Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

Story for an off day: Rice makes the Majors

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At age 31, Scott Rice became the Keys 126th player to reach the Major Leagues when he made his debut with the Mets on April 1.

Scott Rice spent once season in the Frederick Keys’ bullpen – 2003. Ten years later, he became the 126th former Key to reach the Majors.

Rice made his debut with the New York Mets on April 1 at age 31. During his season with the Keys, Rice, a left-handed reliever, went 1-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 31 innings pitched over 25 appearances. He reached Triple-A in 2006 and played for nine clubs, including an independent league team in 2008, after making his first Triple-A roster before getting the call to the majors.

The Orioles selected Rice in the 14th round of the 1999 draft out of high school. He spent three seasons in rookie ball before reaching the Single-A level in 2002 and after starting 2003 with Delmarva, he spent the second half of the year with the Keys.

Rice spent 14 seasons in the minors and threw 805 innings, becoming almost exclusively a reliever in 2003. Those 14 seasons and his persistence in the minors are paying off now.

In 18 games this season, Rice has a 1.76 ERA in 15.1 inning pitched for the Mets, the eighth Major League organization he’s signed with.

Other off day news:

*The Keys lost 12-9 in extra innings Wednesday afternoon. Read the recap in the Frederick News-Post or on FrederickKeys.com.

*We’re giving away another Manny Machado bobblehead today on our Facebook page. To win it, like us and then keep your eyes peeled for a Manny Machado trivia question we’ll post later. Be the first to correctly answer, and the bobble is yours.

*Don’t forget we’re also giving away 1,000 Manny bobbles courtesy of BayRunner Shuttle when the gates open for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Wilmington. Fireworks will follow  Saturday’s game and Friday’s 7 p.m. game, the opener of a brief four-game homestand at Harry Grove Stadium.

Get your tickets here, call the Keys’ box office at 301-815-9939 or purchase them at the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.

*You can also get a Manny Machado bobble by buying any Keys ticket plan.

*The Baltimore Sun’s Ed Encina asks, “Why isn’t Manny Machado mentioned in the same breath as fellow phenoms Trout and Harper?

Your first-place Keys are back in town tomorrow. Shake your Keys.

Listen to the Keys at work, win a bobblehead on Facebook

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Check out our Facebook page today for a chance to win this Manny Machado bobblehead.

Shortly after yesterday’s blog post went up, the Keys got rained out in Winston-Salem.

Boo.

The good news is you don’t have to wait long for Keys baseball today. Frederick takes on Winston-Salem this morning at 11 a.m., looking to cap off an undefeated road trip.

If the Keys, who have won their first four games on this trip, win today, it will be their most successful road swing in recent Keys history. The best trips in recent memory:

  • 5/27-29/11 – Keys swept Salem Red Sox; 4 games in 3 nights – 4-0 road trip
  • 7/13-20/11 – 8 game trip to Wilmington & Kinston; Lost game 1 in Wilmington, won 6 in a row, lost game 8 in Kinston
  •  8/19-24/05 – 7 game road trip to Myrtle Beach & Kinston; Won first 5 games but lost final 2 in Kinston

Listen to today’s game on AM1450 The Source, online at wthu.org or through the TuneIn Radio App by searching for WTHU. The Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show starts 30 minutes before first pitch.

*We’ll be giving away Manny Machado bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans in the gates at Harry Grove Stadium for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Wilmington. Gates open at 5.

We’re also giving away a bobble today, tomorrow and Friday on our Facebook page. To win it, like us and then keep yours eyes peeled for a Manny Machado trivia question. Be the first to correctly answer, and the bobble is yours.

Tickets to Saturday’s game and the rest of the four-game series with Wilmington that begins Friday at 7 p.m. can be purchased online here, by calling 301-815-9939 or by visiting the Keys’ box office at The Grove.

For those of you who want a Manny bobblehead, but don’t want to fight the crowd Saturday, a free bobblehead comes with the purchase of any of our ticket plans. One bobble head per seat. We have Dylan Bundy, too. 

*Speaking of Manny, his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is better than that of fellow phenoms Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, for all you lovers of advanced metrics. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal gives Machado love in this story.

*For those of you wondering, Tuesday’s postponed game will be made up in Winston-Salem as part of a Memorial Day Doubleheader.

Shake your Keys.

Keyote Is Out and About This Weekend

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Keyote will be appearing at seven different events this weekend

Just because the Keys are out of town doesn’t mean that Keyote’s job stops. Starting tomorrow at 7:30am, Keyote will embark on seven appearances out of the forty scheduled for the month of May. If you want to see Keyote this weekend, there are plenty of opportunities for photo-ops, autographs and other shenanigans. Check out what he has going on below.

Saturday May 4th

7:30am-9:30am – Keyote will be at Power Plant Live in Downtown Baltimore for the Fiesta 5kThe run supports ALS Research and has raised almost $377,000 thus far this year. Keyote will be joined by the mascot from UMBC in the event’s fun zone. Come out and enjoy inflatables and a great family atmosphere that also supports a fantastic cause!

11:30am-12:30pm - After his stop in Downtown Baltimore, Keyote will head to Green Valley Elementary School in Monrovia, MD for their annual school carnival. Keyote has been a regular at this event and it has been quite a good turnout. With the temperature predicted to be in the 70′s, it should be another great day! The event lasts from 10am-3pm and includes a bake sale and silent auction.

2:30pm-3:30pm - Following a quick stop for some food, Keyote will head back to the friendly confines of Harry Grove Stadium. In the stadium parking lot, the Re-modelers Association is having an event. Keyote will be mingling with the people for an hour before heading to his last event of the day.

4:00pm-6:00pm - The last stop for Saturday is the Frederick Running Festival at the Frederick Fairgrounds. The Keys will have a booth at the event in building #13 from 10am-4pm.  Keyote will arrive right in time for the Kids Fun Run. Here is the schedule of events for the Running Festival…

RACE DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, May 4th 

10am-6pm      Health and Fitness Expo, Frederick Fairgrounds
5pm                 Kids Fun Run (three heats)
6pm                 The Gazette Twilight 5k
7pm                 Awards ceremony for Overall Winners of The Gazette Twilight  5K

Sunday, May 5th

10:00am-12:00pm - Eldersburg, MD will be the first Sunday stop for Keyote. Where, you ask? Hoppers Kidszone. For just $7, kids can enjoy a variety of inflatables, including bounce houses, obstacle courses and more! Open bounce time begins at 9am and ends at noon.

1:30pm-2:30pm - The LOUYAA Baseball Hit-A-Thon is the next stop on Sunday’s agenda for Keyote. Held at Kemptown Elementary, Keyote will spend his hour there taking pictures and of course interfering with the hit-a-thon, per usual.

3:15pm-4:15pm - The final stop for the weekend is at the Camp Shoresh BBQ Banquet. The event runs from 2pm-5pm and will include challenge courses, pony rides, sports, archery, hay rides, professional athlete appearances and much more!

Can’t see Keyote this weekend and want him at your event? Contact Brandon Apter at bapter@frederickkeys.com or 301-815-9919 to find out if Keyote can come to your event!

The Keys return home next Friday, May 10th at 7PM for a three-game series against the Blue Rocks. Friday night Fireworks are presented by the Heartfields of Frederick. Saturday at 6PM (gates open at 5PM), the first 1,000 fans will receieve a Manny Machado bobblehead courtesy of Bayrunner Shuttle. They also sponsor Saturday’s fireworks show. Sunday is Mother’s Day at the ballpark at 2pm. For tickets, call 877-8-GO-KEYS or visit Frederickkeys.com

 

http://education.fcps.org/gves/

Family Fitness Weekend Highlights Homestand

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With 17 games in the books, the Keys are in Myrtle Beach for three more games before returning home for their first seven-game homestand of the season. The team is currently tied with Wilmington for first place at 9-8 with top-prospect Nicky Delmonico on the disabled list due to a concussion from getting elbowed while sliding into second base. Before looking at the upcoming promotional days for the team, let’s check in quickly on some stats.

Now, let’s move on to the weekend ahead here at Harry Grove Stadium, officially known as Family Fitness Weekend. Although the weekend is based around a program we run through schools, all fans are invited to participate in some fun events planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This entire weekend is made possible by Amanda Addington ReMax Results, Frederick County Public Schools and 99.9 WFRE. The basic gist of the Keys Family Fitness Challenge is this – from April 7-13, kids were to do 60 minutes of physical activity and have their parents sign off on their form. They give that completed form to their gym teachers and receive a free ticket to any of the three games this upcoming weekend. Time to look at what exactly we have going on this weekend.

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The first 500 youth 12 & under will receive this 25th season T-Shirt upon entry courtest of Amanda Addington ReMax Results

Friday, April 26th at 7PM; Gates open at 6PM - Friday night begins the Family Fitness activities with a great night that will end with Fireworks, thanks to Amanda Addington ReMax Results. The first 500 youth, also courtesy of Addington, will receive a Keys t-shirt upon entry into the stadium. Gates will open at 6PM, so make sure to get those tickets so your kid can get their t-shirt! 99.9 WFRE helped kids through their week of fitness with tips and reminders, so their DJs will be our special guest on-field emcees for the night. Those kids who participated in the program at their schools can participate in a pre-game, on-field parade that will step-off at 6:30. In addition to all this, the Fun Bus will be in the Fun Zone for kids.

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The first 500 fans that participate in the 1K Family Fun Run will receive a Keys Water Bottle, courtesy of Amanda Addington ReMax Results

Saturday, April 27th at 2PM; Gates open at 1PM - For those students who decide to come to Saturday’s game, we will have a pre-game, on-field parade beginning at 1:30. All parades begin at the right field foul pole gate. For this game, we will have a fun family event for all following Kids Run the Bases presented by Complete Chiropractic. After kids are finished with their base-running, we will be holding a 1K Family Fun Run. The course will start and end at the stadium. With the track being just about a half mile, families will have the opportunity to enjoy a fun fitness activity after enjoying a day of Keys baseball. The first 500 fans to complete the Fun Run will receive a Keys Water Bottle, courtesy of Amanda Addington ReMax Results.

Following the Keys 2PM game on Sunday, Fitness First will hold a post-game Zumba workout in right field!

Sunday, April 28th at 2PM; Gates open at 1PM - Family Fitness weekend concludes on Sunday at 2PM (parade at 1:30PM). Per usual, it is Sunday Fun Day presented by Fun Bus! From 1-1:30, fans can have catch on the outfield grass and two Keys players will be signing autographs on the first base concourse. The Fun Bus will also be in the Fun Zone, so make sure to check them out. The highlight of Sunday is what will be going on post-game. Fitness First Westview location will be holding a fun Zumba session in right field after Kids Run the Bases. Never done Zumba before? That’s okay, join Keyote, Keys staff members and players in a fun workout session that is for fans of all ages and all workout levels.

The Keys welcome the Pelicans to town for four games (April 29th-May 2nd) following Family Fitness Weekend. Kids Eat Free presented by Key 103 & Open Club Night on Monday, it’s a Guaranteed Win Night on Tuesday, Deaf & Hard of Hearing Night presented by Maryland School for the Deaf & Burger Madness on Wednesday and the series concludes with an 11AM Senior Day game on Thursday presented by MMI. Keys players and coaches will wear Throwback jerseys from 1989 on May 2nd and there are special concession deals as well.

Key notes - The Keys (9-8) find themselves in 7th in the Carolina League in batting average, with a .225 line. The team they are playing now, Myrtle Beach, is in 8th with .220. Delmonico currently leads the Keys with a .325 average. Frederick’s next opponent, the Mudcats, currently hold an average of .270 on the season. Patience at the plate has been noticeable as the team leads the league in walks with 69. They’ve hit 13 total home runs on the year, which is tied for 2nd. When it comes to pitching, the Keys post a team ERA of 3.90. They have only two saves on the season, despite their 9-8 record and are tied for 3rd place in the CL with 146 strikeouts. Starting pitcher Tim Berry leads the team with a 3.18 ERA and 21 strikeouts.

Keys in the news

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As we swing into season-mode, the Keys will be in the papers, on the web and on the airwaves more and more frequently. Below is a hearty helping of this week’s Keys media coverage.

From our friends at the Frederick News-Post:

*A breakdown of the Keys roster from Greg Swatek

*Swatek’s story on Connor Narron, son of Keys’ first manager Jerry Narron. It’s a good read.

*Five questions with Keys Asst. GM and play-by-play man Adam Pohl

*Stan Goldberg gets you ready for opening weekend with this all-encompassing story on the season starting at The Grove

From some other print/online media outlets:

*Tripp Laino from The Gazette wrote this primer for the Keys 25th season.

*Eric Jones of the Martinsburg Journal wrote this story from media day.

*A season preview from blog Baltimore Sports and Life.

And some audio:

*Current Key and O’s prospect Nicky Delmonico was on WNST 1570 AM in Baltimore this morning. Listen here.

*If you didn’t catch the Keys’ roster breakdown with our own broadcast team, that is here.

*And here’s an interview of Keys AGM and broadcaster Adam Pohl on WFMD 930 AM in Frederick.

Shake your Keys.

Keys release break camp roster

The Keys have their initial roster for the 2013 season. Players and coaches will be arriving today, with media day tomorrow and a few days of practice before Friday’s night’s 7 p.m. home opener against Salem.

The roster release and the roster is below:

Frederick Keys News Release

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2013

KEYS RELEASE INITIAL ROSTER FOR 2013 SEASON

Frederick’s break camp roster includes several highly-rated prospects, 16 Keys from 2012

FREDERICK, Md. –  The Frederick Keys have released their initial roster for the 2013 season, which includes 16 returning players from the 2012 team that nearly made the postseason with a late-season surge. Led by new manager Ryan Minor, The Keys’ break camp roster also features two of Baltimore’s top-five prospects and eight of the Orioles’ top-30, as rated by Baseball America.

Nick Delmonico and Eduardo Rodriguez, rated fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Orioles’ system, highlight a roster laden with young, talented players. The Keys open their 25th season Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium against the Salem Red Sox.

A left-handed pitcher from Venezuela, Rodriguez, who will turn 20 on April 7, started 22 games for class-A Delmarva last season, going 5-7 with a 3.70 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. Delmonico, 20, also spent 2012 with the Shorebirds, hitting .249 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 95 games as a first and second baseman.

Returning Keys Devin Jones, Tyler Wilson and Tim Berry join Rodriguez, Zach Davies and Zach Petersime in Frederick’s starting rotation. Baltimore’s No. 18 prospect Jones, a 22-year-old right-hander, proved dominant in the Carolina League after joining the Keys last July, going 7-1 with a 2.80 ERA in nine starts and throwing two complete games. He’ll be the Keys’ opening-night starter.

The Orioles’ 26th-ranked prospect, Wilson, 23, struck out 114 batters and walked just 19 in 111 innings with the Keys last season, recording a 7-7 record and a 3.49 ERA, and Berry, a 22-year-old southpaw rated as the 11th-best O’s prospect, went 5-5 with a 4.32 ERA for Frederick. Davies, rated as Baltimore’s 20th-best prospect, started his professional career as a 19-year-old with the Shorebirds, going 5-7 with a 3.86 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 114.1 innings, and Petersime, 24, was promoted from Delmarva to triple-A Norfolk for three starts in August after posting a 2.78 ERA in the Shorebirds’ bullpen. Davies and Petersime are both right-handed.

All five outfielders on the Keys’ roster are returning players from last season. Orioles’ No. 14 prospect and Baltimore native Glynn Davis (22 games, .256 batting average, 8 stolen bases with 2012 Keys), No. 27 prospect Brenden Webb (23 games, .270, three homers, 13 RBIs) and John Ruettiger (64 games, .274, 16 SB, .373 on-base percentage) were all important pieces in August and September, when Frederick posted a 19-14 record. Mike Planeta started the season with the Keys but was sent to Delmarva in May where he would hit .272. Injuries limited Trent Mummey in 2012, but he hit four home runs, drove in 22 RBIs and stole fifteen bases in 72 games with the Keys last season.

In the bullpen, lefties Zach Fowler and Trent Howard – all Keys in 2012 – join right-handers Eric Beaulac, Gene Escat, Marcel Prado, Jesse Beal and Matt Bischoff, who posted a 2.89 ERA in 16 games as a 2012 Key. Howard (4-10, with a 4.83 ERA with the Keys in 2012) moves from the rotation to the bullpen this season while Beal (4.70 ERA, 6.8 strikeouts per-nine-innings in 2012) and Escat (3.58 ERA) are slated to make their advanced class-A ball debuts.

Prado, a 25-year-old righty, is one of two independent league players, both of whom played for the El Paso Diablos, to make Frederick’s break camp roster. Prado, a former Dodgers farmhand, saved 15 games for the Diablos, throwing to catcher Zane Chavez, who joins him in Frederick this season. A four-year independent player, Chavez, 26, hit .339 with four homers and 51 RBIs between El Paso and Grand Prairie.

Michael Ohlman, 22, hit .304 in 51 games as a catcher and first baseman with Delmarva in 2012 and Allan de San Miguel, 25, spent the final month of the year with Keys and hit .260 while guiding Frederick’s pitching staff to their most successful stretch of the season.

Joining Delmonico in the infield are 2012 Keys Travis Adair, Jerome Pena and Sammie Starr and former Shorebirds Connor Narron and Jason Esposito. Adair hit .285 playing primarily third and second base while second baseman Pena, who was promoted twice in 2012 to reach Frederick, finished the season with the Keys and hit .308 in 20 games. Starr, a middle infielder, played just two games with the Keys last season and hit .238 in 106 games in Delmarva. Esposito drove in 51 runs as the Shorebirds’ everyday third baseman in his first professional season and Narron, son of the Keys’ first manager Jerry Narron, slugged 10 homers and drove in 55 runs while serving as Delmarva’s utility player.

Keys players and coaches will be made available to the media for interviews and photographs during the Keys’ Media Day on Tuesday, April 2, from 4-5:30 p.m.at Harry Grove Stadium. All credentialed media are invited to attend. To obtain a press pass, please contact Mike Mueller at mmueller@frederickkeys.com.

-http://www.frederickkeys.com-

The Frederick Keys, advanced-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, open their 2013 season against the Salem Red Sox Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. Ticket plans and single-game tickets are on sale now at the Keys’ box office and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 301-815-9939 or online at FrederickKeys.com.

Contact: Mike Mueller, 301-815-9915

Break Camp Roster

Five for Friday: KeysFest, potential Keys, 25th season gear and more

We’re seven days away from opening the 2013 season at Harry Grove Stadium, four days from the first Keys player and coach arrivals and less than a day from KeysFest and single-game tickets going on sale.

Here are five things you should know heading into the weekend.

1. KeysFest

The Keys’ annual fanfest event takes place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. The event is free and will also include the fourth annual Tots2Tweens.com Egg Hunt. There will be free food samples, free games and activities for kids, including a baseball card station and the chance to play catch in right field. Tours will also be available at no cost, along with other activities to get you primed for Keys baseball in 2013.

Single-game tickets will go on sale at frederickkeys.com at 12:01 a.m. tonight and at the stadium box office  at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Be sure to secure your seats for opening weekend.

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Tim Berry started 13 games for the Keys last season and may be back for more in 2013.

2. The Fredrick 40 Countdown: Parts VII and VIII

Check out the final 10 players on our list of potential Keys for the 2013 season here. That group includes:

Tim Berry - He’s ranked the 11th-best prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America and the 12th-best O’s farmhand by MLB.com. A slender southpaw, look for him in Frederick’s rotation this season.

Jesse Beal – This right-hander missed all of 2011 after having shoulder surgery, but began his comeback in the bullpen with Delmarva in 2012. In 2013, he could be an important piece of the ‘pen in Frederick.

Jason Esposito – He struggled in Delmarva last season, but hit .340 with 22 doubles, nine homers and 59 RBIs in 66 games in college the year prior. Steve Melewski of MASN wrote that the Shorebirds’ third baseman might be moving across the diamond to first this season.

Connor Narron – His father Jerry managed the Keys in the team’s first season and 25 years later, Connor might wear a Keys uniform. A player with the ability to play multiple positions, Narron’s more likely to be promoted to Frederick than start the season here.

Read about those four and the rest of the final 10 here.

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Jeremy Nowak led the Keys in batting average in 2012. He was released by the Orioles on Friday.

3. More roster cuts from spring training

At one point, the Orioles had about 200 minor league players in camp this spring. As a result, the paring down of that bunch to fit regular season rosters has been in full effect over the last week or so. Since March 22, The O’s have released 21 players, according to this Steve Melewski tweet, which came before word of two more releases today.

Among those that have been released are several former Keys and several players that could have landed in Frederick this season, including:

Jeremy Nowak - He led the Keys in batting average and hits last year and was a Carolina League All-Star. Odds are he’ll be picked up by another team.

Joe Oliveira – A Key in 2011 and 2012, Frederick’s catcher hit .209 in 72 games last season.

Buddy Sosnoskie - He has the best name on our list of potential Keys for 2013, but, sadly, it looks as if it name won’t be crammed on the back of a Keys jersey this season. Despite being released, the independent league outfielder was very gracious with his tweets following the bad news.

Other cuts include independent SS Chris Wade, former Keys first baseman Tyler Townsend (retired), former Keys reliever Matt Bywater and independent pitchers Kyle Mertins and Mike Recchia.

4. Keys 25th season gear

2013 marks Frederick’s 25th season of baseball since the Keys inception in 1989. With that silver anniversary comes lots of commemorative swag. A sneak peak of throwback jerseys to be worn on Thursday home games and a 25th season pin is below:

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5. A few links

*I blogged about it in Wednesday’s post and Steve Melewski wrote about it today — a six-man rotation in Frederick. Read Melewski’s story here.

*Some notes from Melewski on potential Keys Jesse Beal and Connor Narron.

*It looks as if 2000 Key Brian Roberts will move from the top of the O’s lineup to the bottom to start the season, according to Roch Kubatko’s story.

*ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian has love for 2011 Key Manny Machado.

*Watch 2012 Key Johnny Ruettiger lay out and make a nice grab against the Phillies.

Shake your Keys.

Townsend retires, Urrutia and projecting the Keys’ rotation

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Tyler Townsend, a Key in 2010, ’11 and ’12, retired yesterday.

A Key for the last three seasons, Tyler Townsend retired yesterday. A third-round pick by the Orioles in 2009, the left-handed hitting first baseman produced well when he was on the field, hitting .295 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs in his Keys career.

Injuries, however, plagued Townsend, 24, and his career lasted just four seasons. Townsend’s best season came in 2011, when he  played 67 games for Frederick, batting .317, slugging 24 doubles and 13 homers while driving in 50 RBIs. For his career, he hit .272 with 36 home runs, 64 doubles and 158 RBIs.

MASN’s Steve Melewski wrote a short story about Townsend retiring, which you can read here.

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Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia could start the 2013 season in Frederick.

*The plan when the Orioles signed Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia was to have him start the season in double-A Bowie and then quickly make his way to the majors. But visa issues delayed his arrival at spring training, which came on Feb. 28, and reports are that he may start his American baseball career at a lower level — Frederick or low-A Delmarva.

Urrutia, 26, defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic in 2011, but hasn’t been able to play since 2010, when Cuba suspended him from baseball for attempting to defect. This Baltimore Sun article written by Dan Connolly gives some good background on Urrutia and how he ended up with the O’s.

O’s director of player development Brian Graham told Melewski that Urrutia could start with the Keys or the Shorebirds in this story.

*In another Melewski story, Graham said the O’s could employ six-man rotations with some of their minor league clubs. Given that possibility, let’s try and project the Keys 2013 rotation come opening night.

Potential Keys starters include Eduardo Rodriguez, Branden Kline, Tim Berry, Parker Bridwell, Zach Davies, Tyler Wilson, Miguel Chalas, Trent Howard and Devin Jones.

2012 Delmarva Shorebirds Rodriguez and Bridwell, though both young, seem fairly certain to move up to Frederick this season. Kline, a Frederick native, pitched briefly for short-season-A Aberdeen last season after being drafted out of Virginia and seems like a prime candidate to start the season in his hometown, though he could start the year as a Shorebird.

Berry, Wilson, Howard and Jones all pitched for Frederick last season and all could move up to Bowie. Davies is just 20 years old, but pitched in Delmarva all of last season, his first as a professional, and performed pretty well. Chalas has a little more professional baseball experience, but is also just 20 years old.

My guess for the Keys’ rotation on opening day, in no particular order:

  • Rodriguez
  • Kline
  • Berry
  • Bridwell
  • Howard
  • Davies

Who do you think will wind up in the rotation this season?

*KeysFest is Saturday at 11 a.m. Single-game tickets go on sale at the event at Harry Grove Stadium, which is free. The Tots2Tweens.com Egg Hunt will be held during the event and there will also be free food samples. More info here.

Shake your Keys.

Remembering Welty’s 2010 season

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A Key in 2010 and 2012, Ronnie Welty was traded to Philadelphia over the weekend.

In 2010, Keys outfielder Ronnie Welty finished among Carolina League leaders in home runs, RBIs, hits, extra-base hits, slugging percentage, runs and total bases. His 32 doubles, 86 runs and 142 hits that year all rank in the top six in Keys single-season records.

Sunday, word came down that Welty, who spent the majority of 2012 in double-A Bowie, had been traded to the Phillies for minor league pitcher Julio Rodriguez. To give Welty a proper send-off, let’s briefly revisit his 2010 season.

In 130 games, Welty hit .282, homered 18 times, drove in 82 runs, stole 11 bases and struck out a whopping 159 times. He led the Keys in hits, runs, doubles, triples (3), extra-base hits (53), homers, RBIs, total bases (234), strikeouts, slugging (.814) and OPS (.814). The Keys’ everyday right fielder finished fifth in the Carolina League in hits, extra-base hits, total bases, slugging percentage and games played (130), fourth in homers, third in RBI and second in runs. He also dubiously led the league in strikeouts.

From June 24 to July 9, Welty put together a 14-game hit streak, during which he batted .410, racked up 25 hits and drove in 12 runs. He also had a streak of 15 consecutive away games in which he reached base, hitting .385 over that span. Welty was named a mid-season and postseason Carolina League All-Star.

Welty played 13 games in Frederick last season and hit .415 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. For his Keys career, Welty hit .294 with 21 home runs, 99 RBIs, 98 runs scored and 169 strikeouts in 143 games.

Rodriguez, who has been optioned to Bowie, went 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA last season for double-A Reading

*Welty’s not the only former Key whose baseball career will not be continuing with the Orioles organization. Among the minor league cuts made at spring training this season are 2012 Key Matt Bywater and independent players Kyle Mertins and Mike Recchia, all three of whom have been or were to be featured in our countdown of potential Keys for 2013.

Here’s Bywater in Part II of the countdown, and Mertins in Part IV. Recchia has been removed from the countdown. Farewell, friends.

*MASN’s Steve Melewski sat down with O’s Director of Player Development Brian Graham. There are some interesting bits of information in here, including how the Orioles will handle their minor league pitchers.

*KeysFest is Saturday. Buy your single-game tickets when the gates open at 11 a.m. More info here.

* The Grove’s looking frosty this morning:

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*11 days until the season starts. Opening Day is almost here.

Shake Your Keys.

O’s Minor League spring training schedule starts today

Orioles minor league players start their spring training games this afternoon at 1 p.m. against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Our man in Florida sent us a picture of the schedule, Sundays, however, did not make the photo.

So until we get a new one, here’s the minor league schedule, Monday-Saturday:

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*Believe it or not, the Keys’ opening day is just 23 days away. And Keyote is getting restless.

*For those of you who like numbers, equations, advanced statistics and things of that nature, it’s worth taking a look at this milb.com article on Minor League park factors and run environments written by Ashley Marshall. Essentially, the article takes a look at how conducive each Minor League park and league is to offense.

Based on Marshall’s findings, Harry Grove Stadium is the most neutral ballpark in the fairly low-scoring Carolina League. Since 2008, the Carolina League has averaged 4.5 runs per game, which ranks 15th among 21 leagues. Using the equation listed in the story — ((Runs scored at home + runs allowed at home)/(Home games)) / ((Runs scored on the road + runs allowed on the road)/(Road games)) — Harry Grove Stadium’s park factor based on runs scored is 1.002. A neutral park factor is 1.000, representing “an equal number of runs/homers/hits at home as on the road,” according to the story. Factors over 1.000 favor hitters and factors under 1.000 favor pitchers.

While the Grove is neutral when it comes to runs scored, its home run factor is the highest in the Carolina League at 1.689. Winston-Salem is second at 1.189. While the Grove is favorable to dingers, its overall hit rate is just .967. Read the full article here.

*The Orioles held an intrasquad game at spring training yesterday and filled out the lineups with some minor leaguers. Here’s Roch Kubatko’s notes from the game.

*In case you missed it, we released our 2013 promotional schedule yesterday. A taste: Cowboy Monkeys, Peter Bondra, Tim Kurkjian bobblehead, Man on Fire, 50-cent hot dog night. View the schedule on the Keys’ website.

*KeysFest is March 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Single game tickets go on sale at Keys Fest, which is just 17 days from now. All the info on the fan event, which will host the Tots2Tweens egg hunt and national anthem auditions, is here.

Shake your Keys.

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