Mariners Outright The Ambidextrous Venditte To Tacoma
By Adam Levi
Yesterday, The Mariners let go of a very unique and one of a kind pitcher when they outrighted Pat Venditte to AAA-Tacoma.
Most pitchers have trouble throwing with their one dominant arm; they would never even consider attempting to use their other branch to get a batter out. It’d be like watching a fielder take the mound… one that doesn’t have pitching experience.
Pat Venditte has always had two strong arms, formally known as being ambidextrous. It seems Venditte has been throwing with two wings all the back to his little league, high school, and college days before he was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2008.
His two-handed journey then took him through the levels of minor league ball and even to the foreign leagues, but his unique skill helped him to excel everywhere he went.
In his first two years with Yankees, Venditte had a record of 5-2 with an ERA of 1.53 over exactly one hundred innings. He also struck out one hundred and twenty-nine batters compared to just twenty-one walks.
In the course of his first four years in the minor league system, including two foreign league stints -one with Mexicali of the Mexican Pacific Winter League and the other with Aguilas del Zulia of the Venezuelan Winter League- Venditte was shining as one of the brightest stars in the league.
Boasting a record of 17-12 and an ERA of 2.53, Venditte was rolling. His constant travels were countered by his hard work and his determination took down all of his foes.
But, as the competition got harder, time wore on, and shoulder injuries began to plague him, Venditte’s ERA would begin to slip.
In the next three years, he posted a still respectable, but higher earned run average of 2.85. The Yankees didn’t see much promise for the Ambidextrous man, so they let him go, and he was thus picked up by the Oakland Athletics.
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While with Oakland, Venditte’s game saw a bit of a bounce back. His ERA sank back down to a more pleasant 1.81, and he even earned his MLB debut. But, the Athletics followed the Yankees footsteps and put Venditte on Waivers, where he then moved to the great white north to play for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Venditte spent less than a year in Toronto before they too got rid of him and sent him to the Mariners, although the Blue Jays gave him eight games to prove himself at the major league level.
The Mariners were scrambling midseason to get some relief help in the bullpen, so after only five games in triple-A Tacoma, the Mariners called him up to the big stage. Unfortunately for him -and the Mariners- Venditte put on his worst show for Seattle’s fans.
In three straight games for the M’s, Venditte allowed nine runs in seven innings, calculating to an ERA of 11.57. Overall, he had a 6.08 ERA, allowing seven walks and thirteen hits in 13.1 frames with the Mariners, which brings us to this news of the Mariners outrighting, Venditte.
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The ambidextrous, Venditte has been on quite the ride in his playing career, but once again, it has taken a hit. But, if we know anything about the unusual hurler -one of only a handful of men in baseball history to throw consistently with both arms- it’s that he doesn’t quit. While he no longer plays for the Mariners, I doubt this is the last we’ll see of Venditte.