Pat Venditte arrived at Athletics spring training just like every other player looking for a chance to crack the major leagues. Except no other player showed up with a six-fingered mitt. After languishing in the Yankees farm system for the past seven years, Venditte is hoping a less formal, more west coast mentality will help him crack the majors as baseball's first switch-pitcher. In his spring debut yesterday, Venditte was lights out, inducing a groundout from the right side of the mound and then striking out a batter from the left.
First, from the right:
And then from the left:
In an interview with Maxim back in December, Venditte explained how his pitch repertoire changed from both sides of the plate:
Left-handed, I throw a fastball, slider and changeup, pretty much all sidearm. And then right-handed, I mix in some different looks. I throw the same three pitches sidearm, and I also mix in a fastball over the top as well as a curveball. That’s where I’ve found success.
Venditte is famous for spurring the MLB to create a rule that mandates a pitcher announce which side of the plate he's going to pitch from before the batter steps into the box. This avoids the infinite loop that Venditte helped create in 2008, when he squared off against a switch-hitter.