Campbell left out of vital series
BEING left-handed has proven costly for Andrew Campbell.
With his Brisbane Bandits teammates facing a crucial four-match Australian Baseball League (ABL) series against Melbourne starting today, Campbell is cooling his heels at home.
The Yamanto infielder has been in and out of the Bandits team this summer.
However, Campbell believes he is now on the outer because the Bandits have too many left-hand hitters.
“They said they’d rather a right-hand hitter (for Melbourne),” Campbell said.
“We’ve got a lot of left-hand batters so the opposition has been using left-hand pitchers.”
With Brisbane needing to string together a run of wins to make the playoffs, a change was needed and Campbell paid the price.
He is still training with the Bandits and has not given up hope yet of earning a recall in the new year.
“I’m waiting on an injury or a decision to put another leftie back in,” he said.
Not that the Australian under-19 player is complaining.
“It’s alright,” Campbell said. “I’m only young.”
He will get plenty more chances.
The 18-year-old also has other things to look forward to. “I’m just waiting for the season in America,” he said.
Campbell has been signed to Major League club the Cleveland Indians for a couple of years but missed the chance to go to the US last year due to the economic crisis, with Cleveland limiting its intake.
No such problem this time and Campbell is counting days until his March departure.
He will begin with a training camp before the Indians decide whether to keep him on, possibly playing for the club’s rookie team.
He takes with him some valuable lessons learned this summer.
Campbell proved he is up to ABL level with three hits from six bats against Sydney’s Ipswich-raised former US major league pitcher Chris Oxspring.
“I had a feeling,” Campbell said of his success against Oxspring, the ABL’s third leading pitcher.
“I knew how he was targeting me.
“I guess I worked him out.
“With experience you get to know what the pitcher is going to do.
“To be a good hitter, you’ve got to know what’s coming and have an approach (to deal with it).”
Campbell has had a good mentor in Ipswich teammate Joshua Roberts, who sits third on the national batting averages, hitting .364.
Roberts’ consistency with the bat hasn’t been matched by his teammates, with the Bandits winning just four of the past nine games.
“I think we’re going alright,” Campbell said.
“I think if we win the series (against Melbourne), we’ll be in the play-offs in February.
“We’ve got a good pitcher so if we keep hitting well and defend well, we should do alright.”