only 79 hits . Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.

However the biggest news in Keys land is the RETURN OF……

Bundy

DYLAN BUNDY! He is scheduled to toe the mound for the Keys on Thursday night against the Red Sox. It will be his fourth rehab start, after he underwent Tommy John surgery last June. In three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen, Bundy destroyed his competition, allowing just one run over 15 innings and striking out 22. Now, many of those players have limited minor league service time, as some were just recently drafted. However, it is still an encouraging sign for Bundy, who the Orioles are hoping will be able to contribute to the big league club later this year.

Regardless of what happens, it will be awesome to see Bundy back in a Keys uniform. It will be his 13th overall appearance as a member of the Keys, and his first since August 2012. Here are some more details about his upcoming start on Thursday, while below is a Youtube clip of Bundy’s FIRST EVER appearance in a Keys uniform:

Besides Bundy, we’ve got a ton of fun planned for Thursday night. It is Frederick Ransom Night at the Grove, as we’ll flash back to 1864, when the city of Frederick was held up for Ransom (or if you have any math savy, you probably realized that it is the 150th anniversary of the historic day). For those who don’t know the story, here is how how it happened.

Additionally, if you’re coming to the game, we’ll need your help! Keyote is being held for Ransom, and we’ll be testing fans on their knowledge of the ransom story to set him free! Brewer’s Alley and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine will also be debuting Bad Old Man Ransom Ale. And as you would expect, there will be a postgame fireworks barrage. So get your 4th of July started on the right foot!

You can also come out to Wednesday night’s game, where there will be a fantastic belly buster picnic. Feel free to stuff your faces with hot dogs, hamburgers, cole slaw, watermelon and plenty more, all for just 21 bucks. So when it comes to tomorrow’s food options? You’ve got an ace in the hole.

That’s all for now folks. Stay tuned for some game notes later on, and tune in Doug and myself on 1450 AM The Source for all the action starting at 6:45 p.m.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-1-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The  boys are back in town opening a three game series against the Salem Red Sox, who the Keys have beat three times in five meetings this season (their scheduled sixth meeting was cancelled due to heavy rain on June 11). This will the first meeting of the second half between the teams.

Frederick hopes to bring the offensive firepower they found in Potomac back to Harry Grove Stadium. In this weekend’s series against the P-Nats, the Keys scored seven or more runs in two of the three games, including 10 in last night’s victory. Frederick put up eight runs in the first inning, including a bases-loaded double by Michael Burgess that drove in three runs. Burgess then hit a solo home run in the ninth inning, breaking a 9-9 tie.

Tonight, Frederick sends righty Brady Wager to the mound who will face off against Salem starter Joe Gunkel.

Be sure to get your tickets for Thursday night’s game where Orioles’ top prospect Dylan Bundy will make a rehab appearance in Frederick as the Keys close out their series against Salem.

Here are the game notes for tonight’s game:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 · Game #80 · Road Game #42

Frederick Keys (35-44/3-9) vs Salem Red Sox (39-41/6-6)

RHP Brady Wager (2-7, 6.01) vs. RHP Joe Gunkel (1-0, 2.38)

HOW TO HANG: The Frederick Keys equaled their most-productive inning of the year on Monday night, but the Potomac Nationals battled back from a nine-run deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Fortunately, Michael Burgess came through in the clutch, stroking a solo homer to right in the top of the ninth to lift the Keys to a 10-9 win at Pfitzner Stadium. With a win in the series finale, Frederick claimed its first series win of the second-half, to end June with a 12-14 mark. The orange and black scored nine of their 10 runs in the first two innings, with eight coming in the top of the first. Following a leadoff double by Mike Yastrzemski, a single by Tucker Nathans and a walk to Trey Mancini, Burgess connected on a bases-clearing triple. Brenden Webb then added a sac-fly to score Burgess, before Jerome Pena brought home a pair with a double to left. An RBI single by Yastrzemski and an RBI double by Nathans capped off the scoring, as 12 Keys came to bat. A pair of singles and an RBI groundout by Webb in the second made it 9-0, but the P-Nats refused to go away, scoring twice in the third, fourth and fifth, once in the sixth and then twice in the seventh to tie things up. In the ninth though, Burgess homered on the first pitch of the inning to put the Keys ahead for good. On the mound, Jesse Beal closed things out to earn his first win of the year.

 YOU CAN MAKE A SNOWMAN IN JUNE: Frederick’s eight-run first inning equaled the club’s most productive frame of the season. The Keys also scored eight runs in the second inning on June 10 against Salem, with the club sending 11 men to bat against Cody Kukuk and Justin Haley. Michael Burgess and Adrian Marin led the charge, as the two Sunshine State natives recorded a three-run homer and a two-run double respectively. Despite the quick outburst, Frederick nearly squandered a nine-run read, as Potomac scored nine unanswered from the third through the seventh. Had the Keys come up short, it would have been the team’s largest blown lead of the season. On June 19 at Carolina, the orange and black saw a 10-2 edge go by the wayside, with the Mudcats earning an 11-10 triumph, the biggest comeback in Mudcats history.

 BIG MIKE: Michael Burgess ended his month of June on a high-note racking up his 21st multi-hit game of the year. Ending the night 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored, the Tampa native also finished with four RBIs which tied his season-high. A player that is sad to see the calendar flip, Burgess hit .371 over 23 during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June. Currently, Burgess is third in the eight-team circuit in batting average (.313), tied for second in home runs (13), while he leads the league in extra-base hits (38) and total bases (146).

 IT’S BUNDY TIME!: On Thursday night, Dylan Bundy is scheduled is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys, his fourth since having “Tommy John” in June 2013. All three of Bundy’s prior rehab starts came at Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him. Rated the top prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Bundy will be making his 13th overall appearance as a member of the Keys. Promoted to Frederick in May 2012 from Low-A Delmarva, the righty went 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA over 57 innings and was named a Carolina League All-Star.

DAVIS DAZZLING AGAIN: Glynn Davis, who entered the last six-game homestand 2-for-30 with six strikeouts (brought avg. from .302 to .280), broke out of his first extended slump of the season with an 8-for-22 stretch at The Grove. He has hit safely in five of his last six games, and has earned seven free passes in his last five contests. On Saturday, he walked three times in a game for the third time this season. The Marylander’s average is now .284, while he is fifth in the league in hits (81) and third in runs scored (52).

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 12 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 7.01 ERA (105.1 IP/82ER) and allowed 134 hits during that time as well as 17 home runs. That has pushed the staff’s home run total to 56, most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff. In the second-half, Frederick starters have put together only three quality starts (Bridwell has two and Blackmar has one) and have not worked past the sixth inning in any start.

FINALLY, A LITTLE HELP!: On Saturday, Frederick was 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position last night, the most amount of hits they have had in that situation since June 10 against Cody Kukuk and Salem at Harry Grove Stadium (5-for-11). The Keys snapped an 0-for-24 skid last Wednesday against Winston-Salem with RISP. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .241 with men closest to home this season and only .211 with men in scoring position and two outs.

NO RELATION TO DARTH: On Tuesday, right-hander Sebastian Vader was promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games (all starts), the righty went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he gave up 79 hits, walked 15 and struck out 25. A native of San Marcos, CA, Vader spent all of 2013 at Short-Season Aberdeen where he went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 games. Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.

MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday June 21, after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

 TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Joe Gunkel makes his 20th appearance of the season on Tuesday, and his third start as a member of the Red Sox. In his second CL start last Thursday, Gunkel tossed six shutout innings against Carolina but received a no-decision. He scattered only four hits, walked two and struck out four. In his Carolina League debut, the Floridian earned a win over Winston-Salem, allowing three runs on three hits over 5.1 frames. Promoted after the all-star break, Gunkel began the year at Low-A Greenville. In 17 games (five starts), he went 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA. Named a South Atlantic League All-Star, Gunkel was dominant as a relief pitcher, tallying a 1.50 ERA over 12 games. The 23-year-old was also a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2013, after being selected by Boston in the 18th round of the 2013 draft. Tallying a 1.35 ERA, Gunkel held opponents off the board in 13 of the 14 games he pitched last year. Gunkel played his college baseball at West Chester University, a Division II school which is located just outside of Philadelphia. There, he helped lead the Rams to a Division II World Series title. Employing a low-three quarters arm slot, Gunkel throws a low 90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-26-14

Good morning Keys fans!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: