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