Coaching staff for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs sitting down prior to the start of Media Day on May 18.

WALDORF, Md. — After a year without competition, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are returning to the field with a fresh cast of characters and high hopes.

The Blue Crabs announced their 2021 Spring Training schedule on May 10. Since the announcement, the team has held a couple of practices to prepare for their first exhibition game on May 19. But, the team’s first exhibition game with fans will be on May 22 to coincide with the Blue Crabs’ Fan Fest.

With their athletic and speedy new players, the team is especially eager to compete this season.

“This is not just spring training enthusiasm,” Bench Coach Joe Walsh said. “I have been here seven years, and I have seen everything. We have had big boppers. We have never had this speed, and the culture in the clubhouse is really good.”

Some breakout players from the 2019 season returned to the team this year like Daryl Thompson, Matt Latos, and Edwin Garcia. However, the Blue Crabs have 23 new players on the roster for this season, so the upcoming exhibition games will be critical to how the coaches will gauge the team’s true potential.

“A lot of new faces… Again, I’m still learning them. But, the beauty of that is we have four days starting [on May 19] of exhibition games, and that’s when we figure out you know during live-action what you got,” Field Manager Stan Cliburn said.

Additionally, the coaching staff has confidence in their new squad because of the bevy of experience from returning players and athleticism from the new players. Currently, the coaches believe that they have a good bullpen and an excellent outfield.

“Our pitching staff is great. We have Darryl [Thompson] to set the tone and Matt Latos coming in… And, we have the best outfield in the Atlantic League. Speed all around. You got to be able to cover left, center and right,” Walsh said.

The players are excited to see the fresh faces, but a common goal among players this year is to stay healthy, compete and upgrade each other.

Pictured Above: Daryl Thompson

“It’s [his team’s goal] to stay COVID-free. Everyone stays healthy. At the same time, of course, we want to win,” Daryl Thompson said. “I would love to see the guys that we bring in to get help with whatever they need to work on to get better to advance to the next level. If I have anything to do with that, I am going to try to help these guys.”

The team’s first three games will be closed to the public while fans will get in free for the last spring training game on May 22 because of Blue Crabs’ 2021 Fan Fest. The Blue Crabs’ first game is on May 19 at 1 p.m. against the California Dogecoin.

The California Dogecoin is a member of the Liberation Professional Baseball League and is named after the digital cryptocurrency “Dogecoin.” The Blue Crabs will play them again on Thursday, May 20 at 1 p.m.

Pictured Above: Ryan Caporice and his teammate.

The Blue Crabs’ third game will be on Friday, May 21 at 1 p.m. against the Black Sox. The Black Sox are a professional team that travels the country to face various pro-teams and scout teams in front of top MLB scouts.

The Blue Crabs will have their last exhibition game on May 22 at 1 p.m. This game will be held during the Blue Crabs’ 2021 Fan Fest which will be from 12-3 p.m.

With a fresh team and re-energized enthusiasm, this is sure to be an interesting season for the Blue Crabs.

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