After scratching around through homegrown soil, the Auckland Tuatara might just have found their secret weapon.
Auckland's Duncan Izaaks is an infielder by trade, but made a surprising appearance on the pitching mound during the side's pre-season series against the Brisbane Bandits at the weekend.
As it turns out, it won't be the last time Izaaks toes the rubber in a Tuatara jersey.
"He's going to be a super utility for us," manager Steve Mintz said.
"He can play anywhere in the infield, we can stick him in the outfield, or he can pitch. He can come in and get us three to six outs when we need it so we're planning on using him in every way that we can. He can pinch run, there's a lot of stuff he can do."
Pitching was an area of concern for Mintz during the series, which Brisbane won 3-0. During the three match hit-out, the side walked 25 batters, with many of those coming with two outs.
"The inability to finish innings, we talked about the other day, was one of my biggest concerns. The walks that we had, and the amount of two-out walks that we had, we weren't able to finish innings."
The side addressed the concerns ahead of their first ever regular season series in the Australian Baseball League, when they visit the Perth Heat for four matches, with the first played on Friday night.
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Josh Collmenter is likely to get the start in the first game, with Mintz hoping his marquee player could navigate more than a few innings.
With a number of the Tuatara's signed imports not joining the team until they return to New Zealand next week – or later – the side will be short-handed for this weekend's series. It does, however, provide an opportunity to provide some valuable playing time to local and fringe players.
"I'm the type of guy who doesn't like things sneaking up on me, so I make sure I know what's going on – what's coming, what's going - and in the ABL that's a weekly thing," said Mintz.
"We set a 22-man roster on Sunday and then next week we've got to have another one set."