If you recall, way back at the beginning of the season, I did a season preview podcast with my good friend Dan Buffa. Towards the end of the show I asked Dan which non-Cardinal he’d want to watch play, be it on TV or in person. He responded, and rightfully so, with Mike Stanton. Stanton’s at bats are fun to watch, especially when he launched a homer into the moon’s orbit.
My answer was a little more unconventional. I responded with a minor league journeyman who’d never made an appearance in the big leagues after five years in the until Yankees system and had signed a free agent contract with the A’s, those noted connoisseurs of the undervalued. The guy’s name was Pat Venditte. Venditte made his debut last week on the 2nd.
If you don’t follow baseball closely, you’re probably wondering what’s so special about about Venditte. Does he have high 90’s heat? Nope. He pitches in the high 80’s. Does he have a back breaking curve? His pitches do move, but not as much as others. So what makes Venditte worth watching?
He’s a switch pitcher. Venditte slings the ball from both sides, giving him a match-up advantage every time. Heck, the man even has a rule named after himself, which states that he must declare which side he’s pitching from at the start of each at-bat. That’s probably due to this sequence early in his minor league career where he faced a switch hitter. They kept switching sides on each other until the umpires forced Venditte to pick a side and stay there. That immediately became an official baseball rule, the Venditte Rule.
Plus it’s not like his minor league stats were bad. He had a 2.37 career ERA with the Yankees and had been performing well with the A’s minor league team, the Nashville Sounds. He’d been a good pitcher, period.
Anyways, as you saw above if you clicked the link, Venditte did a good job in his Major League debut. If not I’ll recap for you: He pitched two innings, gave up one hit, struck out one and induced a double play. Not bad for a minor league journeyman. I look forward to seeing his future performances with the A’s.
As always, thanks for reading.