The Auckland Tuatara are going to have to get comfortable shedding their skin.

After settling into somewhat of a groove in recent weeks, the team needs to find a way to continue their strong form while adding new players into the mix.

This weekend, for their final series in New Zealand this season, the Tuatara welcome former Pittsburgh Pirates cult hero John Holdzkom, who will shore up what has been an oft sketchy bullpen.

But it's not just for their home series against the Sydney Blue Sox the side have to prepare for, but their return to Australia where they will spend the final five weeks of the season.


"We've got to look at the guys that can go to Australia for 40-something days," Tuatara coach Steve Mintz said. "There's people here that can't do that. We understand that, we've known it, it's nothing that's sneaking up on us."

There are a number of changes on the horizon for the team. Holdzkom joins the side this weekend and Houston Astros infield prospect Nick Tanileu joins the squad in Geelong next week, while local pitching product and Philadelphia Phillies prospect Kyle Glogoski will make just two more starts before being unavailable for the remainder of the season.

Kyle Glogoski has shown plenty of promise through three starts for the Auckland Tuatara. Photo / Photosport
Kyle Glogoski has shown plenty of promise through three starts for the Auckland Tuatara. Photo / Photosport

Glogoski has been immaculate in three outings for the Tuatara so far. In 14.2 innings, he's allowed just one run and struck out 16 batters.

Heading into the weekend's series against Sydney, the Tuatara hold a 4-7 record to sit at the foot of the North-East division. However, with four wins in their last seven games, Mintz was thrilled with how the season was shaping up.

"We've let some games slip away," Mintz said. "I feel like we should have more than four wins; I think we should have more than four wins.

"I told the guys a while ago if we could get through the first four weeks of the season with a super long trip to Perth then the three home stands, if we could finish somewhere around .500, then we're right where we wanted to be.

"Obviously we'd be above .500 if we could, but if we can be anywhere around there when we take off for our trip to Australia, I'll feel good about where we'll be.

Tuatara v Blue Sox

Game 1: Friday December 7, 3pm
Games 2 and 3: Saturday December 8, from 12pm
Game 4: Sunday December 9, 3pm

All games at Auckland's McLeod Park.