Results tagged ‘ Frederick Keys ’

Eduardo Rodriguez’s experience at the California-Carolina League All-Star Game

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Courtesy of @eduardorod5

If there was any doubt about which league was superior this season, that was settled last night.

The Carolina League All-Stars pounded the California League All-Stars 12-2 in San Jose, Keys all-star Eduardo Rodriguez pitching a scoreless second inning, walking one and striking out one. Keys catcher Zane Chavez was in uniform representing Frederick, but couldn’t play due to an oblique strain.

A look at Rodriguez’s all-star experience, from his own twitter account:

*The game story from last night’s Carolina League beatdown.

*And an MiLB photo gallery from the festivities in San Jose.

*The Keys are back in town this weekend, opening up a three-game series with Myrtle Beach at 7 p.m. on Friday. Wrestling legend Sgt. Slaughter will be leading our annual Fredneck Games and there’s a good chance this will happen to one lucky/unlucky person at The Grove:

Get your tickets here and Shake your Keys.

All-Star Break Blog: Rodriguez and Chavez and more O’s draft review

Tonight in San Jose, Keys Zane Chavez and Eduardo Rodriguez will don the Carolina League All-Stars uniform as they take on the California League All-Stars. The oldest and youngest members of the Keys have both posted impressive first halves and were voted to the game by Carolina managers, front offices and members of the media.

The game starts at 10:35 Eastern Time. All your ASG info is here and if you have the MiLB.tv package, you can watch the game here.

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*A closer look at the Eduardo Rodriguez:

  • Tied for second in the Carolina League in wins (6), is third in innings pitched (78.1) and seventh in ERA (2.99). Has induced 10 groundball double plays this season.
  • Rated by Baseball America as the fifth-best prospect in Orioles organization and third-best pitching prospect behind 2012 Keys Dylan Bundy & Kevin Gausman.
  • Potentially could be the first Venezuelan player signed, developed and promoted to the majors by Baltimore. At age 20, Rodriguez is the youngest member of the Keys.
  • Has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his 13 starts.
  • Went 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in May, holding batters to a .208 batting average. He was named Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
  • He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning on May 1 against Myrtle Beach, a game he won after allowing just three hits. Ashley Marshall talked to him after the game. An excerpt:

“This was the best outing of my career,” Rodriguez said. “I felt good today, awesome. I was throwing inside with my fastball and then on the outside corner, and I was working ahead.”

  • Watch Rodriguez fan Myrtle Beach’s Rougned Odor here.

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*A closer look at Zane Chavez:

  • In his first season of affiliated baseball, Chavez, 26, leads all Carolina League catchers in homers (4), RBIs (27), and is second in batting average (.268).
  • He took over as the everyday catcher for the Keys in mid-April, when Michael Ohlman went to the disabled list. In May, he hit .305 in 24 games, driving in 18 runs, walking 20 times and posting an OPS of .889.
  • A slow start to June (1-for-21) got worse when he strained his oblique last week and was placed on the DL. As a result, Chavez won’t play in the all-star game tonight, but he will be in the dugout in uniform.
  • That one hit was a big one, though, a walk-off homer on June 4 to beat Lynchburg in the 10th inning.

On Feb. 1, Chavez finally received what, it seemed, he had been working his entire life for. The Orioles purchased his contract and invited him to spring training in Sarasota, Fla. At last, he was going to get the chance to play for an affiliated team.

“If I was younger, I would have been bouncing off the walls. I got my shot!,” he said. “But I have been playing ball for so long and I’m a little bit older now. So, getting the call was really just the next step in my career.”

The first person Chavez called to share the news was his mother.

“She was ecstatic,” he said. “She took it way better than me. She was at work. I was like, ‘Mom, your

son is an Oriole now.’ She cried. She expressed more emotion than I did.”

  • Listen to a May 18 interview with Chavez below:
  • Watch Chavez go deep in Winston-Salem here and with a mustache here.

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*Orioles draft overview, part two

The O’s picked 41 players in this year’s first-year player draft, 14 high schoolers and 27 college players, a lot of whom will don the Keys jersey in the next several seasons. Jeff Kurkjian looks at Baltimore’s second 10 picks:

  • Austin Wynns, C (Rd. 10, 309th Overall)- He has been known as a blocking machine behind the plate and keeps the runners in check with his arm.  He is a below average hitter but solidly built at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
  • Steven Brault, LHP (Rd. 11, 339th Overall)- Ranked 419th in Baseball America’s Top 500, Brault went 8-3, 2.63 with 103 strikeouts and 18 walks in just 79 innings while playing at Division II, Regis in Colorado.  His fastball sits around 88-90 MPH topping around 92. He also has a nice slider but needs to work on his change-up. Little known fact, Brault is also a vocal performance major so he can not only start a professional baseball game but he can sing the National Anthem before it.
  • Jake Bray, RHP (Rd. 12, 369th Overall)- At Feather River JC, Bray was the first baseman and closer for the team but the scouts see him more as a pitcher. His fastball sits around 92-94 MPH, topping out around 96 MPH. He also has a good change-up and a decent slider. He has always been a bullpen boy but the Orioles system will most likely get him a starting position and see how he does. Bray was ranked 288th in Baseball America’s Top 500.
  • Jimmy Yacabonis, RHP (Rd. 13, 399th Overall)- A junior from St. Joseph’s University, this 6-foot-3 relief pitcher originally from New Jersey broke the school record for saves with ten in one season.  He posted a 1-2 record with a 2.02 ERA in 35.2 innings and 26 appearances.
  • Mike Yastrzemski, OF (Rd. 14, 429th Overall)- Ranked 251st in Baseball America’s Top 500, the grandson of Hall of Famer, Carl Yastrzemski, Mike batted .402 in his senior year at Vanderbilt.  Yastrzemski  is one of the SEC’s top base runners and a very skilled an outfielder.
  • Tyler Walsh, SS (Rd. 15, 459th Overall)- The shortstop from Mater Dei HS in Evansville, Indiana is the first middle infielder the Orioles selected. He has committed to Belmont University in Nashville in November. The 6-foot-5 infielder had played all positions on the diamond and is very versatile.
  • Randolph Gassaway, 1B (Rd.16, 489th Overall)- The 6-foot-four first baseman just graduated from Riverwood High School in Atlanta, Georgia. He was chosen for the Rawlings All Americans and All Regions 2013 Southeast All Region 1st Team. He is a born power hitter and compliments it with his 6.65 time in the sixty.
  • Caleb Kellogg, RHP (Rd. 17, 519th Overall)- This Kentucky native standing at six-feet tall, both pitched and played in the outfield in high school. He then attended University of Louisiana in Lafayette and served as the team’s closers for two years. Opposing batters hit only .202 against him his sophomore year. He pitched 35.2 innings, struck out 41 batters and posted a 2.52 ERA.
  • Reed Reilly, RHP (Rd. 18, 549th Overall)- Ranked 191st in Baseball America’s Top 500, scouts have reported Reilly throwing as high as 95 MPH however he usually throws around 89-93 MPH. His secondary stuff is not that great according to scouts but his size and durability should allow him to learn and improve.
  • Dylan Rheault, RHP (Rd. 19, 579th Overall)- The Central Michigan sophomore broke out after his redshirt freshman year finishing with a 2-2 record with 44 strikeouts.  The 6-foot-9, 245-pound right-hander appeared in 15 games in 2013, starting in four, and was 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA in 40 innings of work.

*When the Keys start the second half of the season Friday night at The Grove against Myrtle Beach, Sgt. Slaughter will be here for our annual Fredneck Night. Get your tickets and get excited. Saturday is Scout Night and Sunday is pajama night.

But back to Sgt. Slaughter (I recommend turning the sound down):

*Shake your Keys.

All-Star Break blog: An overview of Baltimore’s 2013 draft, part one

Happy Carolina League All-Star break, everyone. The Keys start the second half of their season Friday night at home against Myrtle Beach. Over the next four days we’ll get into several different things on the blog — MLB draft overlook, Keys first-half wrap up, best moments of the first-half, maybe some first-half awards — including our intern Jeff Kurkjian’s overview of the Orioles draft picks. (And, yes, he is the son of that baseball-famous Kurkjian.)

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*Orioles draft overview, part one

The O’s picked 41 players in this year’s first-year player draft, 14 high schoolers and 27 college players, a lot of whom will don the Keys jersey in the next several seasons. A look at Baltimore’s first 10 picks:

  • Hunter Harvey, RHP (Rd. 1, 22nd Overall)- The first pick chosen by the Orioles was ranked 33rd according to Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects.  The son of former major league closer, Bryan Harvey, this six-foot-three pitcher from Catawba, NC, has a quick fastball (90-94 mph) but a breaking ball that needs improving.
  • Josh Hart, OF (Rd. 1, 36th Overall)- Ranked 57th according to Baseball America’s Top 500, Hart is known for his ability to find the gaps in the field.  Not much of a power hitter, many scouts do not agree with his lack of lower body in his swing but nonetheless, he could be an excellent leadoff hitter.  The Georgia Tech signee’s speed not only helps on the bases but also defensively in the outfield as well.
  • Chance Sisco, C (Rd. 2, 61st Overall)- This former shortstop is new to catching but seems like it could be the right fit for him.  Sisco has shown a sub-2.0-second pop time though his accuracy was not the best. He was ranked 151st according to Baseball America’s Top 500. His sheer athleticism is shown in his soft hands behind the plate and ability to play in the field as well. This left-handed hitter has power but has a slight tendency to drift at the plate.
  • Stephen Tapley, LHP (Rd. 3, 98th Overall)- Ranked 123rd in Baseball America’s Top 500, Tarpley was drafted in the eighth round by the Cleveland Indians last year but decided to attend Southern Carolina instead.  This lefty has a fastball that tops at 92 mph (usually 88-90 mph) and also throws a curveball, slider and changeup.
  • Jonah Heim, C (Rd. 4, 129th Overall)- Ranked 170th in Baseball America’s Top 500, this six-foot-five catcher Amherst Central High School in New York is a switch hitting power hitter.  He has to work on the quickness of his feet and his approach from the right side of the plate.  He is currently committed to Michigan State.
  • Travis Seabrooke, LHP (Rd. 5, 159th Overall)- This six-foot-five lefty is one of the youngest players in the draft this year; he will be eighteen in September.  His fastball is in the high eighties but needs to work on his secondary pitches. He is committed to Boston College.
  • Alex Murphy, C (Rd. 6, 189th Overall)- Murphy graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, Maryland this year and is committed to Wake Forest. He was born in Monrovia, MD and has grown up a Baltimore Orioles fan. Murphy was drafted as a catcher, but it does not seem like he will stay there for long. He is an experienced third baseman and his speed allows to play anywhere in the outfield as well.
  • Drew Dosch, 3B (Rd. 7, 219th Overall)- Ranked 131st in Baseball America’s Top 500, Dosch played for Youngstown State but shined in the Cape Cod League batting .326 with 21 extra-base hits in 44 games.  He does not seem fit to be able to play third base in majors because he is unable throw from multiple angles. If he moves to LF or 1B, he will need to produce more power from those positions.
  • Trey Mancini, 1B (Rd. 8, 249th Overall)- He simply has raw power in the batter’s box. Mancini, a left-handed first baseman but right-handed batter, has improved his strike zone discipline at Notre Dame but still has below-average speed.  The Orioles are really investing in his bat but and his size, standing set six-foot-five inches and weighing in at 205 pounds. He was ranked 230th in Baseball America’s Top 500.
  • Mitch Horacek, LHP (Rd. 9, 279th Overall)- Unranked in Baseball America’s Top 500, this Dartmouth starter went 6-2, 2.20 with 42 strikeouts and only ten walks in 45 innings. He has a fastball in the low 90′s topping out at 92 with pretty good secondary pitches and has a lot of durability on the mound.

*Believe it or not, we’re halfway through the Carolina League season. The Keys wrapped up their first half with an 9-8 loss to Potomac Sunday afternoon in front a big Father’s day crowd of 7,618 The Grove.

Read what happened here and listen to our highlight of the game below:

Jerome Pena gets his sixth straight hit dating back to Saturday, a 2-run homer

The weekend didn’t treat the Keys particularly well, losing three of four, but it was a great weekend for attendance. The Grove hosted 25,165 folks Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the biggest weekend for the Keys in nine years. Saturday’s crowd of 9,294 was the biggest of the year. The view from center field:

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*It was certainly a crazy weekend at the stadium. You could say things have calmed down today. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look of The Grove on day one of the break in six seconds:

*2008 Key Jake Arrieta’s getting another look with the O’s tonight, starting their game against the Tigers. Here’s a look at Arrieta from the Baltimore Sun.

*When the Keys start the second half of the season Friday night at The Grove against Myrtle Beach, Sgt. Slaughter will be here for our annual Fredneck Night. Get your tickets and get excited.

How does a Slaughter Cannon sound to you?!?!:

Shake your Keys.

Rounding the Bases with Chaz Packan — Christian Walker Q&A

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Frederick Keys first baseman Christian Walker

On Tuesday, June 4 Chaz Packan sat down with Keys first baseman Christian Walker for a “Keys Q & A” for this week’s edition of Rounding the Bases.

CP: How do you feel about playing for the Frederick Keys?

CW: I am pretty happy. We have been playing well, been swinging the bat well, I have been working with (hitting coach Torre) Tyson in the cage. You know, as a first baseman things are expected out of me offensively and I want to help the team anyway I can.

CP: What are your earliest memories of baseball?

CW: I have been playing baseball for as long as I can remember. Throwing and hitting a baseball with my dad, those have to be my earliest memories.

CP: Who did you look up to in the major leagues as your role model?

CW: Scott Rolen was my favorite player having grown up a Phillies fan when he was with the Phillies earlier in his career.

CP: Describe how it felt playing college baseball at South Carolina and winning the College World Series in Omaha.

CW:  It was awesome. Best three years of my life. It was a tough decision coming out of high school, whether I wanted to play in college or sign, but I have no regrets.

—————-

* After a two-day break courtesy of Mother nature, the Keys take on Potomac in a road doubleheader tonight. Frederick trails the P-Nats by two games in the Carolina League North. Potomac gets a boost from its big-league club, who sent them starter Ross Detwiler, making a rehab start in game one. Some game notes:

KEYS GAME ONE STARTER: RHP Brady Wager (Has not pitched)

  • Posted a 2-3 record with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts with Class-A Delmarva before his promotion on June 4, which followed his worst start of the season on May 30: 6.2 IP, 15 H, 8 ER.
  • Prior to his last start with the Shorebirds, Wager had gone 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA and held batters to a .229 average against.
  • Drafted by the Orioles in the ninth round of the 2012 draft out of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.

KEYS GAME TWO STARTER: LHP Trent Howard (3-0, 1.45)

  • Has started two games this season and has not been part of a decision, while posting a 3.86 ERA over a combined seven innings.
  • In relief, has allowed just 2 ER in 24 IP, a 0.75 ERA, and has 26 strikeouts.

NATIONALS GAME ONE STARTER: LHP Ross Detwiler (HNP)

  • Making first rehab start since injuring his right oblique on May 16.
  • Posted 2-4 record, 2.76 ERA in eight starts before injury
  • Is 10-10 with 4.86 in Potomac career; last pitched for P-Nats on rehab in ‘09

NATIONALS GAME TWO STARTER: RHP A.J. Cole (2-2, 4.92)

  • Struck out eight and earned his second win in his last start, June 2 against Lynchburg. He allowed four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings and fanned eight.
  • Rated as the No. 3 prospect in the Oakland organization prior to the 2013 season, according to Baseball America.
  • Originally drafted by the Nationals in the fourth round ’10. One of four traded to Oakland in exchange for Gio Gonzalez prior to the ‘12 season. Returned to Nationals in offseason as part of deal that sent Michael Morse to Seattle.

KEYNOTES:

WHAT’S YOUR WAGER?: With Keys game one starter Brady Wager on the hill, bet on groundballs. With Class-A Delmarva, Wager recorded 3.33 times as many outs by ground as he did by air in nine starts. In addition, he’s only allowed one home run, which came in his last start with Delmarva.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Keys and Nationals will play each other eight times in their final eleven games of the first half, with first place in the North and a playoff berth on the line. The first-place P-Nats, winners of eight in a row and 11 of their last 12, hold a two-game lead on the Keys and a 3.5 game lead on Lynchburg.

OFF TO SAN JOSE: Keys Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and catcher Zane Chavez were named Carolina League All-Stars Friday and will fly to San Jose, Calif., to play in the 2013 California-Carolina All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 18. Rodriguez (6-2, 2.94) leads the Carolina League in innings pitched (70.1), is tied for the league lead in wins and is ninth in ERA. Chavez, a left-handed hitter, leads all catchers in on-base percentage (.384) and walks (30). He’s batting .279 with four homers, a team-high 27 RBIs and a team-high 13 doubles. Rodriguez, 20, is the youngest member of the Keys and Chavez, 26, is the oldest.

Keys go for series win with Berry on the hill

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Keys starter Tim Berry takes the hill for Frederick in Lynchburg tonight.

Tyler Wilson gave his performance of the season for the Keys last night, but Kyle Kubitza spoiled what looked like was going to be the Keys’ third straight win with a walk-off solo homer in the ninth inning. Frederick can still take the series tonight with a win. Tim Berry (2-2, 2.95) starts for the Keys.

*From last night’s game:

READ: The recap here. The box score here. And a story by Kent Zakour of The Gazette on Tommy Winegardner’s j0urney to the pitching mound in Frederick is here.

LISTEN: To last night’s Keys highlight of the game, Johnny Ruettiger’s two-RBI single.

Also, an interview with Keys reliever Zach Fowler.

For tonight’s game:

KEYS STARTER: LHP Tim Berry (2-2, 2.95)

  • Leads starters in ERA, ninth in the Carolina League.
  • Struck out 11 Hillcats on April 17 but allowed four runs in six innings, taking his first loss on the season.
  • Rated by Baseball America as Baltimore’s 11th-best prospect.
  • Drafted in the final (50th) round of the 2009 draft by the Orioles after senior season of high school, during which he threw a no-hitter and then had Tommy John surgery.

LAST APPEARANCE FOR BERRY:

  DATE

OPP

RES

DEC

IP

    H

R

ER

BB

SO

5/11

W-S

L

L

5.2

6

5

0

2

4

HILLCATS STARTER: RHP James Hoyt (2-1, 3.77)

  • Pitching in his 10th game of the season and making his third start; 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA as a starter and 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA as a reliever.
  • Threw six scoreless, no-hit innings in his first start of the season on May 3 against Winston-Salem. Allowed 7 runs in 3.1 innings against Myrtle Beach six days later.
  • Signed by Atlanta as a free agent out of independent leagues where he played two seasons. Pitched in 11 games in the Mexican League after signing.

KEYNOTES:

PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Keys third baseman Nicky Delmonico picked up a hit in the April 18 game at Potomac when he suffered a concussion that forced him to miss three weeks. Since returning Sunday, Delmonico’s pushed his hit streak to five games, extending his streak with a double last night. Just 20 years old, Delmonico has reached base in 14 of the 15 games he’s played and has recorded hits in 13 of them. His longest hitting streak this season was seven games and he’s hit in six consecutive away games.

HOLDING BACK HEFFLINGER: In their first series this season, the Keys held Lynchburg slugger Robby Hefflinger, currently second in the Carolina League in homers (8) and RBI (26), to just one hit in 12 at-bats, an RBI double. He didn’t play in Tuesday’s game and went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts on Wednesday.

PUNCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ORDER: The Keys middle of the order saw a significant change last weekend. Beginning on Sunday afternoon, first baseman Christian Walker took over the No. 3 spot after being promoted from Class-A Delmarva and Nicky Delmonico returned from the disabled list to his fifth-spot in the batting order. Catcher Zane Chavez, among league leaders in batting average, on-base percentage and walks, batted fourth. In their games at the heart of the order, the trio has gone a combined 12-for-48 (.250) with three homers, 10 RBIs and eight doubles.

*Do you Groupon? The Keys do. Check out this deal: two field seats to any Sunday-Thursday home game and a Keys hat for $20. Normally, that would run you $44. Buy it here.

Shake your Keys.

Machado bobbles, a doubleheader, fireworks and Biingo at The Grove

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We’re giving away 1,000 of the Manny Machado bobbleheads today courtesy of BayRunner Shuttle. Gates open at 5 p.m. Get here early if you want this fine-looking bobblehead.

Mother Nature did not cooperate with the Keys’ plans Friday night, washing away Casino Night and postponing the 7 p.m. game against Wilmington.

But, as a result, we’re playing two at The Grove tonight, which will make for one grand Saturday evening at the ballpark. The doubleheader starts at 6 p.m. and gates open at 5 p.m.

For starters, it’s Manny Machado bobblehead giveaway day presented by BayRunner Shuttle.

*Bobblehead giveaway tips:

  • If you want a Manny bobblehead (it looks good, doesn’t it?) get here early. The earlier the better.
  • We’re giving away 1,000 bobbles courtesy of BayRunner Shuttle when the gates open at 5 p.m.
  • It’s first come, first serve and there will be a line.

Once you’ve got your bobblehead, get ready for two games that feature some strong pitching matchups. In game one, Keys pitcher Tim Berry takes on Blue Rocks top-pitching prospect and 2012 first-round pick Kyle Zimmer in game one. A look at the game one matchup:

KEYS GAME ONE STARTER: LHP Tim Berry (2-1, 3.44)

  • Fourth in the Carolina League with 38 strikeouts.
  • Retired first 13 Wilmington batters in April 12 start against Zimmer and Blue Rocks. Fanned eight and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks over six innings in start, receiving a no-decision in the Keys’ 4-3 win.
  • Rated by Baseball America as Baltimore’s 11th-best prospect.
  • Drafted in the final (50th) round of the 2009 draft by the Orioles after senior season of high school, during which he threw a no-hitter and then had Tommy John surgery.

BLUE ROCKS GAME ONE STARTER: RHP Kyle Zimmer (0-2, 4.03)

  • Struck out eight Keys on April 12, allowing an unearned run on two hits and three walks. Enters game coming off a 6.1-inning, one-run start.
  • Leads the Carolina League with 12.41 K/9 ratio; second in strikeouts (40).
  • Rated by Baseball America as Kansas City’s No. 1 prospect. Had surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow in the offseason. When healthy, has registered 99 mph with his fastball.

And game two’s matchup:

KEYS GAME TWO STARTER: LHP Trent Howard (1-0, 0.51)

  • Has allowed just one run in 17.2 innings out the bullpen this season.
  • Went 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA in three starts vs. Blue Rocks last season

BLUE ROCKS GAME TWO STARTER: LHP John Lamb (2-3, 4.88)

  • Had Tommy John surgery in ‘11; prior to injury was KC’s top pitching prospect
  • Rated as Royals No. 11 prospect by Baseball America; 0-2, 8.00 ERA on the road this season

*Before we get underway with the games, The Grove will have a special first pitcher tonight. Noah “Biingo” Gray of “The Biggest Loser” fame will be tossing out a ceremonial first pitch this evening.

Biingo, a 13-year-old from New Windsor, was one of three child participants on the show who wanted to lose weight and get healthier. As part of his journey to a healthier lifestyle, Biingo, who loves baseball, came to Harry Grove Stadium for a workout that aired on the show.

He’s back tonight and he’s fit. Check out his before and after photos on nbc.com.

*And we’re planning for a beefed up fireworks show tonight, seeing as last night’s got rained out.

As of 2 p.m., tickets are still available. But them online at FrederickKeys.com at any time, at 301-815-9939 until 3 p.m., or at the Keys box office at Harry Grove Stadium.

*Want a bobblehead but can’t make tonight’s game? A complimentary bobblehead comes with any Keys ticket plan. We have Dylan Bundy bobbles, too.

*Tonight’s game one lineup:

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Shake your Keys.

Come to The Grove tonight, you could win a suite

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Tim Berry starts for the Keys tonight against Wilmington in what ought to be a game filled with strikeouts. He and Blue Rocks starter Kyle Zimmer are two of the best in the Carolina League when it comes to missing bats.

The Keys open a four-game homestand tonight at 7 p.m. against Wilmington. It’s Casino Night at Harry Grove Stadium, too.

Reasons to come to tonight’s game:

  • Tonight’s pitching matchup – Keys LHP Tim Berry vs. Blue Rocks RHP Kyle Zimmer — has double-digit strikeout potential. Both are top-5 in strikeouts in the Carolina League and Zimmer leads the league in K/9 at 12.41. When these two started opposite one another on April 12, 16 batters walked away with a K after six innings.
  • One fan will win a suite to a future Keys game as part of our Casino Night. We’ll have several special in-game promotions, as well.
  • Zimmer is Kansas City’s top pitching prospect and has been known to throw 99 mph fastballs.
  • The Keys are playing well right now, leading the Northern Division at 18-14 and leading the Carolina League in runs scored.
  • Zane Chavez’s mustache: view it here when he rounds second base after hitting a homer at Winston-Salem.
  • Buy your tickets here, call 301-815-9939 or visit the box office at The Grove.

*Some game notes:

  • WHIFF IT, WHIFF IT GOOD: Tonight’s starters are two of the best strikeout pitchers in the Carolina League. Zimmer leads the league in strikeouts per nine innings, striking out 12.41 batters per nine. Zimmer’s 40 strikeouts are tied for second in the league and Berry’s 38 are fourth.

    FEELIN’ HOT, HOT, HOT: Keys catcher Zane Chavez and second baseman Jerome Pena have been swinging hot bats as of late. Chavez is batting .389 with 13 RBIs in his last nine games, providing some pop in the middle of Frederick’s order. He’s also walked 11 times in the last six games, putting him in second in the Carolina League with 21 free passes on the season. And after a dreadful start to the season, Pena is batting .344 over his last 10 games with two homers and eight RBIs, raising his batting average to .224.

    BORN TO (SCORE) RUN(S): The Keys remain the worst hitting team in the Carolina League by batting average, hitting just .230 as a team, but lead the league in runs scored with 156. Possible explanations for the Keys’ offensive efficiency – they lead the league in walks (156) with 36 more than the teams tied for second and have the second-best OBP in the league (.329). Frederick’s batting .244 with runners in scoring position and have hit 24 homers this season.

*Keys lineup for tonight:

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*Another chance to win a Manny Machado bobblehead on our Facebook page today before we give out 1,000 courtesy of BayRunner Shuttle at the gate at tomorrow’s 6 p.m. game. Keep your eyes peeled for a Manny trivia question on our Facebook timeline. Buy your tickets for Saturday’s game here, call 301-815-9939 or visit the box office at The Grove.

Shake your Keys.

Story for an off day: Rice makes the Majors

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other off day news:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shake your Keys.

Keys in the news

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

From our friends at the Frederick News-Post:

*A breakdown of the Keys roster from Greg Swatek

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

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

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

From some other print/online media outlets:

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

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

*A season preview from blog Baltimore Sports and Life.

And some audio:

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

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

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

Shake your Keys.

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