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Bandits have depth for success
11/10/2017 12:57 AM ET

Manager David Nilsson says depth is Brisbane's biggest weapon in its quest for a third-straight Australian Baseball League crown.

The Bandits will look to become the first team to go back-to-back-to-back in the ABL after defeating Adelaide and Melbourne in the past two Championship Series.

Nilsson said the success of the past two seasons had helped build depth at Brisbane.

"It builds confidence, and we have a lot of people that have been exposed to it and with that brings a lot of depth," he said.

"Injuries are part of the season and there are always things you don't plan for and can't anticipate so our biggest strength will be our depth.

"We have 25-30 players who know our system and we can call upon."

Nilsson said the Bandits' core would again be built around local players.

 "Everything revolves around our Australian, Brisbane, developed players," he said.

"We used 26 Brisbane developed players last season.

"We really pride ourselves on that and with that comes confidence because we have a core group of Australian players we know are going to be back every year."

Nilsson said Aaron Whitefield, Logan Wade and Mitch Nilsson (pictured) would all be key posts in the line-up.

Imports Donald Lutz and TJ Bennett will return for another season in Brisbane, while the Bandits have secured a huge coup with Chinese Professional Baseball League star Lin Chih-sheng signing.

Lin hit .288 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 56 CPBL games this season.

"We're looking forward to having him as part of the line-up," Nilsson said.

"We're so lucky we have a deep line-up from top to bottom that one person doesn't really stand out, but he'll find his spot.

"He's a good right-handed bat which we need to balance things out."

Nilsson said he "seized" the opportunity to sign experience Minor League campaigner Adam Weisenburger.

"We have a great catcher with Ryan Battaglia and to add more depth with someone who has been to big league camp three or four years and has experience handling pitching staff, that's invaluable," he said.

"We're really pleased with what he's going to bring to the team.

"I don't think he's going to make a lot of noise but he will be a key component."

Brisbane enters the new season with a bolstered pitching staff.

Travis Blackley will return to the Bandits and slot into the rotation while national team pitcher Tim Atherton (pictured) has joined from Canberra.

Left-hander Ryan Bollinger joins Brisbane and reliever Zac Treece will spend a second season in the ABL after recording a 5.60 ERA in 2016/17.

Rick Teasley is another returning pitcher, with the left-hander expected to feature in the second half of the campaign.

Ryan Searle will continue to close the door on opposition teams after leading the league with nine saves last season.

The Bandits' title defence starts at home to Canberra on Thursday night. Get your tickets here.

 



This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.