Results tagged ‘ minor league baseball ’

2016 Carolina Countdown – Frederick Keys

Believe it or not, the Dash’s season starts in just 16 days! To get you ready, we’ll be previewing every team in the Carolina League. Stay tuned over the next few days as we examine each of the Dash’s seven Carolina League foes. Yesterday, we looked at the Carolina Mudcats. Now stepping to the plate, the Frederick Keys!

Introduction: The Keys were founded in 1989 when their parent team, the Baltimore Orioles, chose to move their Class A-Advanced affiliate from Hagerstown, Maryland. Frederick’s home ballpark, Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium, is located just 50 miles away from Camden Yards. Overall, the team has won four league championships (1990, 2005, 2007, and 2011). The Keys have hit a dry spell lately, though, missing the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.

Last Season: Frederick had a subpar year in 2015, finishing with an identical 32-38 record in the first and second half of the season. Overall, the Keys were eight games back of first-place Lynchburg with a 64-76 record.

Pitching was team’s Achilles heal in 2015. The Keys finished last in the league with a team ERA of 4.32. Relief pitcher Cody Wheeler was the squad’s lone year-end All-Star, leading the CL in saves (17) while posting a 2.79 ERA in 42 outings with Frederick.

One of the bright spots offensively was first baseman Trey Mancini. The Orioles 2015 Minor League Player of the Year smashed a team-high eight home runs in only 52 games for Frederick, before getting called up to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Mancini ended the season with the most home runs (21) among Baltimore’s minor league players, while posting a combined batting line of .341/.375/.563 between the two levels.


First baseman Trey Mancini, an 8th round pick by the O’s in 2013, led Frederick offensively last season. (Photo by

Manager:  Keith Bodie begins his first season at the helm with Frederick and second with the Baltimore Orioles organization. The 59-year old was the hitting coach for Double-A Bowie in 2015. Under his tutelage, the team finished second in the Eastern League in home runs and RBIs. Bodie joined the Orioles organization in 2015, following 16 seasons as a manager and coach with the Houston Astros. His first managerial stint lasted three years with Houston’s Double-A team in Corpus Christi. Bodie was named the Texas League Manager of the Year in 2012. The next year, he helped the team reach a franchise record 83 victories. In 18 years as a minor league skipper, Bodie boasts 10 division titles and a winning percentage of .525 (1223-1108).

He will be joined in the dugout with fellow newcomer Erik Pappas, who begins his first year as a hitting coach for the Keys. Kennie Steenstra returns as the team’s pitching coach.

System: The Baltimore Orioles had a disappointing 2015 campaign at the major league level. After going 96-66 in the regular season and reaching the American League Championship Series in 2014, the team finished 81-81 last season and missed the playoffs entirely.

The front office has been active in building a competitive team for 2016.They re-signed first baseman Chris Davis and added designated hitter Pedro Alvarez and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. They might not look a surefire contender on paper, but there’s a good shot they will finish above .500 for the fifth straight year.

On the minor league level, there isn’t too much to be savored. With farmhands like Manny Machado and Kevin Gausmann thriving in big leagues, the Orioles lack top flight prospects. Overall, Baseball America ranks Baltimore’s farm system as the 27th best in baseball.

According to, the O’s only top-100 prospect is Hunter Harvey (no. 85). The right-hander went 7-6, with a 2.87 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 113 innings combined between the 2013 and 2014 seasons. But after pitching in the 2014 Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game, the North Carolina native was shut down for the rest of the year due to a right elbow strain. He returned to pitch in spring training the following season, but fractured his fibula on a comebacker during a minor league exhibition game. To make matters worse, Harvey re-injured his right elbow while rehabbing and had to miss the entire 2015 season.

The results from spring training this year have been mixed, but Harvey says he feels healthy. Barring injury, expect him to pitch for Frederick at some point this season.

Best Promotion: As a young adult, nothing makes me more nostalgic than 1990’s cartoons.

For the second straight season, Frederick is partnering up with Nickelodeon for one of their promotional events. On June 17, the team will wear Hey Arnold-designed jersey and pants. There will also be a variety of fun games and videos throughout the night. Last year, the Keys earned some national praise for their specialized Chucky Finster-themed uniforms (that’s a Rugrats character for all you older folk).


The Keys rocked these Rugrats-themed jerseys last July. Staying with the Nickelodeon theme, Frederick will wear a Hey Arnold-themed jersey on June 17.  (Photo via Frederick Keys)

Fun Fact: The franchise is named after Star Spangled Banner poet Francis Scott Key. He was a native of Frederick County and is buried in the Mount Oliver Cemetery located across the street from Harry Grove Stadium. Right before the 2011 season, the team introduced a brand new mascot, Frank Key, to work along their longtime mascot, Keyote.

Keys in Winston-Salem: The Keys make their first visit to BB&T Ballpark for a three-game series from May 24-26. The Dash will also host Frederick from July 25-27 and August 4-6.

Enjoy the rest of your day! Tomorrow, we will continue in the Northern Division with the Lynchburg Hillcats.


Dash Top 10 – #6: Danish tosses six no-hit innings

The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.

Previous moments:
#10 – Shortest MiLB game in 2014
#9 – DeMichele’s five-hit, five-run effort
#8 – Buckner’s controversial walk-off blast
#7 – Narvaez’s two-homer Dash debut

Moment #6 – August 9
Danish holds Hillcats hitless over six sensational innings

Tyler Danish posted some tremendous starts, but his best came in August at Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Tyler Danish posted some fantastic starts, but his best came in August against Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

The Dash turned in some tremendous pitching performances this season, but no hurler was as consistently dominant as right-hander Tyler Danish. In his 25 starts between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis, the 19-year-old finished 2014 with a 2.08 earned run average, which was eighth-lowest among full-season Minor League qualifiers.

Within the top 15 in that category, Danish was not only the youngest of the group. He was at least a full year younger than everyone else. Few pitchers enjoyed more success than Danish, no matter the age.

Many of his outings down the stretch were stellar, but one stands above the rest. The Dash began their first road trip of August in sole possession of first place in the Southern Division’s second half standings, with Danish winning the final game of the previous homestand.

However, Winston-Salem dropped the first four of this six-game swing to Potomac and Lynchburg. The Dash’s playoff hopes were dwindling, and the club desperately needed a momentum shift. Danish did everything he could to offer exactly that.

The former second-round pick, who became Winston’s ace after the All-Star break, buzzed through six no-hit innings. After a long fly out by Will Skinner to end the first, Lynchburg never mustered a hard-hit ball against Danish, let alone a knock.

Because of Danish’s youth, the White Sox put him on a six-inning limit during the final two months of the season, which is why he did not have a chance to continue his no-hit bid. Danish still accomplished his personal goal.

“Around the fourth or fifth inning, I looked up there and saw that I had no hits,” Danish said. “I knew I could only go six, so that was my goal–go six and give up no hits.”

Unfortunately, Danish’s departure doomed the Dash on that night. Lynchburg rallied with back-to-back two-run frames en route to a 4-1 win over Winston-Salem. It was one of the more deflating losses of the 2014 season, but a big reason for that was because Danish was so dominant.

The Dash could not come up with a big hit in this contest, but one of the biggest hits of the 2014 season is up next on our Dash Top 10. Hope you can join us for #5 on Thursday!

– Brian

Dash Top 10 – #10: Jaye, Dash sprint past P-Nats

The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.

Moment #10 – May 28
Jaye, Dash win MiLB’s shortest nine-inning game

Myles Jaye led the charge in the Minors' fastest game in 2014 (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Myles Jaye led the charge in the Minors’ fastest game in 2014 (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

“Wait, the game is already over?”

Many fans asked that question in the moments after the Dash’s 4-0 win over Potomac on May 28. Somehow, the Dash and P-Nats completed nine innings of baseball in one hour and 48 minutes.

108 minutes?!? That’s one half-inning every 6.4 minutes. One out every 2.1 minutes. One plate appearance every 1.7 minutes.

It was the shortest nine-inning game in the Carolina League since July of 2011, and it proved to be the quickest nine-inning game in the Minor Leagues in 2014.

The closest competitor in full-season Minor League Baseball took place on the regular season’s last day–Augusta’s 2-0 win over Charleston on September 1 in 1:54. There was a 1:51 time of game posted in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Still, Winston and Potomac proved to be the shortest at 1:48.

The main reason for this statistical anomaly was Winston-Salem starter Myles Jaye. He became the fourth pitcher in the Dash era (2009-present) to post a nine-inning complete game shutout.

Jaye needed only 92 pitches to cruise through those nine innings, during which the 2014 Mills Cup champions could only muster four hits.

Offensively, the Dash did most of their damage in the first inning with three runs. From there, pitching took over the contest, which featured only 13 base runners.

The game was over so quickly that the Dash kept certain areas of the ballpark open for as long as 30 minutes after the final pitch. Occasionally, the upper bound of baseball game times are challenged, but rarely do you see a game that challenges the lower limits.

BB&T Ballpark may never see a game quite like the one on that crazy-quick Wednesday night in the Triad. For this reason, along with Jaye’s fantastic effort, it begins our countdown of the Top 10 moments in 2014.

Stay tuned for our ninth-best moment of this season, which involves the number five. We’ll talk to you Friday.

– Brian

Unlucky 15 for Dash, Keys

Trends are an important part of baseball. Managers and coaches rely on them to set up strategy, while players use them to determine their approach on the mound, in the field or at the plate.

Generally speaking, weather can be extremely unpredictable. Forecasts can change from hour-to-hour, giving meteorologists nightmares whenever their predictions are wrong. But a trend has even emerged among Mother Nature during this baseball season: the Winston-Salem Dash and Frederick Keys will have their game postponed if it is scheduled on the 15th of the month at BB&T Ballpark.

Tarp covers the field at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday, May 15.

Tarp covers the field at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday, May 15.

On Tuesday, April 15, the Dash and Keys were slated to begin a three-game series in the Triad, but rain disrupted those plans, causing a doubleheader for that Wednesday. It was the first of three times in April where weather altered Winston-Salem’s schedule.

Fast-forward to Thursday, May 15, with the Dash and Keys set to begin a four-game series at BB&T Ballpark. Once again, Mother Nature got in the way, leading to this evening’s doubleheader.

It’s purely coincidence that Frederick was the scheduled opponent on both occasions, and that both postponements were on the 15th of the month. Still, we couldn’t help but look at the remaining schedule to see if the Dash and Keys will play on the 15th during the rest of the season.

Thankfully, they don’t. All of the remaining series with Frederick occur after the All-Star Break: June 25-27 and July 19-21 in Maryland, as well as July 29-31 at BB&T Ballpark.

Even with something as volatile and unpredictable as weather, baseball has a strange and fascinating way of producing trends. Remember last year when we discovered the key to quick baseball games? Simply offer all-you-can-eat food!

Since it’s the 16th of the month, the Dash and Keys will be able to play baseball. Two games, in fact. Stay tuned later for a preview of Friday’s doubleheader.

– Dave

Finally, some bonus baseball

For the first time this season, the Dash spent some extra time in the dugout on Wednesday afternoon (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

For the first time this season, the Dash spent some extra time in the dugout on Wednesday afternoon (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

If you are a fan of free baseball, then the Winston-Salem Dash are not for you. For the second time in three years, Dash fans had to wait a long time for the club’s first extra-inning affair.

In fact, both Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach had not needed more than nine innings in a game until Wednesday’s rubber match. Entering Wednesday’s action, the Dash and Pelicans were two of the seven teams among the 120 in full-season Minor League Baseball without an extra-inning game on their résumé thus far in 2014.

Only five teams remain in the chase for the longest wait before an extra-inning contest:

– Erie SeaWolves (Double-A, Detroit)
– Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A, St. Louis)
– Modesto Nuts (High-A, Colorado)
– West Virginia Power (Low-A, Pittsburgh)
– Wilmington Blue Rocks (High-A, Kansas City)

For comparison’s sake, the West Michigan Whitecaps (Low-A, Detroit) have needed extra innings EIGHT times in 33 games. Four other teams are tied for second in the Minors with six extra-inning tilts.

Two years ago, the Dash rattled off 37 games that ended in regulation before finally needed extra innings. Sure enough, it was a home game against Myrtle Beach that ultimately ended the lengthy string.

That season, Winston-Salem was the second-to-last club in full-season Minor League Baseball to go to extra innings. Only the Midland RockHounds (Double-A, Oakland) waited longer than the Dash.

Unfortunately, this statistically-interesting occurrence is not the top story in the Minor Leagues today. Check out what the Clinton LumberKings (Low-A, Seattle) did on Wednesday night at Burlington in Midwest League action.

You can catch all of the runs via their play-by-play broadcaster Cheyne Reiter on Deadspin here. Pretty neat stuff.

Stay tuned for a preview of the Dash’s series opener at Frederick. It will be here on the blog later today.

– Brian

Game #30 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #30 – Home Game #18
Winston-Salem Dash (11-18) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (18-12)
Wednesday, May 7 – 11 a.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC) 


The Dash fell to Myrtle Beach 11-2 at BB&T Ballpark Tuesday night. It was the most lopsided loss of the season for Winston-Salem, as the Pelicans banged out 15 hits in the contest.

Tommy Thompson and the Dash wrap up their seven-game homestand Wednesday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Manager Tommy Thompson and the Dash wrap up a seven-game homestand on Wednesday afternoon (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).


Adam Heisler – CF
Joey DeMichele – 2B
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Jason Coats – RF
Grant Buckner – 1B
Nick Basto – 3B
Martin Medina – C
Justin Jirschele – DH
Michael Johnson – SS
Braulio Ortiz – RHP


  • Tuesday marked the first time that Myrtle Beach defeated the Dash in the last seven meetings. Previously, the Pelicans’ most recent win over Winston-Salem was in the first game of a doubleheader at Myrtle Beach on July 30, 2010, a seven-inning 5-4 contest.
  • The Dash are still seeking their first series win at BB&T Ballpark in 2014 and their second series victory overall. The Dash took two-of-three at Salem from April 26-28. The last time Winston-Salem won a series at home was August 28-30, 2013, against Potomac.
  • Outfielder Courtney Hawkins and Myrtle Beach’s Joey Gallo are expected to continue their slugging showdown Wednesday. Both men tallied two RBIs each during the first two games of the series, with Hawkins holding the Carolina League lead over Gallo in that category, 30 to 26. Gallo has the most home runs in the circuit with 10, while Hawkins is tied for second with seven.
  • With his first inning triple on Tuesday, outfielder Adam Heisler extended his hitting streak to six games. The Alabama native has compiled hits in 10 of his last 11 contests.
  • Following Wednesday’s homestand finale, the Dash will hit the road on a seven-game trip. Winston-Salem will be in Frederick for a four-game series with the Keys before heading to Myrtle Beach for a three-game set.
  • Probable starting pitcher Braulio Ortiz is still seeking his first win of the season. The 22-year-old has yet to pitch into the sixth inning this season. In his last outing, Ortiz allowed two runs, five hits and five walks in four and one-third innings, ending up with a no-decision in a 4-3 setback to Potomac on May 2. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA.


Today’s game is available live on The Pregame Dash begins at 10:45 a.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. Every Dash home game is also available on

– Dave

DeMichele leads offensive barrage

Joey DeMichele scored a remarkable five times in Sunday's win (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Joey DeMichele scored a remarkable five times in Sunday’s win (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Over the course of three-and-a-half hours, the Dash flexed their offensive muscles on Sunday in Salem. It was a coming-out party for Winston-Salem’s lineup, which produced season highs in runs (15) and hits (17).

The star of the show was Joey DeMichele, who made some history in the six-run victory:

– DeMichele became the first player in the Dash era (2009-present) to score five runs in one game. He fell one run short of the Carolina League record.
– He was the first player with four or more runs in a game since Nick Ciolli scored five times at Salem on August 25, 2011.
– The former Arizona State star collected a career-high five hits, which matches a Dash record. Brady Shoemaker was the last Winston-Salem hitter to accomplish this feat (May 13, 2012 at Lynchburg).

DeMichele is the latest example of the problem with overreacting to early returns in a baseball season. He raised his batting average 64 points from .167 to .231 with his 5-for-5 effort. One game in the month of April can drastically change things, and DeMichele proved exactly that.

In addition to DeMichele’s dominance, Courtney Hawkins clubbed his seventh home run of the season in Sunday’s triumph. That two-run blast pushed his RBI total to 27, which leads Minor League Baseball. Here is the pecking order entering Monday’s action:

1. Winston-Salem’s Courtney Hawkins – 27
T-2. High Desert’s Patrick Kivlehan (High-A, Seattle) – 26
T-2. Oklahoma City’s Jon Singleton (Triple-A, Houston) – 26
4. St. Lucie’s Aderlin Rodriguez (High-A, New York Mets) – 25
5. Six players tied – 24

Hawkins is also tied for seventh in the Minors with those seven long balls. And how about this stat: Hawkins’ RBI total against Salem (19) is greater than the overall RBI mark for all but 38 Minor Leaguers.

In our game preview, we will have more on the tremendous offensive showing on Sunday in the Roanoke Valley. We’ll see if the bats can continue their surge tonight at 7:05.

– Brian

Top 10 posts of 2013

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

It has been another successful year here with the Dash Board Blog. Thanks to all of you, our readers, the Dash Board Blog has been one of the most popular blogs in Minor League Baseball.

After compiling a “Dash Top 10” based on the team’s 2013 accomplishments back in September, why not share our list of the Top 10 blog posts of the 2013 season.

This list is based on hits, and I omitted the posts solely dedicated to transactions or game previews. Without further ado, here are the blog’s best posts from 2013.

1. “When a foul ball meets a computer screen” – July 22

The picture of the monitor is crazy, but the conversation in the broadcast booth before the damage was even crazier. I’m happy that my computer’s demise did have one positive impact.

2. “Breaking down the Dash…on Twitter” – May 20

Baseball players can send some unique tweets. A few Dash players discuss their different tweets.

3. “One millionth fan tribute” – May 10

BB&T Ballpark reached one million total fans quicker than any other facility in High-A history, so we put together a video tribute to our loyal fans.

4. “All-You-Can-Eat Night by the numbers” – April 19

The Dash hosted their first All-You-Can-Eat Night in April, and our fans left the game quite stuffed. The final numbers were very impressive.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

5. “Snow at BB&T Ballpark” – January 18

Snow covered the stadium early this year, and the photos are great.

6. “The shoes of MiLB’s stolen base leader” – August 2

Micah Johnson has style and speed. Both of those traits came together in his shoes.

7. “Smith’s unique journey to Pittsburgh” – June 9

Kevan Smith was a college football quarterback before he joined the White Sox system. How he arrived at the University of Pittsburgh is a fascinating story.

8. “Shagging baseballs at the Home Run Derby” – August 7

Josh Richmond played on a big league field at a young age. He was in uniform at the 1998 Home Run Derby.

9. “Dash to a million: BB&T Ballpark in pictures” – May 15

Before the millionth fan celebration, we took a look back at some of BB&T Ballpark’s best moments.

10. “Catching up with Tommy Thompson” – April 29

The Dash’s 2012 manager, who has a fascinating personality, reflected on his time in Winston-Salem and looked ahead.

Thanks again for following along with the Dash Board Blog throughout the 2013 season. Happy Holidays!

– Brian

Team CB does it again

Chris Beck and the Barons are one win away from a title (John Shadrick/Birmingham Barons).

Chris Beck and the Barons are one win away from a title (John Shadrick/Birmingham Barons).

Koufax and Drysdale. Maddux and Glavine. Johnson and Schilling. Bassitt and Beck?

OK, these comparisons may be a bit too lofty, but Winston-Salem alumni Chris Bassitt and Chris Beck have been two of the best pitchers in all of Minor League Baseball this postseason. As a result, Double-A Birmingham is one win away from a Southern League championship.

The Bassitt-Beck duo has started Game 1 and Game 2, respectively, of the Barons’ two playoff series this month. In the first round against Tennessee, Birmingham collected a pair of home wins because of these righties.

Bassitt in Game 1: 7.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 9 K (Barons win 3-1)
Beck in Game 2: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 K (Barons win 7-1)

Birmingham withstood a strong Tennessee rally to claim the Southern League’s North Division Series three games to two. Then, the CB duo did it again over the last two nights in the SL’s Championship Series to propel the Barons to the brink of a title.

Bassitt in Game 1: 5.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 H, 7 K (Barons win 8-3)
Beck in Game 2: 6.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K (Barons win 8-2)

Four starts. 23.2 innings. Two earned runs. 25 strikeouts.

Most importantly, four wins for both the CB tandem and the Barons.

Will the Barons get one more win and claim the franchise’s first championship in 11 years and its 14th crown all-time? Birmingham hosts Mobile tonight at 8:05 EDT. You can listen live here or follow along @BhamBarons on Twitter.

– Brian

Notes from around the system

Former Dash shortstop Marcus Semien was named a Double-A Year-End All-Star (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Former Dash shortstop Marcus Semien was named a Double-A Year-End All-Star (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The minor league regular season wraps up Monday, so playoff races are winding down while All-Star teams are announced. It is no surprise, then, that there has been plenty of activity within the White Sox system. Here are some notes:

  • Triple-A Charlotte concludes its 24-year run at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, S.C., this weekend. The Knights will move to the second BB&T Ballpark in Minor League Baseball for next season. The new facility will be in downtown Charlotte, and the organization is already gearing up for the big opening.
  • At the Double-A level, a pair of 2012 Winston-Salem alumni were honored earlier today. First baseman Dan Black and shortstop Marcus Semien have earned spots on the Southern League’s Year-End All-Star team. The 2012 Carolina League MVP, Black is hitting .289 with 17 homers and 81 RBIs, numbers that are very similar to his efforts here in the Triad last year (.315, 17 HR, 88 RBIs).
  • Prior to his promotion to Triple-A earlier this month, Semien was an MVP candidate in the SL. The former California star hit .290 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 105 games with the Barons. Since joining the Knights, Semien is a .246 hitter with four long balls and 14 RBIs.
  • Plus, Semien’s 108 total runs between Birmingham (90) and Charlotte (18) are good for a share of the top spot in all of Minor League Baseball. He is tied with highly-touted prospects Byron Buxton (Minnesota) and Chris Taylor (Seattle) in this category.
  • In short-season baseball, Great Falls continued their impressive playoff streak Friday night. In their regular season home finale, the Voyagers clinched a postseason berth for the seventh consecutive season with an 8-7 victory over Billings.
  • Thus, Great Falls will join Birmingham as White Sox affiliates in the playoffs. Like the Dash, Charlotte, Kannapolis and Bristol will not be vying for a league crown next week.

Winston-Salem will open a three-game set in Wilmington tonight at 6:05. Stay tuned for a preview of the Dash’s final series opener of the season.

– Brian