Oakland Athletics Call Up Switch-Pitcher Pat Venditte

By David Kenyon

Be prepared to drop everything and run to a computer or television when the Oakland Athletics are playing, because you might witness a rare event.

Pat Venditte, a relief pitcher, holds a tremendously unique talent: He can pitch with either arm. Venditte has been called up from the Nashville Sounds to the big-league club, according to Gary Sharp of Omaha radio station 1620 The Zone.

Venditte has made 17 appearances for Triple-A Nashville, surrendering just five runs in 33 innings of work for a stellar 1.36 ERA. Opponents have managed a .167 batting average opposite the Creighton product.

A 20th-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2008, Venditte has recorded a career 2.37 ERA across all minor-league levels. He’s struck out 464 batters in 417.2 innings while issuing just 116 walks—not including the five intentional free passes.

Switch-pitchers must decide which arm they’re going to use against a specific hitter before the first pitch of the at-bat. They’re allowed to alternate, but only between batters.

Venditte has a special glove that allows him to switch between throwing right-handed and left with ease:

Oakland begins a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park. First pitch is slate for 7:10 p.m. ET, and baseball fans everywhere ought to keep an eye on pitching changes.

Photo: USA Today Sports