Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What year did the switch pitcher rule change?

Way back in 2008 ...

Venditte's versatility prompts new rule

By Benjamin Hill / Special to MLB.com
It is a rare instance, indeed, when a first-year professional ballplayer inspires the creation of a new rule. But ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte has done just that.

Venditte, the 20th-round pick of the New York Yankees in this June's Draft, received national attention after making his debut with the Staten Island Yankees June 19. With two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth inning, switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez came to the plate representing the Brooklyn Cyclones' last hope. What resulted was a moment of high comedy: Henriquez entered the batters box batting right-handed, so Venditte switched his glove to his left hand. Henriquez then decided to bat lefty, so Venditte switched his glove back to his right.
And on and on it went. After a prolonged delay, Henriquez was ordered to bat right-handed. He then struck out on four pitches to end the ballgame.
In order to avoid such incidents in the future, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC) released its official rules for dealing with ambidextrous pitchers on Wednesday. These guidelines were reached after PBUC staff consulted with a variety of sources, including the Major League Baseball Rules Committee.

Venditte's versatility prompts new rule | MLB.com

Ambidextrous Venditte creates a stir
Switch-pitcher causes commotion in Minor League game

Switch Hitter VS Switch Pitcher - YouTube
June 19, 2008 Staten Island Yankees @ Brooklyn Cyclones botton 9th reliever Pat Venditte closes out the ball game. 

Switch pitcher Pat Venditte faces a switch hitter who kept switching sides of the plate (R-L-R-L) - after the  pitcher changed arms to get the advantage - thus producing a very long delay by the umpires before a decision was made regarding the rule. 

"Now this might create a rule. This very situation might create a change in the rule book" - said the announcer.

New Pitching Rules for Ambidextrous Pitchers >>

Information on the Pat Venditte Rule


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