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Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to be available in Rule 5 draft

Nov 18, 2011, 3:23 PM EDT

Pat Venditte AP

The Yankees added 2B David Adams, OF Zoilo Almonte, INF Corban Joseph, RHP D.J. Mitchell and RHP David Phelps to the 40-man roster prior to Friday’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, but they left switch-pitcher Pat Venditte off the list, making him eligible to be picked on Dec. 8.

It will be interesting to see if anyone grabs Venditte. The Yankees selected the ambidextrous pitcher out of Creighton in the 20th round of the 2008 draft, and he’s had a stellar minor league career to date. In 2010, he had a 1.73 ERA and an 85/14 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings in the Florida State League. Last season, he had a 3.40 ERA and an 88/31 K/BB ratio in 90 innings for Double-A Trenton.

The Yankees, though, made it pretty obvious through their actions that they never viewed him as a potential major leaguer. He was initially a closer in the minors, but the Yankees took him out of that role and treated him as a middle reliever beginning in 2010. They also brought him along ridiculously slowly; Venditte, who turned 26 in June, should have been challenged with Double-A in 2010 and Triple-A last season.

Because he possesses below average fastballs with both arms, Venditte, who uses a six-fingered glove on the mound, is more of a curiosity than a prospect. Still, some team may want to take a look at him next spring. It’d be fun to see him try to frustrate some major league switch-hitters.

  1. fearlessleader - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    In related news, Tony La Russa has announced that he’ll be coming out of retirement.

    • Jay Seaver - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      Nah, LaRussa got out before this guy could make it to the major leagues – he removes the need to actually make pitching changes!

    • paperlions - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      LaRussa would hate this guy….he’d reduce the need to switch pitchers to get those precious L-R match-ups.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        Hey Paper,
        I saw you, in a way, asked what happened to ‘Biceps in another thread. He got permanently banned from the site….then, went on to delete this twitter account too.

      • paperlions - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        Thanks for the info.

      • lazlosother - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        Thanks for the info Dr. I was wondering what happened to the Bicepts.

  2. lanflfan - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    I can see Needle Head Ned Colletti selecting him, then immediately giving him a $10 million contract. God I hope not, but I could see it.

  3. Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    His glove looks like a damn octopus when he’s pitching. Yes, he uses the same glove for both hands and it’s got an extra finger.

  4. aceshigh11 - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Fascinating. Here’s the history of “switch pitchers” in the MLB:

    Gotta love the internet…how long would it take to look this info up without it?

  5. goawaydog - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    they actually had to create the “pat vendetta rule” because of the dance created by switch hitters. He would change glove hands,, the batter would step to the other side of the plate, he would change glove hands, the batter would switch to the other side of the plate over and over and over again … basically he has to commit to one side by toeing the rubber and use that arm for the duration of the bat …

    • scapistron - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      The rule is BS too. The switch pitcher is so rare that they should be allowed to maintain the advantage over the switch hitter.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    It’s not like the Yankees have never been wrong before on a reliever ***cough AXFORD cough***

    I hope the kid makes it to the bigs. Maybe the Padres will take a shot with him, since they have some wood-shedding to do on their 40 man

  7. cur68 - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    I have but one thing to say to the man with the six fingered glove; Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

    • paperlions - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      Is that the full text of the “pat vendetta rule”?

      • cur68 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:06 PM

        Well, there’s some sub clauses about playing for the Giants and so forth, but it’s inconceivable that there’s anything more than that.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:17 PM

        Out. Standing.

    • lazlosother - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:39 PM


  8. shanabartels - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    I should have gone to more Trenton Thunder games this year. Their park is only about half an hour away from me, but I only went to check up on my precious Yankees prospects once this year and to my great disappointment, Venditte didn’t pitch that night. Now he’s probably going somewhere far away and I won’t get to see the novelty act in person. Oh well.

    The kid’s name is Zoilo Almonte, by the way. Not Zolio. You may want to correct that.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Nov 18, 2011 at 7:24 PM


  9. foreverchipper10 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    I suppose since he can pitch from either side if he ever needed Tommy John surgery he wouldn’t necessarily have to miss a season.

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