Cavalry pitcher Kyle Perkins in action. Photo: Melissa Adams
The Canberra Cavalry has implored rival clubs to send their under-used Australian players to the capital after the Australian Baseball League cut the number of international players allowed to line-up for Canberra.
Defending ABL champions Canberra has had its game-day import allowance slashed from 16 to 14 for the remainder of the season.
The ABL rejected Canberra's request to extend an exemption, despite the Cavalry having a smaller local player base than any other team in the competition.
ABL operations manager Ben Foster insisted the decision wasn't designed to curb Canberra's dominance after the Cavalry won the Claxton Shield last season and the $500,000 Asia Series last month.
''The league gave us a waiver for the first five weeks of the season, and we submitted our paperwork to the [rules] committee as to why we should be able to maintain the waver,'' Cavalry general manager Thom Carter said.
''We felt like our voice was heard, they just decided against us.
''We're speaking to the other states, if there are quality players on the sideline not getting game time, send them our way.''
The ABL is still deciding how big the Cavalry's cut will be following its against-the-odds Asia Series win in Taiwan.
The $500,000 prize will be split around the ABL and it has been speculated the Cavalry's coffers will get a $125,000 injection.
The Cavalry was told before the start of the season the number of imports allowed on its 22-man game-day roster would be reduced from 16 to 14.
They were given an exemption for the first five weeks of the season to field 16 after injuries to American players on season eve.
Canberra unsuccessfully lobbied the ABL rules committee to retain the exemption, and the new rules came into effect before last week's series with Sydney.
The Cavalry played just 21 players against the Blue Sox on Sunday as they search desperately for a replacement Australian pitcher before this week's away series against Perth.
Two imports - pitcher Mike Morgan and outfielder Antonio Callaway - had to sit out against Sydney.
The Cavalry still has the highest import allowance in the league and will be permitted to rotate players in and out of the line-up.
Adelaide is allowed 12 imports while the rest of the leagues can have 10 overseas players.
''We have a small baseball population and we're growing, but our growth is at a junior level,'' Carter said.
''In the meantime we need to identify and develop Australian players from other areas.''
Foster insisted the import reduction was ''more than fair'', and designed to work toward the goal of absolute parity across the league.
''There's arguments on both sides and we could provide an exemption forever and a day, but we are working toward parity,'' Foster said.
''We acknowledge some teams do warrant a small concession at the current point, but the end aim is for all teams to be on a level playing field.
''You look at other sporting codes and they don't make the same exemptions based on market size.
''The Raiders, Brumbies and everyone else has the same rules as the rest of the NRL or the Super 15.
''It's not a knee jerk reaction of Canberra's performances, it's been in the plan well before that.''
The ABL will work with Canberra to ensure they unearth the best local players possible.