Results tagged ‘ Parker Bridwell ’

Townsend retires, Urrutia and projecting the Keys’ rotation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shake your Keys.

Five for Friday: Potential Keys, reading for the weekend and other stuff

Buried beneath yesterday’s bosom-filled blog broadcast was a link to the second installment of The Frederick 40 Countdown, a series that takes look at 40 prospects who have the potential to wear a Keys uniform this season.

If you missed it, I understand, given the distracting photo directly above it.

The good news is part two of our countdown is the first of this week’s Five for Friday, a quintuplet of Keys-related information to carry you through the weekend.

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1. Frederick 40 Countdown: Part II – Nowak back for more hacks in 2013?

Among this week’s five potential Keys is Frederick’s 2012 leader in batting average and doubles, Jeremy Nowak (pictured above). Among the highlights of Nowak’s baseball career is his one season at Mount Olive College in North Carolina. Nowak was a one-year D-II monster, hitting .446, racking up 99 hits — including 17 homers — and driving in 81 runs for the Trojans. He started the season with a 35-game hitting streak and left his mark on the Mount Olive record book.

As for the rest of the bunch in part two:

Matt Bywater – A lefty who led the NCAA in complete games in 2010. Also had a strong mustache on picture day last season.

Parker Bridwell - Starred at a high school in Texas with teams nicknamed the Whitefaces. Don’t get offended, a whiteface is another name for the Hereford breed of cattle.

Devin Jones -  One of two Mississippi State athletes with his name during his time in Starkville. The potential 2013 Key played baseball, the other football. The baseball Jones was probably the better Bulldog as far as on-field performance goes.

Joe Oliveira – Named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch list three years while at the University of the Pacific.

By the way, part one of the countdown is here.

2. Some Keys-related reading

*MASN’s Steve Melewski has been all over the former-Keys beat in the last week. Three links to his stories are below, two on Kevin Gausman — O’s first-round pick last year and major pitching prospect — and one on Bobby Bundy — also a pitcher. Gausman had a brief stint with the Keys late in the season. He also came to the O’s Caravan event in Frederick in January. Here are the two Melewski stories on Gausman:

- Searching for a third plus pitch, Kevin Gausman just may have found one

- Kevin Gausman on his innings limit, high expectations and powdered donuts

Bundy, the brother of top-pitching prospect and 2012 Key Dylan Bundy, spent a large chunk of 2011 dominating hitters with the Keys. He’s coming off elbow surgery after a disappointing 2012. Here’s Melewski’s story:

- After surgery, Bobby Bundy looks to recapture the form he showed with Frederick

3. Meet Frank Key all over again

We just added a Frederick Keys video relic to the website. It’s called “Frederick Meets Frank Key” (YouTube link) and it’s worth watching. The comments about Frank Key’s knickers make the video.

4. Newsletter time

The newest Keys newsletter has been published. It is here.

5. Former Frederick Friday Contest

Head over to the Keys Facebook page this afternoon for another edition of our weekly Former Frederick Friday Contest. We post the picture, you guess who it is, if you’re the first to name that Key, your name will be entered into a drawing to win skybox tickets at Harry Grove Stadium this season. We’ll post a brief feature on the this week’s former Key on the blog on Monday.

As always, shake your Keys.

Frederick Flashback: The Kissing Bandit

ImageIn the name of St. Valentine, let’s go back to Harry Grove Stadium in 1991.

Pictured above is former Key Randy Berlin, about to receive a wet one from Morganna the Kissing Bandit.

Morganna Roberts, described in a 2003 Sports Illustrated article as a woman with “measurements like a first-place hockey record, 60-24-39,” is from Louisville, Ky., and by all accounts now — or lackthereof — lives a normal life. But for three decades, the busty Kentuckian became famous for running onto fields, courts and rinks to smooch lucky athletes.

Her first on-field caper came in 1971 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, when she went for a jaunt across the infield to plant a kiss on all-time hits leader Pete Rose. She became a traveling sideshow at major league parks across the country, soon expanding her repertoire to include NBA and NHL arenas and minor league venues. In doing so, she compiled an impressive list of smooch-ees that includes George Brett (1979 All-Star game at the Kingdome in Seattle) Cal Ripken, Jr. (1988 at Camden Yards) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1989 before a Lakers-Rockets game).

So, 20 years after Morganna made her debut with Pete Rose, Sr., she came to Frederick to add Pete Rose, Jr. to her list. She got him, and Berlin’s kiss was just a bonus cherry on top of that romantic evening at the Grove.

The Kissing Bandit, who worked as an exotic dancer when she wasn’t storming fields and rushing athletes lips-first, hung up her kissing lipstick in 2000, according to this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article.

Here’s a Morganna highlight video, which opens with her Baltimore encounter with The Iron Man. A signed Morganna photo dug out of the Keys archives is below. Happy Valentines Day.Image

In non-kissing news:

*Part two of our Frederick 40 Countdown is up on FrederickKeys.com. This week’s five include the 2012 Keys’ leader in batting average and doubles and two highly-touted pitching prospects. Check it out by clicking here or on the link above.

*We’re going to start counting down the top 10 promotions of the upcoming season shortly. Stay tuned for that. What would you like to see at the Grove?

*50 days until opening night in Frederick.

Shake your Keys.

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