The Oakland Athletics made a big move Tuesday night signing designated hitter Billy Butler, but that wasn't the A’s only surprising move. The team also announced they signed switch-pitcher, yes, switch-pitcher, Pat Venditte to a minor-league contract and invitation to spring training.
The word switch-pitcher doesn’t float around the game of baseball very much, but it is exactly what you think it is; Venditte can pitch consistently with his right and left arm. He has topped out in the low 90s from the right side and upper 80s from the left. He switches from left to right depending on the hitter, in order to gain an advantage on them.
Venditte, 29, pitched in the New York Yankees’ farm system in 2014, but was just released earlier this month. In 384.2 total innings in his minor-league career, the switch-pitcher has a 2.46 earned run average.
If nothing else, Venditte can tell his grandkids that Major League Baseball made a rule after him: the Pat Venditte Rule. The rule states that a pitcher must declare which arm he is going to throw with at the beginning of the at-bat. The rule came up to avoid instances like the following video, where the switch-pitcher faces a switch-hitter.
Source: Yahoo Sports / Photo Credit: Associated Press