Pat Venditte will get a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in 20 years when he pitches for the Oakland A’s. The Athletics called up Venditte from the minors on Friday morning, which means the 29-year old will become the first switch-pitcher in the Show since Greg Harris flashed off his ambidexterity with the Expos back in 1995. Harris did it in a single game, though.
The video above shows pitcher Venditte in 2008 playing for the Staten Island Yankees. He’s such a rarity, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation had to make a new rule for switch pitchers. It states that a pitcher must indicate to the batter and the umpire which hand he intends on throwing prior to toeing the rubber. Th e rule gives the advantage to switch-hitters, who can then decide which side of the plate they want to bat from after seeing the pitcher’s decision. The rule allows the batter and pitcher to switch sides once per at-bat.
Venditte was drafted by the Yankees in 2008 and has bounced around the minors for the past seven years. He will likely be used mostly in a middle relief role, though he did come on as a closer early in his pitching career.