With the 2023 Southern Maryland Blue Crabs season just around the corner, the team has announced the return of three standout players who helped secure their first-half North Division championship title in the previous year. Catcher Ryan Haug, left-handed pitcher Mitch Lambson, and infielder Michael Wielansky will be back in Southern Maryland for another season.
Ryan Haug, a 28-year-old backstop from Rohnert Park, California, will be returning for his second season with the Blue Crabs. Haug played for the University of Arizona in 2016 and was just one win short of a national championship. He started his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2018 and was recognized for his defensive skills in the 2022 season, throwing out 31% of baserunners when the rest of the league averaged 20%. He also set a new mark of hit-by-pitches when he got plunked 29 times. Haug was named to the Atlantic League Post-Season All-Defensive team.
Mitch Lambson, another All-Defensive team member, is a crafty lefty who made his Blue Crabs debut in 2019. The 10-year veteran has played for the Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers and made it as far as Triple-A for all clubs. In the 2022 season, Lambson had a 3.60 ERA, set down 145 hitters, and went the distance in seven games. He was recognized as the pitcher of the month for August, with a 0.87 ERA and 28 strikeouts in just four games.
Infielder Michael Wielansky was the first position player to be drafted from the NCAA’s Division Three level. He was selected by the Houston Astros in the 18th round in 2018 and was acquired by the Blue Crabs in a trade with the Long Island Ducks on May 31st. Wielansky had an impressive first month with the Blue Crabs, posting a .365 average and four home runs. He also played for Team Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, picking up a couple of hits against MLB left-hander Jesus Luzardo in the final game.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are gearing up for their 15th anniversary season and will kick off against the Lancaster Barnstormers. The team will hold open tryouts on Saturday, and the 2023 Fan Fest will take place on the 22nd, where fans can pick up their season tickets and check out their Blue Crabs team.
The Blue Crabs are a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent league that is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The league is made up of eight teams and has a reputation for providing a high level of professional baseball. The league’s primary goal is to provide an opportunity for players to showcase their skills and potentially earn contracts with Major League organizations.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have a strong fan base and have consistently been a top-performing team in the Atlantic League. With the return of Haug, Lambson, and Wielansky, the team is poised to have another successful season. Fans can expect exciting games and top-notch performances from these three standout players.