I’ve heard of a switch-hitter, but switch pitcher?
That’s right. The Trenton Thunder have the only ambidextrous pitcher in professional baseball, his named is Pat Venditte. On Monday night April 11, Venditte faced left-handed swinging Mitch Dening, and struck him out looking on a 68 mile-per-hour curveball. During his warm-up tosses, Venditte was throwing in the high 80′s from the right side, but only in the low 70′s left-handed. The former standout at Creighton University (was teammates with former Sea Dog Zach Daeges) caused so much controversy in his first season, the rules had to change, and a “Pat Venditte rule” was instituted.
Here it is below:
* The pitcher must visually show to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from.
* The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any “switch” by either player is allowed.
* After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter’s boxes, each player must stay that way for the duration of that at-bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again “switch” one time).
* Any switch (by either the pitcher or the batter) must be clearly indicated to the umpire.
There will be no warm-up pitches during the change of arms.
* If an injury occurs the pitcher may change arms but not use that arm again during the rest of the game.
On Monday, DJ Abisalih sat down and talked with Pat, go to http://lexy.com/my_posts for highlights, post-game reports and interviews .
I think it’s pretty cool to see a pitcher actually go through with the process of throwing with both arms. Back in the 80′s, Boston’s Greg Harris was toying with the idea, but never tried it.
I know he had the glove, and would practice throwing with both arms, and I’m wondering if he regrets it.