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.

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!!

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

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

Some notes are below.

Shake your keys!

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-11-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

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

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

shake your keys!

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Streak is at Six!!

Good Morning Keys Fans!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until tonight, shake your keys!

Geoff

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-8-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

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

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

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-6-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

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

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

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

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Lucas Sims makes his 18th start of the season on Sunday night and his fourth against the Keys. The No.1 overall prospect in the Atlanta Farm system according to Baseball America, the righty’s most recent outing came on Tuesday night, and was the roughest of Sims’ career. Over four innings, he allowed seven runs on nine hits and was tagged with his third loss in four games. That defeat comes on the heels of a seven-inning outing on June 26, where Sims collaborated with Alex Wilson on a no-hitter of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. One night later, Cody Scarpetta and Benito Pruneda did the same. It was believed to be the first time in Carolina League history that a club had thrown back-to-back no-hitters. Sims was at his best in the month of May, going 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA, but struggled mightily in June posting a 6.04 ERA and a 1-2 record over five games. Against the Keys this year, he is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA. Sims leads the league in earned runs allowed (51). Sims comes off a stellar 2013 campaign at Low-A Rome, where he went 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA over 28 games (18 starts). He finished second in the South Atlantic League in wins and ERA, fourth in strikeouts (134) and held opponents to a league-low .203 batting average. For his efforts, the righty was named the Braves Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Only 20 years old (his birthday was on May 10), Sims was on a strict innings limit last year, and pitched out of the bullpen until late May. Selected by Atlanta in the first round (21st overall) of the 2012 draft, the righty signed with the Braves for a reported 1.65 million dollars rather than attend Clemson University. A Braves fan growing up, the Lawrenceville, GA native idolized John Smoltz growing up. Sims features a 93-95 mph fastball, a mid-70s curveball, and a changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-5-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

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

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

Some game notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Wes Parsons make his 16th start of the season and his fourth against the Keys. Rated the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America, the righty is coming off his worst outing of the season on Monday. Facing Myrtle Beach, Parsons allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits over five innings in a no-decision. It was the most runs he had allowed in a game since July 13 at Hagerstown, when he was pitching for Low-A Rome. One of the Hillcats most consistent starters this season, Parsons went 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA during the first-half of the season. A pitcher whose command has been very sharp, the right-hander is fifth in the Carolina league in walk/nine inning ratio, handing out only 1.93 free tickets per game. On the season, he has walked only 19 in 84 frames, and has not given out any more than three walks a game. In three starts against the Keys this year, Parsons is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA, and has allowed only three runs on 11 hits over 13.1 stanzas. The righty made his professional debut with Low-A Rome in 2013, going 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts. Joining the club in late May, the Tennessee native was unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, he tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits in 84.2 innings. Displaying excellent command, he walked only 21 over 109.2 innings. Signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Parsons gave up baseball early in his high school career to focus on golf. By his junior year he returned to the hill and later pitched at Jackson State Community College. There, he missed the fall of his first semester due to a weightlifting accident, but made an immediate impact once the regular season got started. The success carried over to the simmer collegiate Northwoods League, where Parsons pitched for the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Against top-college competition, he posted a 2.61 ERA and tossed a scoreless inning in the league’s All-Star game, where he was clocked at 95 mph. Multiple teams showed interest in Parsons, but he signed with the Braves for a reported $200,000. Employing an easy deliver, the 6-5 Tennessean throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.

 

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-4-14

Happy Fourth Keys Fans!

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

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jarrett Miller makes his 18th appearance for the Hillcats on Friday night and his 17th start of the season. His most recent start came last Sunday against Myrtle Beach. Tossing 5.2 innings, Miller received a no-decision, giving up three runs on eight hits, the second-most knocks the 24-year-old had given up in a game this season. He struck out five and walked one. By coming up one out short of six stanzas, Miller saw his string of three straight quality starts come to a close. Still, the Palmetto State native finished June with a 3.90 ERA, more than a point better than his May ERA (4.96). This is Miller’s second year in the Carolina League, after the righty went 9-8 with a 3.73 ERA over 30 games (25 starts) last season. He finished fifth in the CL in strikeouts (122) and fourth in innings pitched (147.0), but occasionally struggled with command, as he ended third-overall in walks (63). Although his walk/nine inning ratio has improved this season (3.3), in his career, Miller averages 4.1 free tickets per nine innings. The right-hander spent all of 2011-12 with Low-A Rome. Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round out of UNC-Greensboro, Miller went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 games (four starts) as a junior. He is trying to become the first Spartans pitcher to reach the Major Leagues since Brian Moehler, who made his big league debut with Detroit in 1996, and pitched 14 years with the Tigers, Reds, Astros and Marlins. Miller throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curve, a slider and a changeup. He hails from Easley, South Carolina which is the home of the Big League World Series. Big League is a section of Little League for 15-18 males. Easley will host its 14th Big League World Series on July 23.

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

Good Morning Keys Fans!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some additional Keys Nuggets from yesterday:

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

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

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

Bundy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

 

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