Depth is key in baseball, without question. Having quality players to call on if needed for a variety of reasons is imperative to a winning season in the West Coast League.

“You never know what happens with injuries in particular, but a lot of other things can challenge the roster for the Nanaimo NightOwls and other WCL teams — academics, school changes, innings limits — and you never know when or where they hit you,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls, who finished four games out of a playoff spot as a rookie WCL club. “That’s why having local players who can not just fill a position but help win ballgames is important in roster planning and getting us into playoff contention.”

Having the Nick Salahub-coached Vancouver Island University Mariners of the CCBC nearby provides another roster resource for the NightOwls, a team comprised largely of NCAA Division-1 players.

Added, as local signings, are:

RHP Caleb Battye, Vancouver Island University Mariners

IF/RHP Alex McLauchlan, VIU Mariners

RHP Connor Dawson, VIU Mariners

RHP Carter Chard-Hill, VIU Mariners

RHP Jaden Patrick, VIU Mariners

IF James Joyce, VIU Mariners

Battye, who returned home from a year playing in Ontario, saw action in seven WCL games for the NightOwls in 2022, while Patrick, McLauchlan and Chard-Hill saw limited action in the team’s inaugural season. Dawson and Joyce have not yet tasted WCL action. Chard-Hill is not with VIU this year, working on adding size and velocity.

Joyce and McLauchlan are among the top hitters for the Mariners, who as a team got off to a slow start and went into last weekend with a 5-15 record. Dawson and Battye have been the most reliable high-innings pitchers for Salahub’s squad.