Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Will this be the year the Yankees give the ball to Pat Venditte?

I've never seen Pat Venditte pitch. Frankly, it's bucket list material. But I'm starting to lose hope that he'll ever do it for the Yankees.

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.


Leinstery said...

No, let's leave this kid in the farm system and dream of what could have been, rather than bring him up and watch him crash and burn and spend the next few years talking about how he had potential a la Hughes and Joba.

And how have you not given your take on the "Yeah Jeets" story? It better be a novel.

Anonymous said...

Please permit me to summarize what you have been saying recently. Next year the Yankees will be old and uninspiring, while the Rail Riders will be interesting to watch.

The solution to this problem is obvious. The Rail Riders should play their home games in Yankee Stadium and the Yankees should play their home games in Moosic, Pennsylvania.

If a baseball player has a great season there, does that make them a Moosic star?

el duque said...


He would be a Country-Moosic star.


Randy Levine got in my way. Soon.

JM said...

Randy Levine always gets in the way. That's in his job description: 'As President of the New York Yankees, you will get in the way of everyone and everything, impeding progress as much as possible at all levels.'

Poor Venditte. If only he were 35 and a proven veteran, then he could play in the Stadium.

Alphonso said...

He tore his what?

joe de pastry said...

I'd rather have a guy who pitches well with one hand, like Jim Abbott, than a guy who pitches mediocrely with both hands.