D.J. Carrasco looks set to be doubling up on his role with the Auckland Tuatara.

Already announced as the team's pitching coach, the Herald believes the eight-year Major League Baseball veteran will toe the rubber in the team's inaugural Australian Baseball League campaign.

Carrasco, 41, pitched for five teams in the MLB between 2003 and 2012 with a career record of 24 wins and 21 losses.

Since finishing his MLB career in 2012 with the New York Mets, Carrasco has been a familiar face in the Baseball New Zealand system, having worked as the pitching coach for a national youth development squad.


Currently working as an advanced scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuatara manager Steve Mintz believes Carrasco will return to the mound in Auckland colours in November.

"Oh, we'll pitch D.J.," Mintz said. "We had talked to him maybe even a couple of months ago, because he still pitches over in Texas in a men's league or whatever.

"We feel like he would be able to be successful and give us what we needed. If we needed him to start he could start; if we needed him to pitch out of the bullpen a couple or three times out of the weekend, he could do that too."

Carrasco told the Herald he was definitely open to stepping back out on the mound, provided it didn't take the opportunity away from a young talent capable of taking on the role, but his coaching role would be his priority.

"Each team in the ABL has two marquee player spots, so I'd fill one of those if they don't find anyone better," Carrasco said.

Carrasco's addition would contribute to what is shaping up as a formidable pitching staff, joining another former MLB starter Josh Collmenter and local arms Scott Cone and Jimmy Boyce.

Jimmy Boyce is likely to work in the rotation as one of two Kiwi starting pitchers, with Cone expected to pitch out of the bullpen.

"Where we're at with out pitching...we're doing pretty good with that."


With less than two months until the start of the season, the team expected to have their roster finalised in the coming weeks.

Mintz, who resides in North Carolina, was in New Zealand at the weekend to view a number of local trialists wanting a spot on the team. A group of 17 were selected as development players for the team and were expected to play some role on the diamond during the season.

"(Director of Baseball New Zealand Brett O'Riley) was talking about it on Sunday when we were out on the field and just how real the fact that we do have a team called the Auckland Tuatara and just how the realisation over the last couple of days is this is happening," Mintz said.

"We're going to put on a show for the people here in New Zealand."