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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.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-25-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The Keys lost 5-1 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks last night in the last outing of their three-game series. Glynn Davis went 2-4 for on the night and represented the Keys’ only run when first baseman Trey Mancini drove him in with one out in the sixth inning. Matt Hobgood pitched three innings of scoreless relief, striking out three and allowing only one hit.

Mychal Givens, who pitched the first half with the Keys made his first appearance for the Double-A Bowie Baysox on Monday. Givens pitched a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation to close out the Baysox 9-3 win over the Trenton Thunder.

Frederick opens up a three game series against the Winston-Salem Dash, who are 3-3 in the second half and sit in third place in the Southern Division. Tonight’s starter for the Keys is right-hander Mark Blackmar, who comes in with  a 4-1 record and a 4.23 ERA. Winston-Salem sends righty Terance Marin to the mound. Marin made his first start for the Dash last Friday, pitching seven innings and allowing only one earn run, enough to earn the win.

Come on out and shake your keys as we celebrate Greek Night here at the Grove!

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 · Game #74 · Home Game #36

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

RHP Mark Blackmar (4-1, 4.23) vs. RHP Terance Marin (1-0, 5.63)

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 two games with the Keys, the 23-year-old is 1-for-7 with a double and two strikeouts. He served as the DH on Monday after playing six innings at third base on Sunday. 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:Right-hander Terance Marin makes his fourth appearance of the season as well as his second start as a member of the Dash. His most recent outing came last Friday against Salem, and was arguably the best of his career. Tallying seven innings, the Californian gave up only one run on five hits and struck out 10 to pick up his first win of the season. Both the 10 strikeouts and the seven innings went down as career-highs. Opening the season with Winston-Salem, Marin endured a disastrous start, where he surrendered 10 runs (four earned) over his first inning-plus on 10 hits. On April 11, he was released by the White Sox organization. Moving on to the Evansville Otters of the Independent Frontier League, Marin got things back on track, going 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA over six starts, to go along with 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched (the 39 strikeouts was one off the league lead at the time his contract was purchased). Dominant as a member of the Otters, Marin carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning in three of his six outings. A member of the Dash the previous two seasons, the righty went 5-5 with a 4.76 ERA over 33 games (seven starts) last year. He placed sixth on the Dash with 92.2 innings worked. A pitcher was much better in the second-half, Marin went 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his final 18 games (one start) after going 4-5 with a 6.20 ERA in his first 15 contests. August was particularly good, as he allowed only two earned runs in 18.1 stanzas (0.98). He went 5-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 33 games with Winston-Salem in 2012. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Marin played two seasons at Modest Junior College (18 games/17 starts).

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-24-14

Hello Keys fans!

The Keys take to Harry Grove Stadium tonight looking to rebound from last night’s 9-3 loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Tonight’s game is the last of a four-game set against the Blue Rocks. Righty Joe Van Meter, who is 2-0 when pitching at Harry Grove this season, takes the mound looking to end the Keys’ cold streak that includes four losses in five games.

We hope to see plenty of you out and shaking your keys at the Grove tonight!

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 · Game #73 · Home Game #35

Frederick Keys (33-39/1-4) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (36-37/3-2)

RHP Joe Van Meter (3-1, 4.54) vs. RHP Miguel Almonte (4-3, 4.48

NO LOCAL LOVE: Hagerstown native Christian Binford tossed 6.2 innings of three-run baseball, while the Wilmington Blue Rocks used seven extra-base hits to top the Frederick Keys 9-3 on Monday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was Frederick’s fourth defeat in five games, and handed the team its second straight series defeat. In his second-half debut, Branden Kline allowed four runs over his first three innings, and lasted only 4.1 frames. Using balanced production from its lineup, the Blue Crew had four players tally mutli-hit games. Zane Evans led the charge going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Cam Gallagher went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.  

 TOUGH TIMES: After winning five out of six to end the first-half, Frederick has dropped four out of five to begin the second stanza. The Keys need a win to avoid being swept for the first time since May 29, when the club dropped three straight at Lynchburg. This season, the orange have been swept at home once. That occurred on April 10, when Carolina rattled off three straight wins during the first homestand of the year. Over the Keys current rocky stretch, the pitching staff has struggled mightily, posting a 7.54 ERA (45.1 IP/38ER) while allowing 62 hits.

GETTING IN A WORKOUT: Branden Kline was tagged with his first loss since June 2, allowing four runs on six hits over 4.1 stanzas. Making his first regular season start in 10 days (Kline pitched one inning in the Carolina League-California League All-Star Game), the former Governor Thomas Johnson standout was challenged from the onset. Needing 32 pitches to escape the first, the righty surrendered a solo homer to centerfield on the fourth pitch of the game before needing 10 pitches to retire Jared Schlehuber. Later in the frame, Zane Evans earned a walk before scoring on a triple by Cody Stubbs. That set the tone for the game, as three of the first six Wilmington batters worked plate appearances of six pitches or longer. Over his last two starts, Kline has allowed nine runs over 8.1 frames, on 12 hits and six walks.

A LITTLE HELP:Over the last two games, the Keys have struggled with runners in scoring position. On Sunday, the team went 0-for-11 with men at second and third base, while he orange and black also left 10 stranded, the most runners the team had left behind since June 12. Monday presented fewer chances, but the club still went without a hit when putting runners closest to home (0-for-2). Over their last three contests, the Keys are a combined 1-for-20 with men in scoring position. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .239 with men closest to home this season and only .197 with men in scoring position and two outs.

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 two games with the Keys, the 23-year-old is 1-for-7 with a double and two strikeouts. He served as the DH on Monday after playing six innings at third base on Sunday. 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!: Lately, Frederick has been scoring runs via the home run ball. Monday marked the sixth time in seven games that the Keys had hit a longball after Jason Esposito slugged a solo shot in the seventh. Frederick is second in the Carolina League in homers with 46. Only Myrtle Beach (64) has hit more this season. Over their last seven 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 tied for third 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:Right-hander Miguel Almonte makes his 13th start of the season for the Blue Rocks and is the No. 5 prospect in the Kansas City system according to Baseball America. His final first-half start came on June 10 at Winston-Salem. Tagged with the loss, Almonte pitched four innings and allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. The start was cut short after four innings on account of elbow discomfort. A pitcher who prefers the strikeout, Almonte is fifth in the CL in strikeout/nine inning ratio (8.68). Only 21 years old, Almonte made the jump from the Dominican Summer League to Low-A Lexington in 2013. In 25 games, he went 6-9 with a 3.10 ERA over 130.2 innings pitched, and led all qualified league starters with 9.1 punchouts per nine innings. For his effort, Almonte was named to the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game. In the game, he tossed a perfect seventh inning and struck out the game’s No.1 prospect Byron Buxton. One of Almonte’s teammates on the World squad was former Key Eduardo Rodriguez, who earned the nod after going 6-3 with a 2.99 ERA for the orange and black. Signed by the Royals as an international free agent for $25,000 in 2010, Almonte is among the Royals latest crop of pitching talent from the Dominican Republic (which includes Kelvin Herrera and Yordano Ventura). Armed with the best changeup in the Kansas City farm system according to Baseball America, Almonte complements the offering with a 91-95 mph fastball (which can touch 97) and a curveball.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-23-14

Good evening Keys fans!

We are back at the Grove tonight looking to rebound from last night’s extra-inning loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Keys got six shutout innings from starter Parker Bridwell, solid enough to maintain a 1-0 lead gained in the first inning off of another Michael Burgess home run, his fifth home run in his last six games. The Blue Rocks got on the board in the eighth inning when Terrance Gore was walked home to tie the game at one. After a scoreless ninth inning, Wilmington center fielder Bubba Starling homered to lead off extra innings, extending the Blue Rocks’ lead to 2-1. Frederick newcomer Trey Mancini was just feet short of what would have been a walk-off home run as Starling grabbed the game ending out on the warning track.

Tonight the Keys send righty Branden Kline to the mound to right the ship against the Blue Rocks. This will be Kline’s first start of the second half after going 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in the first half . Wilmington counters with righty Christian Binford.

Kids eat free tonight at Harry Grove so come hungry and get loud for your Keys. If you can’t make it to the stadium tonight, you can listen to Doug Raftery and Geoff Arnold on the call on 1450 AM The Source.

Go Keys!

Below are the game notes for tonight’s match-up:

Monday, June 23, 2014 · Game #72 · Home Game #34

Frederick Keys (33-38/1-3) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (35-37/2-2)

RHP Branden Kline (3-2, 3.33) vs. RHP Christian Binford (4-3, 2.19)

GAME OF INCHES: Trey Mancini came only feet shy of a game-winning three-run homer, but it was a Bubba Starling longball that proved the difference, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks defeated the Frederick Keys 2-1 in 10 innings on Sunday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Armed with a plethora of chances to win in regulation, Frederick finished 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. The Keys took an early lead on a Michael Burgess solo homer in the second, but the Blue Rocks tied the game in the eighth. Making his Advanced-A debut, Jimmy Yacabonis issued four walks to force home Terrance Gore, before Starling broke the deadlock in extra-innings. It was Frederick’s third loss in its last four contests.

EXTRA-TIME: Sunday marked the second time in three games that the Keys had gone extra-innings. Entering the contest with back-to-back wins in games stretching past regulation, the Keys dropped their first extra-inning tilt since May 28, when the club fell to Lynchburg 5-4 in 10 innings. This season, Frederick is 4-5 in games going 10 frames or more. All four extra-inning wins for the Keys have come on the road, while Luis Pujols’ team is 0-2 in extra-inning games at home.

LITTLE HELP!: Frederick’s one run loss on Sunday can largely be attributed to issues with runners in scoring position. Ending the game 0-for-11 with men at second and third base, the orange and black also left 10 stranded, the most runners the team had left behind since June 12. Over their last two contests, the Keys are a combined 1-for-18 with men in scoring position. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .240 with men closest to home this season and only .198 with men in scoring position and two outs.

CAN’T TOUCH THIS: Parker Bridwell continued his hot stretch on the mound, tossing six innings of two-hit baseball. He walked two and struck out five in a no-decision. It was the Texan’s sixth straight quality start, and seventh overall. He is tied with Branden Kline for the team-lead in quality outings, while all seven have come at Harry Grove Stadium. Over his last three starts, Bridwell is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA (19.0 IP/2ER) and has allowed only nine hits during that stretch. In the process, he has seen his ERA sliced by nearly a point (4.98-4.07), the lowest it has been all season.

 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. Getting the start at third base, the 23-year-old played six innings and went 0-for-3. 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. In his first rehab game on Friday with the GCL Orioles he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and two errors at third. He is scheduled to be with the Keys through Thursday.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Lately, Frederick has been scoring runs via the home run ball. Sunday marked the fifth time in six games that the Keys had hit a longball after Michael Burgess slugged a solo shot in the second. Frederick is second in the Carolina League in homers with 45. Only Myrtle Beach (62) has hit more this season. Over their last six games, the Keys have hit 12 home runs, with eight coming over the final two games of the first-half. Currently, Burgess paces the Keys with 11 deep flies, and is tied for third in the CL in that department. The Floridian has homered in five of his last six contests, and is one longball away from equaling his 2013 total at Double-A Corpus Christi.

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

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

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

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

 TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Christian Binford makes his 13th Carolina League start and his third against Frederick. Rated the No. 10 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America, the Hagerstown, MD native is making his first start of the second-half. In his last outing of the first-half, Binford tossed six shutout innings of three-hit baseball against Carolina in a winning effort. He struck out five and hit a batter. A Carolina League All-Star, the righty allowed two runs on a hit while pitching the fourth inning. Binford is tied for the CL lead in strikeouts (79) with Parker Bridwell and rates third in the CL in ERA (2.19). Opponents are batting just .223 off him this year, the league’s fifth-lowest mark. Rated as the top control pitcher in the Kansas City farm system by Baseball America, Binford is also second in WHIP (1.00). The right-hander was also dominant at Low-A Lexington in 2013. Named the Lexington Pitcher of the Year as well as a South Atlantic League All-Star, Binford was 8-7 with a 2.67 ERA to go along with 130 strikeouts and just 25 walks over 135 frames. His ERA was third-best in the SAL, while he placed fifth in WHIP (1.14) and sixth in strikeouts. Binford spent 2012 at Rookie-Burlington, after being selected by Kansas City in the 30th round of the 2011 draft. He received a well over-slot bonus of $575,000 which swayed him from attending the University of Virginia (if he attended he would have been teammates with Branden Kline). As a high school senior at Mercersburg (PA) Academy, Binford posted a 0.64 ERA in 55 frames. As a sophomore he underwent Tommy John Surgery. Not a hard thrower, Binford used his 6 foot 7 frame to create a good downhill angle on his pitches. He throws a 88-93 mph fastball, a slider, curveball and changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-22-14

Good afternoon Keys fans!

Tonight is Faith Night at the Grove as the Keys are opening their first home series of the second half, a three game set against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Parker Bridwell, who went 4-6 with a 4.38 ERA in the first half of the season, will get the start for the Keys tonight and face off against Blue Rocks’ lefty Jonathan Dziedzic.

The Keys welcome Michael Almanzar to the team this week. Almanzar, who has spent the season with the Orioles, was placed on the 60-day disabled list due to a patella tendon tendinitis and is playing in Frederick as a part of his rehab assignment.

See our previous blog post summarizing some of the roster moves made during the All-Star Break.

Below are some of the game notes for tonight’s game:

Sunday, June 22, 2014 · Game #71 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (33-37/1-2) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (34-37/1-2)

RHP Parker Bridwell (4-6, 4.38) vs. LHP Jonathan Dziedzic (5-4, 2.80)

CAROLINA’S REVENGE: The Carolina Mudcats tied their season-high with 17 hits, while a five-run Muddies fourth sealed a 12-2 Frederick Keys defeat on Saturday night at Five County Stadium. Saturday’s setback ended a string of three straight series wins by the orange and black. All nine members of the Mudcats order recorded at least one hit, while LeVon Washington and Todd Hankins paced the hosts offensively. Washington tallied four hits, equaling the most by an individual player against the Keys this season, and Hankins drove in four RBIs. Frederick was led by Trey Mancini, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in his third Carolina League game. On the mound, Brady Wager gave up eight runs (six earned) on seven hits over only 3.1 frames.

SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE HAMMER, SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE NAIL: Saturday was Frederick’s second-most lopsided defeat of the season, and marks the second time in three games that Frederick pitching has surrendered 10 runs or more in a game. The Keys worst loss came on April 23, when the team fell to Myrtle Beach 21-6, the club’s worst setback since June 11, 2006. During the club’s three-game series at Carolina, Frederick’s pitching staff struggled mightily tallying a 9.23 ERA (26.1 IP/27ER) while allowing 44 hits. The Keys are currently fifth in the CL with a 4.19 staff ERA.

ICE TREY: Trey Mancini was one of the few bright spots for the Keys on Saturday night. The only Keys player with multiple hits in the series finale, the former Notre Dame standout went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Over his first three Carolina League games, Mancini has driven in five runs and is batting .286 (4-for-14). He made quite an impression in his Carolina League debut on Thursday, going 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs. The four driven-in equaled a career-high. Named a South Atlantic League All-Star while playing at Low-A Delmarva, Mancini was seventh in the league in hitting (.317) at the time of his promotion and second in hits (85).

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

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB: In one other player personnel move, the Baltimore Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. He becomes the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury. In his first rehab game on Friday with the GCL Orioles he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and two errors at third. He is scheduled to be with the Keys through Thursday.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Saturday’s game ended a string of four straight games with a longball by the Keys. Still, the team is tied with Winston-Salem for the second most dingers in the CL (44). Only Myrtle Beach (62) has whacked more longballs. Over their last five games, the Keys have hit 11 home runs, as the orange and black hit four homers last Saturday and four more on Sunday to close the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 10 deep flies, and is tied for fifth in the circuit in that department. The Floridian has homered in four of his last five contests.

 TAKE HOME SOME HARDWARE:  On Monday, Michael Burgess was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week.”  It marked the third time in 2014 that a member of the Keys had received a weekly honor, while it was the first time Burgess had received a player of the week honor since 2008, when he earned South Atlantic League Player of the Week accolades in late April of that season. Over six games, Burgess hit .500 (11-for-22) with three homers, one triple, two doubles nine RBIs and four runs scored. The three homers were tied for the most by an Advanced-A player last week and the nine RBIs were good for third-best across the Advanced-A classification. He also placed seventh across the minors in slugging percentage (1.091). Thanks to the huge week, Burgess pushed his average to .319, the highest it has been all season. That stat is good for fourth-best in the Carolina League, while he tied for second in RBIs (46), second in slugging (.564) and extra-base hits (30) and tied for third in total bases (115).

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

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

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

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

 TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic makes his 13th start of the season and his second against the Keys. Owner of the seventh-best ERA in the Carolina League (2.80), the Humble, Texas last pitched at Winston-Salem on June 10. Pitching the second game of a doubleheader, the lefty gave up two unearned runs on four hits over four innings. He walked three and struck out six. A Carolina League All-Star, Dziedzic tossed a clean fifth inning on Tuesday night in the Carolina League’s 3-2 defeat to their California League brethren. Although he does not possess overpowering stuff, the Texan is third in the league in strikeout/nine inning ratio (9.15). The all-time strikeout leader in Lamar University history (317), Dziedzic spent his first professional season with Rookie-Idaho Falls. In 12 games (11 starts), he went 2-0 with a 2.68 ERA. A player who hit his stride at the end of the season, Dziedzic posted a 0.87 ERA over five starts in August (5G/20.2/2R/9H). That carried over to the Pioneer League Championship Series. Facing Helena, the Texan tossed a season-high six innings in a game one victory, as he helped lead the Chukars to their first Pioneer League title since 2000. Selected by the Royals in the 13th round of the 2013 draft out of Lamar, the 23-year-old was also selected by the Red Sox out of Atascocita High School (TX) but did not sign. He throws a fastball in the upper-80s, a curveball and a changeup. A pitcher with one of the Carolina League’s better nicknames, Dziedzic is known by his teammates as “eye chart” due to the difficult spelling of his last name.

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