Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Posted by el duque at 8:36 PM
Venditte is the only pitcher in pro baseball who can throw with both hands. That, in itself, makes him arguably the greatest athlete in the game, if not the most coordinated and sophisticated person in professional sports. He must have the mind of an octopus. Think about it: He pitches with both hands. He is one of a kind. And I can't help but think if he was in any other organization, Venditte would have at least made it to The Show by now, if not just for the novelty effect.
The Yankees drafted him in the 2008 20th round, out of Creighton University. Right off the bat, baseball screwed him. Some meathead executive ruled that Venditte must choose which arm to use, giving switch-hitters the advantage of making their adjustment. Yeesh. What an idiotic decision. Seriously, how many switch-pitchers are there? You would think the architects of the game would give the one guy of his kind a little break, right?
You might think the Yankees would fast-track a college age pick who happens to be the only switch-pitcher in creation. You'd be wrong. Somebody decided his stuff wasn't good enough, and he spent three years at Single A, pitching lights out, and never rising above Tampa. He's now 28, and time is running out. This could be the make or break year.
He struggled a bit at Trenton in 2011, then tore a labium, after pitching seven games for Scranton in 2012. Last year, he rehabilitated himself, pitching at several levels, finally rising to Trenton. (He pitched twice in the Eastern League playoffs, recorded two holds.) He won't be protected in the Rule 5 draft. Some team could take a flier on him, just to sell tickets. Chances are he'll pitch at Scranton this year.
Let's keep our fingers crossed for him. Both hands.