Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-25-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!!

It’s Christmas in July and what better way to celebrate with some baseball! The Keys begin a three-game homestand tonight, and Branden Kline will be on the mound.

Doug and I have the call on 1450 AM The Source starting at 6:45.

Some game notes are below.

(Almost) Merry Christmas and shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, July 25, 2014 · Game #101 · Home Game #47

Frederick Keys (48-52/16-17) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (50-54/16-18)

RHP Branden Kline (6-4, 3.79) vs. LHP Blair Walters (1-0, 3.00)

CLOSE CALLS: An Edwin Garcia double in the seventh inning proved to be the decisive blow, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored the final three runs on Thursday night to defeat the Frederick Keys 5-4 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. Although the Keys were denied the three-game sweep of the Birds, Frederick was still able to claim a series win as well as a victory in the season-set (by virtue of winning on Wednesday night). In the seventh, the Pelicans benefited from a pair of two-out walks by Jimmy Yacabonis, which set up a chance for Garcia, who slugged a double off the top of the leftfield wall. The Keys were then held scoreless by Pelicans righty Abel De Los Santos over the final two innings.

KNOCKING THE PELICAN OFF ITS PERCH: The Frederick Keys concluded their season-series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Thursday night, and wrapped things up on a high note. Frederick claimed five of the last six meetings, while the Keys claimed the season-series, taking 11 of the 20 encounters for the year. After three straight series against southern competition, the Keys step back into northern play against Lynchburg. The Hillcats hold the upper-hand in the season-series (5-9), but Frederick took the last three-game set down in the Hill City, which included a 17-3 romp on July 5.

WHO NEEDS HOME GAMES?: Frederick’s four-game road winning streak came to an end on Thursday. Still, the club has won each of its last five road series and is tied for the second-best road mark in the CL (29-25). Sharing second with the Keys is Potomac (27-23) while Myrtle Beach holds the best record at 33-17. In contrast, the Keys home 19-27 home record is by far the worst in the circuit, as the Keys are the only CL club which does not have 20 or more wins at home.

JASON, JASON, HE’S OUR MAN!: Jason Esposito had a night to remember on Wednesday, but he also played well on Thursday, going 2-for-4. It was his third mutli-hit contest in his last four nights. On Wednesday, the former Vanderbilt product knocked two home runs in a game for the first time in his career, while he tied his career-high with four RBIs. This season, two members of the Keys have hit two home runs in a game. Former Key, Michael Burgess, was the other one to do it, when he hit a pair of deep flies on July 5 at Lynchburg. Following a rough June where Esposito hit only .205, the 24-year-old is hitting .347 in July with two homers, seven doubles, and 13 RBIs. Thanks to the recent surge, Esposito’s average has climbed to .257, the highest it has been since May 26.

BUNDY EARNS FIRST WIN: After six post-Tommy John surgery starts, Dylan Bundy finally picked up a win in his seventh outing. Working a season-high six frames, the Oklahoma native walked two and struck out one and was highly efficient. With the exception of a 23-pitch fifth, the righty did not throw any more than 12 pitches in an individual inning. Thanks to the strong effort, Bundy earned his first win since August 28, 2012 when he was pitching for Double-A Bowie against Erie. Additionally, it was his longest start since August 20, 2012 when he was with the Baysox. In four starts with the Keys, the 21-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.11 ERA. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

MOVING ON UP!!: Following Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis received word they had been promoted to Double-A Bowie. The duo become the third and fourth members of the Keys to move to Double-A this season, joining Mychal Givens and Mike Yastrzemski. Sammie Starr was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk on June 27 and later transferred to Bowie, while Zane Chavez and Ashur Tolliver opened the year with the Baysox and have shuttled between Advanced-A and Double-A. For Burgess, Monday’s call-up marks a return to Double-A, as the Tampa native spent 2012 with the Cubs Double-A affiliate in Tennessee and 2013 with the Astros Double-A team in Corpus Christi. One of the league’s top offensive threats, Burgess hit .315 over 83 games to go along with 15 homers, 68RBIs, 32 doubles and four triples. At the time of his promotion, Burgess led the league in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage (.579), extra-base hits (51), total bases (186) and intentional walks (four). He was tied for second in home runs and was third in batting average and hits (101). Burgess was named Carolina League Player of the Month for June and CL “Player of the Week” for June 9-15. Meanwhile, Davis gets his first crack at Double-A. A mid-season Carolina League All-Star, the 22-year-old hit .295 over 89 games. He heads to the Eastern League tied for the Carolina League lead in hits (104), while he was second in runs scored and tied for eighth in batting average (.295).

NEWCOMERS: Taking the roster spots of Burgess and Davis are Johnny Ruettiger and Chih-Hsien Chang who both come down from Double-A Bowie. In 61 games with the Baysox this season, Ruettiger was batting .282 with a triple, six doubles and eight stolen bases. No stranger to the Keys, the former Arizona State product hit .246 over 106 games with the orange and black last season, while he stole 43 bases, a career-high, and the seventh-most by a Keys player all-time. Chiang struggled with the Baysox, hitting .219 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. This is the first time that he has been at the Advanced-A level since 2009, when he was a member of the Salem Red Sox. Originally signed by Boston as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2005, the outfielder spent all of 2013 with the Rangers Double-A club in Frisco. There, he hit .263 over 124 games, led the club in doubles (36) and placed second in hits (125). Chiang has also spent time with the Mariners organization, advancing as high as Triple-A Tacoma in 2012.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer saw his 27-game on-base streak end on Sunday night after going 0-for-3. The longest active swing entering Sunday, the Californian failed to reach base for the first time since May 20, when he finished 0-for-3 against Myrtle Beach. Sawyer’s streak wraps up as the second-longest on-base streak in the league this year. Only Salem’s Carson Blair (28) reached in more games. Over the 27 contests, Sawyer hit .259 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 15 walks.

KELLER MAKES DEBUT: On Monday, Jon Keller made his Advanced-A debut. Tossing 2.1 innings, the hard-throwing righty allowed one run on three hits while he struck out five and walked three. Both the five strike outs and the three walks went down as season-highs. Promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva last Thursday, he takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) have joined the club since the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) and Glynn Davis (29) opened the year with the Keys but were promoted in the second-half. 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 Blair Walters makes his second start for the Braves organization after being signed on July 15 from independent baseball. The 24-year-old went six innings to pick up the win on Sunday at Wilmington, as he gave up two runs on six hits, struck out four and walked one. He has made one start against the Keys in his career, when he was with the White Sox organization in 2012. In Winston-Salem, he allowed four runs in six innings and was handed the loss. Walters was selected by the White Sox in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Hawaii, where he went 9-3 with a 5.49 ERA in 50 relief appearances over two seasons. In 2011, his first year of professional baseball, he led the Pioneer League in wins (9-0), ranked fourth in ERA (4.03) and fifth in opponents’ batting average (.257) amd was named Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year. In July of 2012, he was acquired by the Houston Astros from the Chicago White Sox along with RHP Matt Heidenreich and RHP Chris Devenski in exchange for RHP Brett Myers. In March of this year, he was released by the Astros after a combined 7.18 ERA with High-A Lancaster and Triple-A Oklahoma City (one game). He pitched with the Joliet Slammers of the Independent Frontier League this season until the Braves signed him, and had earned an All-Star nod by pitching to a 2.74 ERA in 75 2/3 innings. He allowed just 59 hits and struck out 54. Walters throws a 89-92 mph fastball with good sinking action, a breaking ball with slider/cutter action, and a changeup.

The Keys are Back in Town and……..It’s Christmas Time! (Well Sort of….)

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After a long overnight bus trip, the Keys are back home to take on the Lynchburg Hillcats! It will be a quick three-game series, with the team receiving an off-day on Monday. The Keys are coming off another successful trip to the Grand Strand, where the club took two out of three against the top overall club in the Carolina League this season. Thanks to wins on Tuesday and Wednesday, Frederick was able to claim the season-series (with the Keys taking 11 of the 20 matchups). This season, the Keys are the only team that has a winning record against Myrtle Beach, while the Keys ended the season-set by winning five of the final six matchups.

Jason Esposito was the star of Wednesday night’s game, as he hit two home runs for the first time in his career and tied his career-high with four RBIs. He also became the second member of the Keys to hit a pair of dingers in  a game this year. Michael Burgess also accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg, when the Keys earned a 17-3 win against the Hillcats.

For those that missed it, here is a recap of Esposito’s performance. Following a tough June where the former Commodore hit .205, the 24-year-old is batting .355 in 20 games this month. During that time, he has hit two homers and driven in 13 RBIs. In general, the second-half has been much kinder to Esposito than the first-half. In less than half the games, he has more RBIs (17 vs 14 in first-half) while he is hitting more than 100 points higher than he did before the All-Star break.

While Esposito’s performance was fun to watch, so was Dylan Bundy’s on Tuesday. His fourth Carolina League start was his best yet, as the Oklahoma native picked up his first win since having Tommy John surgery last June. Over six shutout innings he allowed only three hits. He attributed much of the success to a good fastball-changeup combo.

Some other news and notes from this week:

-After strong seasons with the Keys, Glynn Davis and Michael Burgess were both promoted to Double-A Bowie. A Carolina League All-Star, Davis makes his first foray into the Eastern League while Burgess returns to Double-A after spending 2012-13 in the Southern (Tennessee) and Texas (Corpus Christi) Texas Leagues. The Carolina League Player of the Month for June,  Burgess led the league in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage (.579), extra-base hits (51), total bases (186) and intentional walks (four). The full release can be found here.

- Chi-Hsien Chiang and Johnny Ruettiger take the roster spots of Davis and Burgess. Ruettiger returns to Frederick for a third straight season after beginning the year at Bowie. Chiang makes his first tour through Frederick, after also beginning the year with the Baysox. Signed as a free agent during the offseason, Chiang played with the Rangers Double-A affiliate in Frisco last year. He is batting .300 in his first three games with the Keys.

- Brady Wager earned back-to-back wins for just the second time in his career thanks to six innings of two-run (one earned run) baseball on Wednesday. It was also the Arizona native’s third victory in four starts.

- Not once during the roadtrip, but TWICE, the Keys held the Pelicans to just three hits in a game. The three hits rank as the second-fewest allowed by Frederick pitching in a game all year

-Frederick’s newest member of the bullpen, Jon Keller, made his Keys debut on Monday against Winston-Salem. In 2.1 innings, he gave up one run on three hits. He walked three, but struck out five and featured a lively fastball.

Before we move to the upcoming promotions for this homestand, one final note from the road: following batting practice, Keys strength and conditioning coach Chris Cecere and your humble radio announcer engaged each other in a “pitch-off.”

My prediction was that I would hit 74 mph, which I did successfully, however things did not turn out as planned:

77mph from Chris to claim the belt of “Keys pitch-off champion.” A devastating blow, but I’ll get over it….eventually. We’ll be posting Thursday’s pregame interview conducted by Keys hitting coach Torre Tyson with myself and Chris a little bit later to the team’s soundcloud page. Who knows, it may even find its way onto this week’s edition of Keys Corner  (which can be heard on Saturday afternoon from 1-1:30 on 1450 AM The Source).

Alright without further or do…it’s time to take a look at this weekend’s promotions!

Well it may be warm weather, but given that Friday is June 25, we’re going to kick off the homestand with Christmas in July!

There will be a ton of holiday themed events throughout the night, while who knows, maybe Jolly Old Saint Nick will make an early trip down from the North Pole. I mean the sleigh probably needs a test run doesn’t it? We’ll also be getting into the holiday cheer a couple months early by doing a Toys for Tots drive, Everyone who donates one toy will receive a general admission ticket. Some more details can be found here

Saturday is jam-packed full of fun as it is Salute to the Orioles Night. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Nick Markakis bobblehead sponsored by Flying Dog Brewery. Then before the game the Key City Roller Derby will be in town for a pre-game bout. It will take place in the parking lot and will be carnival themed, so there will be plenty to do before the game! For those that haven’t seen the Key City Roller Derby, here is a little bit more about them:

Finally, we’ll close things out with a 4 p.m. Sunday Funday! There will be a pregame catch in the outfield, fans can get autographs before the game, while it is Superhero Night!

Who knows, maybe even this guy will be back since Dylan Bundy is with the Keys again:

Bundy Man

 

If you haven’t guessed, this guy is “Bundy Man.” So come on dressed up as your favorite superhero as the Keys wrap up a quick homestand against the Hillcats.

And there you have it folks! Plenty of great reasons to come out to the Grove this weekend.

See everybody at the ballpark and shake your keys!

Geoff

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-24-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys go for a three-game road sweep of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Thursday night at TicketReturn.com Field. Parker Bridwell takes the mound for the Keys and will be opposed by Birds southpaw Luis Parra.

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

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Thursday, July 24, 2014 · Game #100 · Road Game #54

Frederick Keys (48-51/16-16) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (61-41/17-17)

RHP Parker Bridwell (5-7, 4.08) vs. LHP Luis Parra (7-6, 5.35)

WHO SAYS THESE ARE THE DOG DAYS?: Jason Esposito slugged a pair of home runs, while the trio of Brady Wager, Jesse Beal and Lex Rutledge combined to three-hit Myrtle Beach for the second straight night, as the Frederick Keys scored a 10-2 victory over the Birds at TicketReturn.com Field. The win was the team’s 10th road triumph in its last 11 games away from home, while it allowed the Keys to register their second series win on the Grand Strand this year (the team took two out of three from June 6-8). Esposito gave the Keys a quick lead thanks to a three-run homer off Chad James in the top of the first. Frederick would score multiple runs in three different innings, highlighted by a four-run sixth, where the team benefited from three walks, two-hit by pitches, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Lucas Herbst. On the mound, Wager gave up only one earned run (two total) over six stanzas to garner his third win in four starts.

JASON, JASON, HE’S OUR MAN!: Jason Esposito had a night to remember on Wednesday. Ending the night 2-for-4, the former Vanderbilt product knocked two home runs in a game for the first time in his career, while he tied his career-high with four RBIs. This season, two members of the Keys have hit two home runs in a game. Former Key, Michael Burgess, was the other one to do it, when he hit a pair of deep flies on July 5 at Lynchburg. Following a rough June where Esposito hit only .205, the 24-year-old is hitting .347 in July with two homers, seven doubles, and 13 RBIs. Thanks to the recent surge, Esposito’s average has climbed to .254, the highest it has been since May 27.

PITCHING REIGNS SUPREME: One night after Dylan Bundy tossed six shutout innings, Brady Wager followed things up with a strong outing of his own. Tossing six innings of two-run baseball, the Arizona native registered his second win in as many starts, only the second time he has done that in his career. In four July starts, Wager is now 3-0 with a 4.15 ERA. Meanwhile, Jesse Beal and Lex Rutledge allowed only one combined hit through three innings of relief, giving the Keys their second three-hitter in as many nights. The two three-hit performances are tied for the second-fewest knocks allowed by Keys pitching in a game this year. Following an up-and-down June for the pitching staff, Keys arms have tallied a 3.74 ERA in July. During that time, the bullpen has been excellent, recording a 2.38 mark over 72 innings.

WHO NEEDS HOME GAMES?: Frederick’s run of road dominance continued on Wednesday night. Thanks to a 10-2 victory, the Keys picked up their 29th road win of the year, the second-most in the Carolina League. The club’s 29-24 road record is the second-best in the Carolina League (only Myrtle Beach has done better at 33-17) while the club has won each of its last five road series. In contrast, the Keys home 19-27 home record is by far the worst in the circuit, as the Keys are the only CL club which does not have 20 or more wins at home.

BUNDY EARNS FIRST WIN: After six post-Tommy John surgery starts, Dylan Bundy finally picked up a win in his seventh outing. Working a season-high six frames, the Oklahoma native walked two and struck out one and was highly efficient. With the exception of a 23-pitch fifth, the righty did not throw any more than 12 pitches in an individual inning. Thanks to the strong effort, Bundy earned his first win since August 28, 2012 when he was pitching for Double-A Bowie against Erie. Additionally, it was his longest start since August 20, 2012 when he was with the Baysox. In four starts with the Keys, the 21-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.11 ERA. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

MOVING ON UP!!: Following Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis received word they had been promoted to Double-A Bowie. The duo become the third and fourth members of the Keys to move to Double-A this season, joining Mychal Givens and Mike Yastrzemski. Sammie Starr was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk on June 27 and later transferred to Bowie, while Zane Chavez and Ashur Tolliver opened the year with the Baysox and have shuttled between Advanced-A and Double-A. For Burgess, Monday’s call-up marks a return to Double-A, as the Tampa native spent 2012 with the Cubs Double-A affiliate in Tennessee and 2013 with the Astros Double-A team in Corpus Christi. One of the league’s top offensive threats, Burgess hit .315 over 83 games to go along with 15 homers, 68RBIs, 32 doubles and four triples. At the time of his promotion, Burgess led the league in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage (.579), extra-base hits (51), total bases (186) and intentional walks (four). He was tied for second in home runs and was third in batting average and hits (101). Burgess was named Carolina League Player of the Month for June and CL “Player of the Week” for June 9-15. Meanwhile, Davis gets his first crack at Double-A. A mid-season Carolina League All-Star, the 22-year-old hit .295 over 89 games. He heads to the Eastern League tied for the Carolina League lead in hits (104), while he was second in runs scored and tied for eighth in batting average (.295).

NEWCOMERS: Taking the roster spots of Burgess and Davis are Johnny Ruettiger and Chih-Hsien Chang who both come down from Double-A Bowie. In 61 games with the Baysox this season, Ruettiger was batting .282 with a triple, six doubles and eight stolen bases. No stranger to the Keys, the former Arizona State product hit .246 over 106 games with the orange and black last season, while he stole 43 bases, a career-high, and the seventh-most by a Keys player all-time. Chiang struggled with the Baysox, hitting .219 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. This is the first time that he has been at the Advanced-A level since 2009, when he was a member of the Salem Red Sox. Originally signed by Boston as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2005, the outfielder spent all of 2013 with the Rangers Double-A club in Frisco. There, he hit .263 over 124 games, led the club in doubles (36) and placed second in hits (125). Chiang has also spent time with the Mariners organization, advancing as high as Triple-A Tacoma in 2012.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer saw his 27-game on-base streak end on Sunday night after going 0-for-3. The longest active swing entering Sunday, the Californian failed to reach base for the first time since May 20, when he finished 0-for-3 against Myrtle Beach. Sawyer’s streak wraps up as the second-longest on-base streak in the league this year. Only Salem’s Carson Blair (28) reached in more games. Over the 27 contests, Sawyer hit .259 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 15 walks.

KELLER MAKES DEBUT: On Monday, Jon Keller made his Advanced-A debut. Tossing 2.1 innings, the hard-throwing righty allowed one run on three hits while he struck out five and walked three. Both the five strike outs and the three walks went down as season-highs. Promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva last Thursday, he takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) have joined the club since the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) and Glynn Davis (29) opened the year with the Keys but were promoted in the second-half. 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 Luis Parra makes his 20th appearance of the year and his 18th start of the season on Thursday. Parra last pitched on Saturday against Carolina and is coming off the worst start of his career. Over 4.1 innings, he allowed 11 runs on 10 hits while giving up three home runs. He walked three and struck out two. The 11 runs, 10 hits and three homers were all career-worsts for Parra, who saw his ERA spike from 4.60 to 5.35. In July, Parra’s ERA is 9.78, while he leads the league in home runs allowed (13) and earned runs allowed (63). In four starts against the Keys this season, Parra is 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA, though one of his best outings came against Frederick on June 7, when he tossed eight shutout innings of three-hit baseball. He received a no-decision though, as the Pelicans fell 1-0. Parra opened the season in a piggybacking role with fellow lefty Andrew Faulkner. As a starter, Para is 6-6 with a 5.49 ERA (100.0IP/61ER) and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA as a reliever (6IP/2ER). The 22-year-old split 2013 between Myrtle Beach and Low-A Hickory. In 20 games (all starts) Parra went a combined 5-6 with a 2.68 ERA, while he went 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA as a member of the Pelicans and delivered a quality start in three of his five outings with the Birds. He received a promotion to Advanced-A on August 6. With Low-A Hickory, Parra collaborated with Ryan Bores, Keone Kella and Alex Claudio on a seven-inning no-hitter, the Crawdads first in four seasons. Parra was the starting pitcher, working three no-hit innings. The no-no came against Low-A Delmarva, and came on the heels of a C.J. Edwards complete game one-hitter. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, Para hails from Altamira, Dominican Republic, the same hometown as Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-23-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The orange and black try for a series win on the Grand Strand on Wednesday night after a 4-0 shutout win an evening ago, where Dylan Bundy was able to pick up his first win of the year.

Brady Wager gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by lefty Chad James.

The broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source starting at 6:50 with the play-by-play getting underway at 7:05 p.m.

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

Geoff

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 · Game #99 · Road Game #53

Frederick Keys (47-51/15-16) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (61-40/17-16)

RHP Brady Wager (4-7, 5.86) vs. LHP Chad James (1-0, 0.00)

BIG, BAD, BUNDY: Dylan Bundy tossed six innings of three-hit baseball, while the Frederick Keys scored in each of their final four trips to bat to shutout the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4-0 on Tuesday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. Coming off a rocky outing where he allowed a career-high six runs, Bundy was in control from the start, facing the minimum over the first three innings. The three hits he surrendered were all singles, while he allowed only five total baserunners through six innings. Victor Payano was also very good, as the Pelicans starter held the orange and black to only four hits, but one bad pitch proved costly. Facing Trey Mancini with one out in the sixth, Payano gave up a long home run to the former Notre Dame star, which cleared the stands in leftfield. Chih-Hsien Chang also added a homer off Jose Leclerc in the eighth. Frederick plated individual markers in the seventh and ninth innings as well, as Matt Hobgood tossed three hitless innings to earn his fourth save.

LONG TIME COMING: After six post-Tommy John surgery starts, Dylan Bundy finally picked up a win in his seventh outing. Working a season-high six frames, the Oklahoma native walked two and struck out one and was highly efficient. With the exception of a 23-pitch fifth, the righty did not throw any more than 12 pitches in an individual inning. Thanks to the strong effort, Bundy earned his first win since August 28, 2012 when he was pitching for Double-A Bowie against Erie. Additionally, it was his longest start since August 20, 2012 when he was with the Baysox. In four starts with the Keys, the 21-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.11 ERA. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

FIRING BLANKS IN STYLE: Tuesday was the Keys seventh shutout win of the season, and marked the third time that Frederick had blanked the Pelicans on the Grand Strand. The Keys have won four straight against the Birds. The orange and black also pitched shutouts on June 6-7, winning 6-0 and 1-0 respectively. Currently, the Keys have the third-best shutout record in the Carolina League and the third-most shutout wins in the eight-team loop. Only Wilmington (11-3) and Salem (9-4) have fared better. As a cherry on top, the Keys shutout the Birds while handing out only three hits on the night. It was the second-fewest number of knocks the pitching staff had given out all season. On May 13, Frederick held Potomac to only one hit, as Parker Bridwell saw his no-hitter broken up by Tony Renda with one out in the ninth.

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: The Keys garnered wrapped up their first series win at the Grove in the second-half on Monday afternoon. Still, the team’s 3-11 home record is the worst in the Carolina League in the second-half. Wilmington has the next-worse mark (4-7), but the Blue Rocks have played the fewest second-half home games. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from Myrtle Beach to close out the first-half. Overall Frederick is 19-27 in home games, also the worst mark in the Carolina League. Wilmington’s 22 home victories are the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is the tied for the second-best in the league with Potomac (26-22). Only Myrtle Beach (33-17) has fared better in road tilts.

MOVING ON UP!!: Following Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis received word they had been promoted to Double-A Bowie. The duo become the third and fourth members of the Keys to move to Double-A this season, joining Mychal Givens and Mike Yastrzemski. Sammie Starr was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk on June 27 and later transferred to Bowie, while Zane Chavez and Ashur Tolliver opened the year with the Baysox and have shuttled between Advanced-A and Double-A. For Burgess, Monday’s call-up marks a return to Double-A, as the Tampa native spent 2012 with the Cubs Double-A affiliate in Tennessee and 2013 with the Astros Double-A team in Corpus Christi. One of the league’s top offensive threats, Burgess hit .315 over 83 games to go along with 15 homers, 68RBIs, 32 doubles and four triples. At the time of his promotion, Burgess led the league in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage (.579), extra-base hits (51), total bases (186) and intentional walks (four). He was tied for second in home runs and was third in batting average and hits (101). Burgess was named Carolina League Player of the Month for June and CL “Player of the Week” for June 9-15. Meanwhile, Davis gets his first crack at Double-A. A mid-season Carolina League All-Star, the 22-year-old hit .295 over 89 games. He heads to the Eastern League tied for the Carolina League lead in hits (104), while he was second in runs scored and tied for eighth in batting average (.295).

NEWCOMERS: Taking the roster spots of Burgess and Davis are Johnny Ruettiger and Chih-Hsien Chang who both come down from Double-A Bowie. In 61 games with the Baysox this season, Ruettiger was batting .282 with a triple, six doubles and eight stolen bases. No stranger to the Keys, the former Arizona State product hit .246 over 106 games with the orange and black last season, while he stole 43 bases, a career-high, and the seventh-most by a Keys player all-time. Chiang struggled with the Baysox, hitting .219 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. This is the first time that he has been at the Advanced-A level since 2009, when he was a member of the Salem Red Sox. Originally signed by Boston as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2005, the outfielder spent all of 2013 with the Rangers Double-A club in Frisco. There, he hit .263 over 124 games, led the club in doubles (36) and placed second in hits (125). Chiang has also spent time with the Mariners organization, advancing as high as Triple-A Tacoma in 2012.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer saw his 27-game on-base streak end on Sunday night after going 0-for-3. The longest active swing entering Sunday, the Californian failed to reach base for the first time since May 20, when he finished 0-for-3 against Myrtle Beach. Sawyer’s streak wraps up as the second-longest on-base streak in the league this year. Only Salem’s Carson Blair (28) reached in more games. Over the 27 contests, Sawyer hit .259 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 15 walks.

KELLER MAKES DEBUT: On Monday, Jon Keller made his Advanced-A debut. Tossing 2.1 innings, the hard-throwing righty allowed one run on three hits while he struck out five and walked three. Both the five strike outs and the three walks went down as season-highs. Promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva last Thursday, he takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

FORMER KEYS UPDATE: Despite joining Bowie after Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis have already played a pair of games. Following an afternoon showdown against Harrisburg, Burgess is 1-for-8 with a double and Davis is 3-for-7 with an RBI. Since being promoted to Double-A Bowie, Mike Yastrzemski has fared well with his new team. Over his first seven games in a Baysox uniform, the former Vanderbilt Commodore is batting .333 with a triple and a double. An individual who made his presence felt right away, Yastrzemski went 4-for-5 in his first game on July 17, while the following night he spoiled a no-hit bid by the Altoona Curve’s Adrian Sampson in the ninth inning. A great contributor in 23 games wirh the Keys, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Mychal Givens saw his ERA spike to 4.66 earlier today, after giving up two runs in 0.1 of an inning against Harrisburg (it was 2.89 entering Wednesday’s action). Sammie Starr is hitting .150 through seven games, while 2013 alumnus Tim Berry has performed well. In 19 starts, he is 5-5 with a 3.65 ERA. Named an Eastern League All-Star, Berry turned in his best outing of the year on Sunday at Altoona, working seven shutout inning of three-hit baseball.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) have joined the club since the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 Chad James makes his second start with the Pelicans on Wednesday night and his second as a member of the Rangers organization. In his Pelicans debut last Friday, James tossed five innings of four-hit baseball, allowing only one unearned run. He walked two, struck out two and hit a batter. Originally the 18th overall pick by the Marlins in 2009, James was signed by the Rangers last Thursday after pitching in independent ball with the Evansville Otters. In his final Frontier League start, James tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against Traverse City, the first in Otters history-he struck out 14 in the start. In total, he made nine starts with Evansville, going 4-2 with a 5.06 ERA. He struck out 67 in 46.1 innings, but walked 37. For a short time, he was teammates with current Winston-Salem starter Terance Marin.  The southpaw began the year in spring training with Miami but was released at the end of camp. Over four seasons with the Fish, James never advanced past High-A, while in 2013 he was sent down to Low-A Greensboro after pitching two years for Jupiter in the Florida State League. Control issues were often the root of James’ problems. Although he was a big league camp invitee in 2011 and 2012, the lefty walked at least three batters or more in all four of his seasons with the Marlins. His best year was his second, where he went 5-15 with a 3.80 ERA, he also registered a 3.1 walk/nine inning ratio, the best of his career. A four-pitch pitcher, James throws a upper-80s to low 90s fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-20-14

Good afternoon Keys fans!

The team takes to the Grove again tonight against the Winston-Salem Dash for the second outing of their three-game series.

The Keys won last night’s series opener 5-3 behind the pitching of righty Branden Kline. Despite Kline’s status as one of the Keys most effective starters, he had yet to record a win at home this season. Kline, who is now 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA this season, pitched six innings, allowing one run off of five hits. He struck out four and did not record a walk.

Michael Burgess got the scoring started for the Keys in the first inning when he doubled in Glynn Davis, who singled earlier in the inning. Jason Esposito batted in Trey Mancini later in the inning to extend the Keys early lead to 2-0. Tucker Nathans hit his first home run of the year in the second inning to give the Keys a 3-0 advantage.

Frederick got three innings of relief from Matt Hobgood and Lex Rutledge. Hobgood pitched innings seven and eight, giving up two unearned runs on four Winston-Salem hits. Rutledge allowed a hit and struck out one in the ninth inning on way to being credited with the save.

Tonight’s Keys starter is RHP Sebastian Vader, who is making only his third appearance with Frederick. Winston Salem sends RHP Tony Bucciferro to the mound looking to even the series at one.

Below are the game notes for tonight’s matchup:

Sunday, July 20, 2014 · Game #96 · Home Game #45

Frederick Keys (45-50/13-15) vs Winston-Salem Dash (44-55/14-16)

RHP Sebastian Vader (1-1, 7.45) vs. RHP Tony Bucciferro (6-9, 4.33)

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!: Branden Kline earned his first home win, tossing six innings of one-run baseball, while the Frederick Keys used some early offense to defeat the Winston-Salem Dash 5-3 on Saturday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was the Keys third straight win, and only the club’s second victory at home in the second-half. Frederick grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, courtesy of a double by Michael Burgess which scored Glynn Davis, and an RBI fielder’s choice by Jason Esposito. Tucker Nathans stretched the lead to a field goal in the second, homering off J.B. Wendelken on the first pitch of the at-bat. That would be all the support Kline needed, as the Frederick native allowed only a pair of two-baggers in the second and five hits on the game. The Keys plated single tallies on a passed ball and an error by shortstop Zach Voight to take a 5-1 lead after six innings, before the Dash followed with a pair of unearned runs off Matt Hobgood. However, Lex Rutledge closed the door in the ninth, to secure a series opening win.

HOMETOWN LOVE: Saturday marked the first Keys home win since July 1, when Frederick earned a 3-0 rain-shortened win against Salem. Only the club’s second win at the Grove in the second-half, the team had dropped 10 of its previous 11 home games. Despite the win last night, Frederick’s 2-10 home record remains the worst in the Carolina League in the second-half. Wilmington has the next-worse mark (3-6), but the Blue Rocks have played the fewest second-half home games. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from Myrtle Beach to close out the first-half. Overall Frederick is 18-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Wilmington’s 22 home victories are the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is tied for the second-best in the league with Potomac (24-21), with only Myrtle Beach (33-17) faring better in road tilts.

THE STARS FINALLY ALIGN: It took nine tries, but Branden Kline finally earned his first home win on Saturday night. The righty has now earned a win in three of his last four starts, while he paces the team with six victories. Saturday’s win was also Kline’s first quality start since the All-Star break, after he allowed three runs on more in each of his four prior outings (2-2, 6.04 ERA). One of the Carolina’s League’s top innings eaters, Kline rates third in the loop in innings pitched (109.1), trailing only Carolina’s Ryan Merritt (118.1) and Winston-Salem’s Tony Bucciferro (114.1).

WINNING THE HIT WAR: Since the Keys were shutout by Potomac’s Austin Voth, Richie Mirowski and Jake Walsh last Friday, the orange and black have outhit their opponent in five of the last six games they have played. Meanwhile, in the other contest on July 16, Frederick equaled its opponents output. Over the six-game stretch, the Keys have outhit Potomac, Salem and Winston-Salem by a 61-53 margin. Although the Keys are just 3-3 during that time, in most cases, the Keys have done very well when they record more hits than their opposition. When the Keys tally more hits their record is 31-10, compared to going 6-32 when being outhit or 8-8 when both sides push. Additionally, when the Keys outhit their counterpart at home, the team’s record is 18-3.

MULTI-HIT MAN: Glynn Davis’ run of hot-hitting continued in the series opener. Going 2-for-4, with a run scored, it was Davis eighth multi-hit effort in his last 11 affairs. In the process, he has seen his batting average climb 16 points (.278 to .294). Over the 11 games, he is batting .396 (19-for-48) with two doubles, two RBIs and 11 runs scored (he has also scored a run in nine of his last 11 games). Trying to rebound after a lackluster June, Davis is batting .345 over 15 games in July after hitting only .220 in 21 tilts the month prior.

HORSES FOR COURSES: Tucker Nathans has beat up Winston-Salem this season, and Saturday night was no exception. Ending 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, the former Fairfield star also clubbed his first home run of 2014, and his first dinger since August 4, 2013 at Myrtle Beach. This season against the Dash, Nathans is batting a team-best .372 with a home run, three doubles, six RBIs and six runs scored. Of his 17 multi-hit games, five have come against Winston-Salem.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 27 games on Friday night thanks to a single in the seventh inning. That is the longest active swing in the Carolina League, and rates as the second-longest overall. Salem’s Carson Blair saw his league-best 28 game jaunt come to an end on Friday. Over the 27 games, Sawyer is batting .259 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 15 walks. On Thursday, Sawyer wrapped up a six-game hitting streak. During that time he hit .348 (8-for-23) with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.

KELLER JOINS THE KEYS: On Friday, Jon Keller was promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva. He takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy struggled in his third rehab start with the Keys on Wednesday. Working four-plus innings, the Oklahoma native allowed a career-high six runs on six hits. In the process, Bundy was tagged with his first loss as a member of the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches for the duration of the season, the former fourth-overall pick has struggled in three outings with the orange and black. In 11.2 innings he has given up 12 runs (9.26 ERA) and has surrendered 15 hits and walked six. Opponents are hitting .326 against Bundy, while he has not completed five innings in any of his Advanced-A outings. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

MOVING ON UP!: Mike Yastrzemski was promoted to Double-A Bowie after a sterling 23-game stretch with the Keys. During that time, he hit .312 with a home run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored. The grandson of Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, the former Vanderbilt Commodore becomes the second Frederick player to advance to Double-A for the first time this season. Mychal Givens was moved up to Bowie on June 21. At his best during the first week of July, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and five RBIs, the Massachusetts native became the first Keys player to hit for the cycle since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did it against Winston-Salem. In a corresponding move, Frederick received Lucas Herbst from Low-A Delmarva.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) have joined the club since the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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: Tony Bucciferro makes his 20th Carolina League start and his fourth against the Keys this season. His most recent outing came on Monday at Carolina. Tagged with his fourth straight loss, the righty allowed six runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings, while he walked a career-high three. A control wizard, Monday’s outing marked only the second time his career that Bucciferro had walked more than one in a pro game. His last three outings have been rough, as he has tallied a 9.60 ERA (15IP/16ER/30H) during that time. As a result, he is tied for the CL lead in defeats with Carolina’s Cole Sulser. When he has been on, Bucciferro has provided plenty of relief to the bullpen though, working 114.1 innings, the second-most in the circuit. If he works four innings today, he will pull into a tie with Ryan Merritt of the Mudcats for the league lead. Last season, Bucciferro split the year between Rookie-Bristol and Low-A Kannapolis, appearing in 16 combined games. A majority of that time came with the Intimidators, where he went 3-5 with a 2.50 ERA over 12 games (12 starts). Armed with laser-like command, Bucciferro struck out a combined 96 batters in 2013 and walked only six over 90.2 innings. He played his first season with Rookie-Bristol, tallying a 2.57 ERA, but only pitched in six games due to a shoulder injury. Selected by Chicago in the 14th round of the 2012 draft, Bucciferro played his college baseball at Michigan State, where he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss. A team captain his senior season, the 24-year-old closed out his career as the Spartans all-time leader in innings pitched (372.1) and starts (55). Twice an All-Big Ten selection, he led the conference in strikeouts as a senior. During his college career he also pitched in the Cape Cod League for the Brewster Whitecaps in 2011, and got to play at Fenway Park during the Cape Cod League All-Star game that season. Not overpowering, Bucciferro throws both a four-seam (89-91 mph) and two-seam (88-90 mph) fastball, a slider (81-84 mph) and a changeup (78-82).

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-19-14

Good afternoon Keys fans!

The team is back in Frederick this evening opening up a three game series against the Winston-Salem Dash. The Keys come in on a two-game winning streak after closing out their road series against the Salem Red Sox. The Dash and the Keys have not met since late June in a rain-delay-dominated series in which Winston-Salem swept Frederick in Harry Grove Stadium.

Dash pitcher Frank Montas, who was expected to pitch in the Futures Game, is out for the season after undergoing right knee surgery.

Branden Kline takes the mound for the Keys tonight and will face off against Dash starter J.B. Wendelken.

The Frederick Keys welcome Duck Dynasty’s own Mountain Man to Harry Grove tonight!

Come on out tonight, enjoy some baseball, meet Mountain Man, and shake your keys!

Below are the game notes for tonight’s game:

Saturday, July 19, 2014 · Game #95 · Home Game #44

Frederick Keys (44-50/12-15) vs Winston-Salem Dash (44-54/14-15)

RHP Branden Kline (5-4, 3.92) vs. RHP J.B. Wendelken (5-7, 5.02)

SALEM SWAN SONG: Parker Bridwell turned in his best road start of the season, while the Frederick bats provided just enough offense to lead the orange and black to a 4-2 win on Friday night at LewisGale Field. The win completed a series victory for the Keys, who wrapped up the road portion of the season series on a high note. Although the game started 58 minutes late due to rain, it did not effect Bridwell, who twirled seven innings of one-run baseball and scattered only four hits. Sox starter Joe Gunkel also put together a quality outing, but the Keys managed individual runs off the righty in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. In the fourth, Frederick loaded up the bases with one out following a fielder’s choice, a single by Jason Esposito and a walk. That loaded the bases for Joel Hutter, who brought home Michael Burgess on a groundout to the left side. One inning later, Glynn Davis came home with the second run after a double, a single by Adrian Marin and a sac-fly by Tucker Nathans. Gunkel was knocked out in the seventh, following an RBI infield single by Marin to make it 3-0. Brenden Webb added a sac-fly in the eighth to complete the scoring. Bridwell pitched into the eighth, and was tagged with a run after exiting. Jesse Beal allowed three singles in the ninth, including an RBI knock by Matty Johnson, but managed to close things out to earn his third save.

BIG DADDY BRIDWELL: For the first time all season, Parker Bridwell posted a quality start on the road. Working into the eighth inning on Friday, Bridwell scattered only four hits over seven frames, in his longest start since June 9. In that outing, the Texan gave up one run over seven innings against the Red Sox. Thanks to the strong start, Bridwell picked up his first win in more than a month, to improve to 5-7 on the year. The five wins are tied for the most on the club with Branden Kline, but the seven defeats also equal the most by a Keys pitcher (Brady Wager has lost seven times as well). In spite of the strange record, Bridwell leads the team in quality starts (nine).

ADRIAN!: Adrian Marin registered his third multi-hit game in four contests on Friday. Finishing 3-for-4, the Miami native tallied his 30th RBI in the seventh via a single off Gunkel. Hitting out of the two-hole for the first time all season, the three hits tied a season-high for Marin, who had recorded three hits on five prior occasions this season. Over the last week, the 20-year-old has seen his average climb 15 points (.234 to .249) and is batting .450 (9-for-20) with a home run, a double, three RBIs and three runs scored in his last five games.

MULTI-HIT MAN: Although Marin’s recent surge has been impressive, Glynn Davis’ run of multi-hit games is even more prolonged. In his last 10 affairs, Davis has recorded two hits or more on seven occasions, while he has moved his batting average up 14 points (.278 to .292) in the process. Over the 10 games, he is batting .386 (17-for-44) with two doubles, two RBIs and 10 runs scored (he has also scored a run in eight of his last 10 games). Trying to rebound after a lackluster June, Davis is batting .333 over 14 games in July after hitting only .220 in 21 tilts the month prior.

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKIN?: Since the start of the second half, the orange and black have claimed only one win in 11 games at home. Wilmington has the next-worse home record in the second-half (3-5), but the Blue Rocks have played the fewest second-half home games in the circuit. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from Myrtle Beach to close out the first-half. Overall Frederick is 17-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Wilmington’s 22 home victories are the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is the second-best in the league, with only Myrtle Beach (33-17) faring better in road tilts.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 27 games on Friday night thanks to a single in the seventh inning. That is the second-longest active swing in the Carolina League, and rates as the second-longest overall. Salem’s Carson Blair has reached in 28 straight, which is the longest streak of its kind this year (it started on May 20). Over the 27 games, Sawyer is batting .259 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 15 walks. On Thursday, Sawyer wrapped up a six-game hitting streak. During that time he hit .348 (8-for-23) with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.

KELLER JOINS THE KEYS: On Friday, Jon Keller was promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva. He takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy struggled in his third rehab start with the Keys on Wednesday. Working four-plus innings, the Oklahoma native allowed a career-high six runs on six hits. In the process, Bundy was tagged with his first loss as a member of the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches for the duration of the season, the former fourth-overall pick has struggled in three outings with the orange and black. In 11.2 innings he has given up 12 runs (9.26 ERA) and has surrendered 15 hits and walked six. Opponents are hitting .326 against Bundy, while he has not completed five innings in any of his Advanced-A outings. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

MOVING ON UP!: Mike Yastrzemski was promoted to Double-A Bowie after a sterling 23-game stretch with the Keys. During that time, he hit .312 with a home run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored. The grandson of Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, the former Vanderbilt Commodore becomes the second Frederick player to advance to Double-A for the first time this season. Mychal Givens was moved up to Bowie on June 21. At his best during the first week of July, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and five RBIs, the Massachusetts native became the first Keys player to hit for the cycle since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did it against Winston-Salem. In a corresponding move, Frederick received Lucas Herbst from Low-A Delmarva.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) have joined the club since the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 J.B. Wendelken makes his 19th start of the season on Saturday and his second against Frederick in 2014. Activated from the disabled list before the game, Wendelken has not pitched since July 8, when he surrendered a season-high nine runs against Myrtle Beach on 10 hits over 3.1 innings. Although he received a no-decision, the second-half has not been kind to the righty, who has registered a 10.07 ERA (19.2 IP/22ER). In contrast, he was 5-6 with a 3.76 ERA over 14 first-half starts. In his lone outing against the Keys on May 9, the righty struck out a career-high 10 but suffered the loss giving up four runs in six innings. Just 21 years old, Wendelken made his Dash debut in 2013. Working exclusively out of the bullpen, he went 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in six games. He also pitched three games for Low-A Kannapolis, going 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA. Originally selected by Boston in the 13th round of the 2012 Draft out of Middle Georgia College, Wendelken was named the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year as a member of the Knights. That season, he went 6-0 with a 0.20 ERA over 21 appearances (0.20). Keys pitcher, Matt Taylor, also pitched for Middle Georgia, but was a member of the team the year before Wendelken arrived. The righty was dealt to the White Sox last July 30 as part of the trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston. In addition to Wendelken, the White Sox received Avisail Garcia, Francellis Montas and Cleuluis Rondon. In 40 games as a member of the Red Sox system, Wendelken went 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA. He throws a 90-93 mph fastball, a curveball (high 70s) and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-18-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys conclude the road portion of their season-series with the Salem Red Sox tonight, when the two clubs meet at LewisGale Field at 7:05 tonight. Parker Bridwell takes the mound for the Keys and will be countered by righty Joe Gunkel, who has been roughed up in each of his two starts against the orange and black.

Doug Raftery has the call tonight starting at 6:50 p.m. on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Some notes are below. Shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, July 18, 2014 · Game #94 · Road Game #51

Frederick Keys (43-50/11-15) vs Salem Red Sox (45-49/12-14)

RHP Parker Bridwell (4-7, 4.27) vs. RHP Joe Gunkel (1-2, 3.81)’

OFF THE SCHNEID: The Frederick Keys ended a four-game losing streak on Thursday night, defeating the Salem Red Sox 5-3 at LewisGale Field. The Keys scored all five of their runs over the first three innings, while the team used outstanding relief pitching from Dennis Torres to shut the door. Glynn Davis came home with the first run in the initial frame, after a single, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and an RBI base knock by Jason Esposito. Frederick stretched its lead to 3-0 one inning later. After Wynston Sawyer earned a one-out walk, Jerome Pena doubled his teammate to third, while a fielder’s choice by Davis brought Sawyer to the plate. Tucker Nathans followed with an RBI single, while a two-run double by Brenden Webb in the third completed the Keys scoring. The Red Sox plated individual runs in the second-fourth stanzas, but would not score in their final five trips to bat. Four of those innings would come against Torres, who scattered only three hits to earn the save.

MY KINDA GUYS!: Thursday’s win was the Keys ninth against the Red Sox this season. Six of those nine triumphs have come at LewisGale Field, a venue where the orange and black have gone 6-3 this season. Additionally, the team has claimed five of the last six it has played at Salem’s Ballpark. At Harry Grove Stadium, the Keys have also done well against their commonwealth foe, earning wins of three of the four games played at the Grove. In 2014, Frederick has fared better against Salem (9-4) than any other Carolina League club.

DENNIS THE MENACE: Dennis Torres turned in another strong performance on Thursday night. Tying his career-high with four innings pitched, the Massachusetts native scattered only three hits and struck out three. Despite a rough introduction to the Carolina League where Torres allowed five earned runs over his first 6.1 innings, the former UMass standout has hit his stride in July. In 11 innings, the righty has given up just one run on nine hits to trim his ERA from 7.11 to 3.12. A pitcher that has relied heavily on groundball outs since joining the club, Torres has posted a 2.67 groundout to airout ratio over his first 17.1 innings.   

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 26 games on Thursday night thanks to a walk in the second inning. That is tied for the second-longest active swing in the Carolina League, and rates as the second-longest active streak. Salem’s Carson Blair has reached in 27 straight, which is the longest streak of its kind this year (it started on May 20). By reaching base last night, Sawyer also surpassed Glynn Davis’ 25-game jaunt which went from May 9-June 6. Over the 26 games, Sawyer is batting .256 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 14 walks. Last night, Sawyer wrapped up a six-game hitting streak. During that time he hit.348 (8-for-23) with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored

KELLER JOINS THE KEYS: On Friday, Jon Keller was promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva. He takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy struggled in his third rehab start with the Keys on Wednesday. Working four-plus innings, the Oklahoma native allowed a career-high six runs on six hits. In the process, Bundy was tagged with his first loss as a member of the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches for the duration of the season, the former fourth-overall pick has struggled in three outings with the orange and black. In 11.2 innings he has given up 12 runs (9.26 ERA) and has surrendered 15 hits and walked six. Opponents are hitting .326 against Bundy, while he has not completed five innings in any of his Advanced-A outings.  Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKIN?:Since the start of the second half, the orange and black have claimed only one win in 11 games at home. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from the Pelicans to close out the first-half. That has dropped the club to 17-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Additionally, Frederick’s 17 home wins is the fewest in the CL, with Wilmington’s 22 victories the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is tied for the second-best in the league with Potomac (23-21). Only Myrtle Beach (32-17) has fared better in road tilts.

MOVING ON UP!: Mike Yastrzemski was promoted to Double-A Bowie on Wednesday after a sterling 23-game stretch with the Keys. During that time, he hit .312 with a home run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored. The grandson of Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, the former Vanderbilt Commodore becomes the second Frederick player to advance to Double-A for the first time this season. Mychal Givens was moved up to Bowie on June 21. At his best during the first week of July, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and five RBIs, the Massachusetts native became the first Keys player to hit for the cycle since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did it against Winston-Salem. In a corresponding move, Frederick received Lucas Herbst from Low-A Delmarva.

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Last Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Friday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (67), extra-base hits (48), total bases (178), slugging percentage (.580) and home run to at-bat ratio (1/20.47), while he is tied for the lead in doubles (29). Additionally, Burgess rates second in homers (15), and fourth in hits (94) and batting average (.310).

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) and Branden Kline (20). Trey Mancini (25) joined the club following the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 sixth start with the Red Sox on Friday and his 23rd overall appearance of the season. His last outing came last Saturday at Wilmington, where the righty tossed 5.2 innings of two-hit baseball and allowed only one unearned run. It was his second-longest outing as a member of the Sox, but he received a no-decision. After tonight’s outing, half of Gunkel’s starts will have come against Frederick. A team that has not treated him kindly, Gunkel is 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA (9 IP/12R/17H) against the orange and black. Promoted after the All-Star break, the righty 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. The ace of the club’s pitching staff, he went 9-0 with a 2.07 ERA over 81 innings and helped lead the Rams to a Division II World Series title. Gunkel was expected to be drafted somewhere between rounds seven-ten, but fell to the 18th round, where Boston scooped him up. Employing a low-three quarters arm slot, he throws a low 90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-17-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try and bounce back after losing the series opener to the Salem Red Sox on Wednesday night against LewisGale Field. To do it, the team will turn to Brady Wager. He will be countered by sinkerballer Pat Light.

Doug Raftery has the call on 1450 AM The Source as well as frederickkeys.com beginning at 6:50 p.m. First pitch is at 7. To tide you over, some game notes are below.

Shake your keys!

Geoff

Wednesday, July 17, 2014 · Game #93 · Road Game #50

Frederick Keys (42-50/10-15) vs Salem Red Sox (45-48/12-13)

RHP Brady Wager (3-7, 5.89) vs. RHP Pat Light (3-4, 5.53)

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: The Frederick Keys battled back from a 6-0 deficit, but a late charge was not enough, as the Salem Red Sox scored an 8-5 win on Wednesday night at LewisGale Field. It was Frederick’s fourth straight loss. Six of the eight Red Sox runs were pinned on Dylan Bundy, who was making his third rehab start with the Keys and his sixth since returning from “Tommy John” surgery last June. The Red Sox grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second, after a single by Carson Blair, a double by Kendrick Perkins and a two-run single by Mario Martinez. Salem added single tallies in the third and fourth, before posting two more in the fifth. Dreily Guerrero led off the inning with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Matty Johnson to end Bundy’s night. Later in the inning, Johnson would steal second and come home on a base hit by Kevin Heller off Jimmy Yacabonis. The Keys cut the Red Sox lead in half in the sixth. After a leadoff walk to Lucas Herbst and a single by Michael Burgess, Brenden Webb doubled both men home, and scored two batters later on a single by Steel Russell. Down 6-3, the orange and black pulled within a run in the eighth thanks to a two-run homer by Adrian Marin, but Frederick would get no closer. With a runner at first, Jerome Pena reached on an infield single, while third baseman Mario Martinez threw the ball away. Trying to score, Russell was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Aneury Tavarez, before the Sox added two more to close things out.

GOING THE WRONG WAY: Following the Keys season-best six-game winning streak, the team has dropped four straight, the club’s second-longest losing streak of the second-half. That team’s longest slide lasted seven games (June 21-27) and went down as the club’s longest downswing of the year. Fortunately, the Keys have fared well against the Red Sox this season. Despite losing to their commonwealth foe on Wednesday, Frederick is 8-4 against Salem, the Keys best head-to-head record against any CL club in 2014. Although the orange and black have more wins against Myrtle Beach (nine), Frederick has lost eight times to the Pelicans.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy struggled in his third rehab start with the Keys on Wednesday. Working four-plus innings, the Oklahoma native allowed a career-high six runs on six hits. In the process, Bundy was tagged with his first loss as a member of the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches for the duration of the season, the former fourth-overall pick has struggled in three outings with the orange and black. In 11.2 innings he has given up 12 runs (9.26 ERA) and has surrendered 15 hits and walked six. Opponents are hitting .326 against Bundy, while he has not completed five innings in any of his Advanced-A outings.  Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Frederick’s struggles in series openers continued on Wednesday. The Keys have dropped the first game in three of the last four sets they have played, while on the year, the Keys are 9-20 in series openers. In 2014, when Frederick loses the first game, the club has lost the series on 12 occasions. Earlier this season, the orange and black lost 10 straight series openers (April 23-May 27).

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKIN?: Since the start of the second half, the orange and black have claimed only one win in 11 games at home. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from the Pelicans to close out the first-half. That has dropped the club to 17-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Additionally, Frederick’s 17 home wins is the fewest in the CL, with Wilmington’s 22 victories the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is tied for the third-best in the league. Only Myrtle Beach (50-42) and Potomac (23-21) have fared better in road tilts.

MOVING ON UP!: Mike Yastrzemski has been promoted to Double-A Bowie after a sterling 23-game stretch with the Keys. During that time, he hit .312 with a home run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored. The grandson of Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, the former Vanderbilt Commodore becomes the second Frederick player to advance to Double-A for the first time this season. Mychal Givens was moved up to Bowie on June 21. At his best during the first week of July, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and five RBIs, the Massachusetts native became the first Keys player to hit for the cycle since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did it against Winston-Salem. In a corresponding move, Frederick received Lucas Herbst from Low-A Delmarva.

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 25 games on Sunday night thanks to a single in the seventh inning. That swing is second-longest active streak in the Carolina League, and is tied for the third-longest by a Carolina Leaguer this year. Salem’s Carson Blair has reached in 26 straight, which is the longest active streak in the circuit, and is tied for the longest in the league this season, along with Carolina’s Joe Sever. Meanwhile, Sawyer is tied with teammate, Glynn Davis, who reached in 25 straight from May 9-June 6. Over the 25 games, Sawyer is batting .263 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 12 walks. Currently on a six-game hitting streak, Sawyer is batting .348 (8-for-23) during that time with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored, while it has raised his average from .196 to .215 the highest it has been since May 5.   

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Last Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Thursday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (67), extra-base hits (48), total bases (176), slugging percentage (.581) and home run to at-bat ratio (1/20.20) and tied for the lead in doubles (29). Additionally, he rates second in homers (15), and fourth in hits (94) and batting average (.310).

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) and Branden Kline (20). Trey Mancini (25) joined the club following the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 Pat Light makes his 15th start of the season and his second against Frederick. He’s most recent outing against the Keys came last Thursday, when he tossed six innings of one-run, six hit baseball. Although he received a no-decision, it was Light’s second straight quality start. Excellent in his last three outings, the Garden State native is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.06 ERA (17IP/2ER).  Light experienced a learning curve in the first-half, going 1-2 with a 5.00 ERA (45 IP/25ER) over nine starts. He made his debut with Salem on April 24, after opening the season with Low-A Greenville. There, he went 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA over three starts. Rated the No. 21 prospect in the Red Sox system entering 2013 by Baseball America, the 23-year-old battled injuries and spent three tours on the disabled list last season. Limited to only 13 games (12 starts), he went a combined 1-4 with a 7.34 ERA between the GCL Red Sox and Greenville. Selected by Boston in the sandwich round (39th overall) of the 2012 draft out of Monmouth University, he signed for $1 million, below the assigned value pick of $1,394, 300. The highest draft pick in school history, he set a Hawks school record with 102 strikeouts as a junior, and led the Northeast Conference in that category. He was also selected by Minnesota in the 29th round of the 2009 draft but did not sign. Light throws a fastball than can reach the mid-90s with heavy sink. He also throws a slider and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-16-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After a pseudo-three game series at home, the Keys head back to a familiar location: Salem, VA. That’s right folks! One last trip to the Roanoke Valley to wrap up the road portion of the regular-season schedule with the Salem Red Sox.

Dylan Bundy gets another crack at the Sox, after he allowed three runs over three-plus innings last Thursday night. Per Buck Showalter’s orders, the Oklahoma native will only throw 75 pitches. Bundy will be countered by Red Sox righty Justin Haley.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m from the Roanoke Valley, and the talented Doug Raftery has got you covered beginning at 6:50.

Some game notes are below.

Shake your keys!

Geoff

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 · Game #92 · Road Game #49

Frederick Keys (42-49/10-14) vs Salem Red Sox (44-48/11-13)

RHP Dylan Bundy (0-0, 7.04) vs. RHP Justin Haley (6-3, 2.73)

RAINED OUT: For the second straight homestand, the Keys had a game rained out. Scheduled to conclude a four-game series with Potomac on Monday night, the Keys and the Nationals never got underway. The two sides will make the game up as part of a doubleheader on August 31, beginning at 4 p.m. The Keys are now scheduled to play two twinbills during their final homestand of the year, as Frederick and Salem are also scheduled to play a pair on August 27.

ON THE WHEEL: The Frederick Keys left 10 on base, while Tony Renda provided the go-ahead RBI single for the Potomac Nationals in the top of the 13th, to hand the Keys a 2-1 extra-inning loss on Sunday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was the club’s third straight loss, and their 10th in 11 games at home. Frederick thought it had grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, Jason Esposito cleared the left field wall, but the ball was ruled foul by home plate umpire Mike Provine. Following a conference between both umpires, the call stood, and Esposito was retired on a flyout to left. He along with coach Shawn Roof were later ejected by base umpire Chase Eade. In the seventh, both sides exchanged single tallies. Following a single by Randolph Oduber, a sac-bunt by Stephen Perez and a fielder’s choice, Justin Miller stroked an RBI single to center. The Keys countered with a double by Adrian Marin, a single by Wynston Sawyer and a sac-fly by Mike Yastrzemski. That’s how things would stay until the 13th, when the Nationals pushed across the game-winning run. With one out Estarlin Martinez doubled, before Renda cranked a single up the middle off Lex Rutledge, Renda’s first hit of the game. Jake Walsh retired the Keys in the ninth to earn his first Carolina League win.     

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKIN?: Since the start of the second half, the orange and black have claimed only one win in 11 games at home. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from the Pelicans to close out the first-half. That has dropped the club to 17-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Additionally, Frederick’s 17 home wins is the fewest in the CL, with Wilmington’s 22 victories the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is tied for the second-best in the league along with Potomac (23-21). Myrtle Beach holds the best road record at 31-16.

MOVING ON UP!: Mike Yastrzemski has been promoted to Double-A Bowie after a sterling 23-game stretch with the Keys. During that time, he hit .312 with a home run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored. The grandson of Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, the former Vanderbilt Commodore becomes the second Frederick player to advance to Double-A for the first time this season. Mychal Givens was moved up to Bowie on June 21. At his best during the first week of July, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and five RBIs, the Massachusetts native became the first Keys player to hit for the cycle since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did it against Winston-Salem. In a corresponding move, Frederick received Lucas Herbst from Low-A Delmarva. Matt Price was also placed on the seven-day DL.

EXTRA TIME:Sunday was Frederick’s 11th extra-inning game of the season, while the 13-inning affair was the longest game (in innings) that the team had played since July 26 of last season, when the Keys defeated the Salem Red Sox 3-2 in 16 innings at Salem Memorial Ballpark. In 2014, all five of Frederick’s extra-inning wins have come on the road, while the team is 0-3 in games stretching past regulation at home. In spite the team’s extra inning struggles at Harry Grove Stadium, the orange and black hold the third-best extra inning record in the Carolina League (5-6). Only Lynchburg (6-1) and Myrtle Beach (4-2) have fared better.

BLACKJACK: Mark Blackmar turned in his fourth quality start on Sunday, while it was statistically his best outing of the season. Over six shutout innings, the right-hander gave up only two hits and one walk while he struck out three. Although he received a no-decision, Blackmar cut his ERA to 3.76, the second-lowest it has been all season. Coming off an outstanding June where he posted a 2.67 ERA (33.2 IP/10R), the Texan has posted a 2.00 ERA in his last three outings (18 IP/4R).

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 25 games on Sunday night thanks to a single in the seventh inning. That swing is tied for the longest active streak in the Carolina League along with Salem’s Carson Blair, who has also reached in 25 straight. The Californian’s streak kicked off on May 21. Over the 25 games, he is batting .265 with one homer and six RBIs, four doubles and 12 walks. Sawyer is also tied with Glynn Davis for the longest on-base streak by a Keys player this season. Davis reached in 25 straight from May 9-June 6. If Sawyer reaches base on Monday, he will tie the longest streak in the CL this year, set by Carolina’s Joe Sever. Currently on a six-game hitting streak, Sawyer is batting .348 (8-for-23) during that time with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored, while it has raised his average from .196 to .215 the highest it has been since May 5.   

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: On Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Wednesday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (67), extra-base hits (48), total bases (175), slugging percentage (.583) and home run to at-bat ratio (1/20.00) and tied for the lead in doubles (29). Additionally, he rates second in homers (15), and fourth in hits (92) and batting average (.310).

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

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) and Branden Kline (20). Trey Mancini (25) joined the club following the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 Justin Haley makes his 18th appearance of the season and his 10th start. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against the Keys. Over six innings, he gave up one run on three hits and struck out six. Despite the strong performance, Haley received a no-decision. This is his fourth appearance against the Keys this year, while he is 1-0 with a 1.47 ERA against the orange and black (18.1 IP/3R/13H/20 SO/BB). A member of the Carolina League All-Star team, Haley is fourth in the CL in ERA (2.73), and fourth in WHIP (1.12) while he is the owner of one of only three shutouts in the circuit this year (Frederick’s Brady Wager also has one). This year, opponents are batting only .237 off Haley, while he has been equally challenging for righties (.230) and lefties (.250). In his first year at Advanced-A, Haley spent all of 2013 at Low-A Greensville. In 26 games (24 starts) with the Drive, he went 7-11 with a 3.68 ERA. There, he held opponents to a .219 batting average, fifth-lowest in the South Atlantic League. Still, walks were a problem at times, as the Californian surrendered 74 in 124.2 frames, third-most in the league. The 22-year-old was selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Fresno State University. There, he was teammates with current Keys reliever Gene Escat. In two years with the Bulldogs, Haley went 8-4 with a 3.08 ERA in over 33 games. In 125.2 total innings, he struck out 122. Haley was also drafted by Cleveland in the 46th round of the 2010 draft out of Sierra College but did not sign. The right-hander throws a low-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-14-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The Keys take to Harry Grove tonight looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Potomac Nationals. The Keys lost last night after Potomac DH Tony Renda’s RBI in the 13th inning drove in RF Estarlin Martinez to give the Nationals the 2-1 victory. The Keys got six scoreless innings out of right-handed starter Mark Blackmar, who allowed only two hits and a walk. Frederick’s lone run came when Mike Yastrzemski hit a sac fly to left field, allowing Adrian Marin to score in the seventh inning.

Right-hander Brady Wager takes the mound for the Keys tonight. Potomac will start righty Brian Rauh.

This is the last home game for the Keys before they hit the road for a series against the Salem Red Sox. The Keys will return to Harry Grove Stadium on Saturday when they open a three-game set against Winston-Salem.

Come on out and shake your keys!

Beloware tonight’s game notes:

Monday, July 14, 2014 · Game #92 · Home Game #44

Frederick Keys (42-49/10-14) vs Potomac Nationals (50-40/12-9)

RHP Brady Wager (3-7, 5.89) vs. RHP Brian Rauh (1-1, 5.22)

ON THE WHEEL: The Frederick Keys left 10 on base, while Tony Renda provided the go-ahead RBI single for the Potomac Nationals in the top of the 13th, to hand the Keys a 2-1 extra-inning loss on Sunday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was the club’s third straight loss, and their 10th in 11 games at home. Frederick thought it had grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, Jason Esposito cleared the left field wall, but the ball was ruled foul by home plate umpire Mike Provine. Following a conference between both umpires, the call stood, and Esposito was retired on a flyout to left. He along with coach Shawn Roof were later ejected by base umpire Chase Eade. In the seventh, both sides exchanged single tallies. Following a single by Randolph Oduber, a sac-bunt by Stephen Perez and a fielder’s choice, Justin Miller stroked an RBI single to center. The Keys countered with a double by Adrian Marin, a single by Wynston Sawyer and a sac-fly by Mike Yastrzemski. That’s how things would stay until the 13th, when the Nationals pushed across the game-winning run. With one out Estarlin Martinez doubled, before Renda cranked a single up the middle off Lex Rutledge, Renda’s first hit of the game. Jake Walsh retired the Keys in the ninth to earn his first Carolina League win.     

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKIN?:Since the start of the second half, the orange and black have claimed only one win in 11 games at home. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from the Pelicans to close out the first-half. That has dropped the club to 17-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Additionally, Frederick’s 17 home wins is the fewest in the CL, with Wilmington’s 22 victories the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is tied for the second-best in the league along with Potomac (23-21). Myrtle Beach holds the best road record at 31-16.

 EXTRA TIME:Sunday was Frederick’s 11th extra-inning game of the season, while the 13-inning affair was the longest game (in innings) that the team had played since July 26 of last season, when the Keys defeated the Salem Red Sox 3-2 in 16 innings at Salem Memorial Ballpark. In 2014, all five of Frederick’s extra-inning wins have come on the road, while the team is 0-3 in games stretching past regulation at home. In spite the team’s extra inning struggles at Harry Grove Stadium, the orange and black hold the third-best extra inning record in the Carolina League (5-6). Only Lynchburg (6-1) and Myrtle Beach (4-2) have fared better.

 BLACKJACK: Mark Blackmar turned in his fourth quality start on Sunday, while it was statistically his best outing of the season. Over six shutout innings, the right-hander gave up only two hits and one walk while he struck out three. Although he received a no-decision, Blackmar cut his ERA to 3.76, the second-lowest it has been all season. Coming off an outstanding June where he posted a 2.67 ERA (33.2 IP/10R), the Texan has posted a 2.00 ERA in his last three outings (18 IP/4R).

 NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 25 games on Sunday night thanks to a single in the seventh inning. That swing is tied for the longest active streak in the Carolina League along with Salem’s Carson Blair, who has also reached in 25 straight. The Californian’s streak kicked off on May 21. Over the 25 games, he is batting .265 with one homer and six RBIs, four doubles and 12 walks. Sawyer is also tied with Glynn Davis for the longest on-base streak by a Keys player this season. Davis reached in 25 straight from May 9-June 6. If Sawyer reaches base on Monday, he will tie the longest streak in the CL this year, set by Carolina’s Joe Sever. Currently on a six-game hitting streak, Sawyer is batting .348 (8-for-23) during that time with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored, while it has raised his average from .196 to .215 the highest it has been since May 5.   

BULL MARKET: Frederick’s offense carried the club during its seven-game roadtrip. Over the trip to Virginia, the club scored 56 runs on 87 hits.  The club finished with 10 or more hits in six of the seven contests, while the Keys finished with 19 knocks in last Saturday’s 17-3 dismantling of the Lynchburg Hillcats at Calvin Falwell Field. Thanks to that impressive display, Frederick is batting .299 as a team over 12 July games, the second-best mark in the Carolina League (Carolina is hitting .301). Mike Yastrzemski has led the way, hitting at .353, while he has driven in 13 runs and scored 13 times in 12 contests.

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: On Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Monday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (67), extra-base hits (48), total bases (175), doubles (29), slugging percentage (.583) and home run to at-bat ratio (1/20.00). Additionally, he rates second in homers (15), and fourth in hits (92) and batting average (.315).

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

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

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 Brian Rauh makes his 10th appearance of the year as well as his sixth start. His last outing came on Thursday during the second game of a doubleheader. Over one inning, Rauh gave up one run on one hit, before the game was suspended after 5.5 innings. His last start came on the road at Myrtle Beach on June 27, when he gave up six runs on seven hits over three stanzas. Rauh made five appearances in April, but was on the disabled list from May 2-June 21 with an undisclosed injury. In nine games this year, opponents are batting .294 against Rauh, while he has struggled as a starter, tallying a 6.53 ERA over five games (compared to a 2.08 mark as a reliever. Rauh split 2013 between Low-A Hagerstown, Double-A Harrisburg and Potomac. In 31 games (12 starts) he went 7-4 with a 4.50 ERA over 106 frames. He went 4-2 with a 4.22 mark over 16 games with the Nationals. Selected by Washington in the 11th round of the 2012 Draft out of Chapman University, Rauh dominated Division III competition in his three years at the school. Going 30-1 with a 1.78 ERA. He throws a fastball (low-90s), a curveball, a slider and a change.

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