Sunday, May 18, 2014

Yankees promote Pat Venditte - humankind's most evolved athlete - to Scranton

At age 28, Pat Venditte - the only switch-pitcher in modern baseball history - was bumped up to Scranton yesterday, putting him a harried phone call away from the Apple.

This comes as the Yankees are ripping through bullpen arms in the the way Khloe Kardashian goes through home pregnancy tests. Today, Team Girardi plays an old-fashioned Sunday double-header, and it's easy to foresee the final innings pitched by Zolio Almonte. If Venditte can get hitters out at Triple A, he would soon find himself in a unique position of helping the Yankees by filling two bullpen roles. In other words, he might yet make it.

At Trenton, Venditte had thrown 22 innings with an ERA of 0.82. He's not on the major league roster, which complicates any promotion to New York. He'll have to earn his way. So what else is new?

Listen: This isn't me blathering hope about some hot stud prospect. Venditte will turn 29 on June 30. Time is running out. Since drafted in the 45th round out of Creighton University in 2007, Venditte has always been viewed as half novelty act, half organizational fodder. He's had excellent seasons, statistically, but the baseball minds never seemed to take him seriously. At the end of  2012, he finally made it to Scranton for 13 innings - pitched to a 2.27 ERA - then hurt an arm and bumped around last year in the low minors. The Yankees did not protect him in last December's draft, and no MLB team saw fit to call his name. It looked like Rob Schneider had a better chance of winning an Oscar for Deuce Bigalow than Venditte did of making The Show. 

But here he is, once again within striking distance. This could be his last, best shot.

Imagine a Yankee switch-pitcher. Imagine it...

Listen: You will live to see another Yankee pennant fly. You will live to see another great Yankee CF, another great closer, another great SS - stars with long careers that you will enjoy from start to finish. They will happen, because there is a limitless supply of youth, and sooner or later, someone steps into every void.

But if Venditte fails, you will never see a switch-pitcher for the Yankees. Folks, this is bucket list material. Keep your fingers crossed. On both hands.


Anonymous said...

No one wanted him in the Rule 5 draft either. Maybe ambidextrous pitcher gloves cost too much.

Alphonso said...

But it is all fucked up by MLB anyway. He can't just switch around whenever he sees fit, as it should be.

He has to declare whether he will be pitching lefty or righty.

MLB ruined the craziness. And the fun.

Ken N said...

In the Japanese Professional Baseball, Toyotoshi Chikada was famous as the switch pitcher, although he pitched only a game, and only on the right side, in 1988.

He was also sent to the 1A Salinas Spurs in 1989.

Alphonso said...

Not a good sign that Pat is wearing number 13, is it?