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Pat Venditte

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Patrick Michael Venditte

BR Minors page

[edit] Biographical information

As of 2014, Pat Venditte is professional baseball's only ambidextrous pitcher.

A natural right-hander, Venditte threw with both arms since he was a child, and his father encouraged it. After attending Creighton University, he was selected by the New York Yankees in the 20th round of the 2008 amateur draft and made his pro debut that summer with the Staten Island Yankees. With Staten Island, he allowed just 3 earned runs in 30 appearances, posting a 0.83 ERA, and led the New York-Penn League with 23 saves. Following the season, he was named Short-Season Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began 2009 with the Charleston Riverdogs and saved 20 games and gave up only 5 earned runs in 28 outings. He was the promoted to the Tampa Yankees, where he went 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 21 games. He earned an invitation to the Yankees spring training in 2010 and was used in an exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves on March 30th, giving up a run in an inning and a third. During the season, he went 4-1, 1.73 in 41 games for Tampa and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings for the AA Trenton Thunder. He was no longer his team's primary closer but did save 6 games.

Venditte was back at Trenton to start 2011, again being used as a short reliever but not as closer and pitching well enough to keep alive his dream of being the major leagues' first ambidextrous pitcher of the 21st century. He went 3-7, 3.40 in 51 games, striking out 88 batters in 90 innings while walking 31. In 2012, he pitched in AAA for the first time, with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, but injuries limited him to 7 games. 2013 was another frustrating year, as he spent a lot of time on rehabilitation assignments, including with both Yankees affiliates in the Gulf Coast League. He was finally back in full health in 2014, but had to start the year back in AA, with Trenton. He dominated opponents there, with an ERA of 0.82 in 15 games, and returned to AAA with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late May. He pitched 26 times in AAA and did well, with a record of 2-5 but a 3.36 ERA. Between the two stops, he struck out 83 batters in 78 1/3 innings. After the season, he became a free agent and on November 20th signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics.

Venditte uses a six-fingered glove with two thumbs. In 2008, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation created a new rule pertaining the ambidextrous pitchers stating that a "pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter" because of Venditte.

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