The Canberra Cavalry prepares to launch its Australian Baseball League campaign with optimism it can win the championship.
The team’s playing roster for the upcoming season is close to being finalised.
On the surface there is a familiar feel around the Cavalry this season, with Keith Ward as manager and Robbie Perkins the club’s captain. There will also be a number of local players who have come through the ACT development programs.
But alongside the familiar, there is a sense of the unknown with five or six non-affiliated players lined up. There are also the players affiliated with clubs that the Cavalry has agreements with.
These club agreements have resulted in the inclusion of two players from Japanese Central League team the Yokohama BayStars.
Joining them will be two players from Major League team the Toronto Blue Jays.
Added to the mix is the return of Mitch Edwards following a successful stint with the Adelaide Giants.
These gains have been tempered by losses.
A major one is Canberra’s Australian representative pitcher Stephen Kent, who will play with Melbourne this season.
With the assembled roster, buoyed by the Cavalry’s performance in making the playoffs four years in a row, there is considerable optimism heading into this season.
Cavalry general manager Sunny Singh says there is plenty to like about the team for the 2022/23 season.
“We will have a very competitive roster. We have a potential championship-winning team,” he said.
Another cause for optimism is the culture established within the Canberra team. The players have the ability to overcome whatever obstacle is placed in front of them. The culture came to the fore during a challenging COVID-affected season last year.
The buy-in from the players has been exceptional.
The Cavalry will start its ABL campaign on 10 November against the Sydney Blue Sox at the MIT Ball Park in Canberra.
It’s the first of 40 games in the regular season involving eight teams, with four in each conference.
This season also sees the return of Geelong-Korea and the Auckland Tuatara.
It’s a relentless campaign, with four games a week over 10 weeks, but the ABL becomes a test of the depth of the playing roster.