FREDERICK, MD -On Saturday night, Frederick Keys starting pitcher Mark Blackmar was traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfielder Alejandro De Aza. Former Keys pitcher Miguel Chalas was also involved in the trade. It marks the third time in as many seasons that a Frederick player has been dealt as part of a trade for a Major Leaguer. Last season, Keys third baseman Nicky Delmonico was traded to the Milwaukee for relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, while in 2012 Frederick pitcher Kyle Simon was sent to Philadelphia for Jim Thome.
One of the Orioles top minor league arms in 2014, Blackmar, 22, went 10-1 with one save and a 3.18 ERA over 26 games (18 starts). At the time of the trade, he was fifth in the Carolina League in ERA, third in WHIP (1.08) and fourth in batting average against (.229). Moved into the starting rotation on May 16, Blackmar went undefeated as a starter going 9-0 with a 2.79 ERA over 18 games. In five August outings he was 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA. He exits the Keys on a four-game winning streak, the longest of his professional career.
Among Baltimore farmhands, Blackmar was second in ERA, trailing only Keys teammate Steven Brault (2.89). He was also tied for fourth in wins, while the 10 victories established a new career-high for the Texan. In his first season at Advanced-A, Blackmar spent all of 2013 at Low-A Delmarva. He was selected by the Orioles in the 16th round of the 2011 draft out of Temple College.
Chalas, 22, went 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA over 28 games with the Keys. Promoted to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, the right-hander allowed just one run over seven innings. Signed by Baltimore as an international free agent in February 2010, Chalas split 2013 between Delmarva and Frederick. In 22 relief appearances with the orange and black he went 1-3 with a 3.62 ERA.
De Aza, 30, was in his fifth season with the White Sox at the time of the trade. In 122 games this season, he was batting .243 with five home runs and 31 RBIs to go along with 15 stolen bases. He began his Major League career in 2007 with the Florida Marlins.
The Keys and the Potomac Nationals conclude the regular season on Monday afternoon at the Grove. Steven Brault (2-0, 0.69) makes the start for Frederick, while the Nationals have not announced their starter. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m, while it is Fan Appreciation Day as well as a Kids Eat Free Monday. For tickets call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.