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News Release, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Waldorf, MD – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Michael Blazek, and MLB veteran catcher, Adrian Nieto on Thursday afternoon.
Michael Blazek’s career has been a roller coaster. In 2013 Blazek was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2011 NL Reliever of the Year, John Axford. Blazek went on to play in the MLB from 2013-2017, including posting a 2.43 ERA over 45 relief appearances for the Brewers in 2015.
The 30-year-old missed the entire 2018 season due to an arm injury and didn’t get any call from MLB clubs entering 2019, leading him to his first stint in independent baseball, with the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association.
In early May 2019, the Washington Nationals purchased Blazek’s contract and by mid-July, he was back in the MLB. Blazek made four appearances for the World Series Champion Nationals, all coming in a relief role.
Adrian Nieto was originally drafted by the Nationals in the fifth round in 2008 but would make his MLB debut in 2014 with the Chicago White Sox.
The switch-hitting catcher played 48 games in the MLB that season, serving primarily as a back-up to Tyler Flowers. The 30-year-old Cuba native was also the starting catcher for Team Spain in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
“I feel blessed and am looking forward to the opportunity of joining the Blue Crabs family. I’m also excited to play with a great group of guys and hopefully, we make it a championship season,” Nieto said.