(Waldorf, Md., March 7, 2018) - The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs announced the addition of three pitchers to their current 2018 roster. Right-handers Cody Hebner and Craig Stem will return to the team for another season, alongside newcomer RHP Jayson McKinley.
Hebner will return to Southern Maryland for a second season with team. The hard-throwing reliever was a vital part of the Blue Crabs success in 2017, going 4-1 on the season with a 3.50 ERA, while appearing in 50 games.
Despite throwing just 43.2 innings on the season, Hebner was able to record 58 strikeouts, the highest total among all Blue Crabs relievers. The former San Diego Padres farmhand was originally drafted by in 2011 out of Green River Community College. Hebner spent five seasons in the Padres organization, being named one of the team’s top 25 prospects in 2013.
The versatile Stem comes back to the Blue Crabs for his third season with team, originally being acquired via trade from the New Britain Bees in 2016. The native of Hermitage, Tennessee appeared in 30 games for Southern Maryland last season, including making four starts for the team. Stem came on strong late in the season as the Blue Crabs pushed towards the playoffs, posting a 1.31 ERA in August – the second-lowest on the team for the month.
The Trevecca Nazarene University alum spent five seasons in the minors, his first four with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being traded to the Miami Marlins organization in 2015. After reaching as high as AAA in affiliated ball, Stem joined the Bees for his Atlantic League debut in 2016.
The right-handed McKinley joins the Blue Crabs pitching staff for his first season in the Atlantic League. The 24-year-old went undrafted out of Lamar University, posting a 1.04 ERA after being moved to long relief at the end of his senior season for the Cardinals.
McKinley drew the attention of the Tampa Bay Rays with his strong finish to the year, signing with the organization for the 2016 season. The reliever appeared in 11 games for the Hudson Valley Renegades that season, finishing with a 1.21 ERA and seven saves, second-highest total for the team that season. McKinley moved up to the Bowling Green Hot Rods for the 2017 season, going 4-1 and averaging a strikeout per inning for the Rays Single-A affiliate.
“I am eager to see Hebner and Stem return to our roster this season, both add unique skills and dependable experience to our staff,” said Manager James Frisbie. “Fresh off a solid season with the Rays, I believe McKinley’s addition will bring an exciting spark to our bullpen.”
The team opens the 2018 season on April 27th at home against the Long Island Ducks. To save your seat at the ballpark for the upcoming season and other team news, visit www.somdbluecrabs.com or call 301-638-9788.
About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
The Blue Crabs play 126 regular season games in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The Blue Crabs play at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland with affordable family fun. The franchise will begin its 11th season in April 2018. Please call 301-638-9788 or visit http://www.somdbluecrabs.com for more information.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 38 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.