Pat Venditte is a unique player in baseball and he will likely make his Major League Baseball debut this weekend. Venditte is a switch pitcher; he can pitch left-handed and right-handed, and the Oakland A’s have called up the 29-year-old to the big leagues.
According to mlb.com, Venditte isn’t the first pitcher in the modern era to throw from both sides; that distinction belongs to Greg A. Harris. In 1995, while with the Montreal Expos, Harris pitched from both sides for one game against the Cincinnati Reds. Harris, who pitched naturally from the right side, pitched to one batter, Hal Morris, from the left side. Morris was able to draw a walk.
Unlike Harris, Venditte pitches from both sides on a regular basis. This year, with the AAA Nashville Sounds, Pat has held lefties to a batting average of.095 while righties have had a bit more success hitting.208. Not only can Venditte pitch with both arms but he also has experience starting and relieving. Venditte will begin his big league career as a reliever with Oakland.
In the field Venditte uses a special six-fingered glove so he doesn’t have to run back and forth to the dugout every time he changes sides of the mound. ESPN the Magazine did a feature on Venditte in which he describes how he sees this ambidextrous stuff as more than just a side show.
“I truly believe this is my path to the major leagues, but there were a lot of struggles along the way.”
Most coaches probably were unsure what to do with Venditte. He started off in the New York Yankees system and then became a free agent after the 2014 season. That is when Pat hooked on with Oakland.
If you are wondering what will happen when Venditte faces a switch hitter there is already a rule in place to cover the situation. You will not see a standoff between hitter and pitcher constantly switching sides of the plate and the mound, but rather the pitcher chooses which side he will throw from and he must stay there for the entirety of the at bat.
The A’s will face the Boston Red Sox this weekend at Fenway Park. Both teams are struggling under the.500 mark. As previously reported here at the Inquisitr the Red Sox have struggled in many areas, so maybe a chance to see something different like Venditte will be a draw for Boston fans.
If you were in Boston this weekend, would you check out Pat Venditte?
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]