Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How many switch pitchers are there in baseball?

1  There is only one active switch pitcher, Pat Venditte, in the major leagues. There are a couple of switch pitchers in the minors, including Ryan Perez - who throws 90+ MPH with both arms.

10 At the high school level, there are 2 to 8 ambidextrous throwers per graduating class. So, at the varsity level there might be about 10 active switch pitchers in the USA.

100 Akadema makes about 100 ambidextrous gloves per year.

At the little league level there are dozens of kids trying to throw with both arms, but only a few are good enough to pitch both ways in a game. Pitching takes a lot of practice. Switch pitching takes twice the practice - or more.

List of Switch Pitchers >>


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Top High School Switch Pitchers 2017

A few very talented players have the ability to pitch with either arm in high school baseball games. Switch pitchers are extremely rare, since it takes coordination, dedication and a lot of practice. 

These ambidextrous pitchers are inspired by the success of major league switch pitcher Pat Venditte.

Check out the list of ambidextrous high school baseball players from the class of 2017. 

Ethan HawkinsCentralia HS, Centralia, Illinois
Ambidextrous player who fields most positions including pitcher and catcher. His berecruited profile states:  "I throw with both arms. I am ambidextrous". He bats left-handed.

James Touchton, Central Magnet HS, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Lanky RHP pitcher who can also throw left-handed. 5-1 record in 2015 with a 32:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Pat Venditte News 2015

Venditte pitches in the MLB!

Oakland Athletics
Venditte called up to the big leagues on 5 June 2015

Pat Venditte, Jr. - A professional Switch PItcher formerly with the New York Yankees organization - signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics (Nov 19, 2014)
Read more

Pat Venditte (PatVenditte) on Twitter


2015 Oakland Athletics, CA

Active Roster - Oakland Athletics

2015 Nashville Sounds, Nashville, TN
Class AAA, Affiliation: Oakland Athletics

2015 Stats - Nashville Sounds AAA

1.55 ERA, 29 IP, 28K, 12BB,  1.00 WHIP (as of 24 May 2015)

0.00 ERA, 7.2 IP, 8K, 4BB (as of 18 Apr 2015)
more stats

New York Yankees organization

2014 Stats - Trenton Thunder AA
0.82 ERA, 22 IP, 30K, 5BB

2014 Stats - Scranton/WB RailRiders AAA
3.36 ERA, 56.1 IP, 53K, 17BB 

Melvin likes the way Venditte finished up for A’s

Pat Venditte said he wasn’t willing to say that Saturday three perfect innings of relief was it for his 2015 season in which he became the first full-time switch pitcher in baseball history.

A’s manager Bob Melvin saw it a little differently. The manager seems content that in picking up his second big league win, Venditte had perfectly punctuated his rise from obscurity in the minor leagues to big league reliever.

“As a confidence factor for him, having an outing like that to end the season goes a long way,’’ Melvin said. “It’s a little feather in his cap to end the season like he did.’’

Pat Venditte's ambidexterity is point of pride for his dad, who taught him the skill

Long ago, Pat Venditte called with an invitation to see his new pride and joy — a batting cage he had built for his 4-year-old son.

In Little Italy southeast of downtown, I smiled at how elaborate it was — 70 feet by 12 feet, with artificial turf, 15-foot-high poles to hold up the netting, and three overhead lights so it could be used at night.
Fast forward to a Thursday night early this June, when Pat and wife Jan stopped for a late-night snack at the Village Inn, 4416 Dodge St. The phone rang at 11, and their son relayed his big news: “Dad, I got called up.”

V for Venditte: Switch-pitcher gets 1st victory, AB

'Probably the best moment of his career,' A's manager Melvin says

August 2015
PHOENIX -- Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte picked up his first Major League victory Sunday afternoon in Arizona, returning from a scoreless, two-inning outing to a beer shower that was "cold, but well worth it," he said, smiling, after the A's 7-4, 11-inning winRead more

Oakland A's Pat Venditte goes on disabled list with right shoulder strain

By Jun 12, 2015
This is just the pits. Let us have one cool thing. Just one damn cool thing for more than a week. My goodness.

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has made four appearances for the Athletics, including a game-saving 2⅓ inning appearance on June 10 in relief of a struggling Jesse Hahn. He has allowed no runs, given up just one hit, struck out four, and walked two. Read more

Pat Venditte, Switch-Pitcher, Called Up by Athletics: Latest Details, Reaction

By Tim Daniels, bleacherreport.com 5 June 2015

The Oakland Athletics announced a call-up for relief pitcher Pat Venditte, a rare switch-pitcher capable of effectively using either arm to throw, to the big leagues Friday. Read more

Here’s the six-fingered baseball glove that ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte uses

Mizuno has made Venditte’s six-finger gloves since he was 7 years old
Read More

A Switch Pitcher? The Nashville Sounds Have One, And His 6-fingered Glove Is Awesome

by Emil Moffatt, nashvillepublicradio.org

Being ambidextrous in baseball is not uncommon. Nearly every major league team has at least one switch hitter. But pitching with both arms? There has only been one player before who's done that: Greg Harris.

The date is etched in Harris’s memory. It was September 28, 1995.

“That was the day I threw left-handed, right-handed in Montreal against Cincinnati,” Harris says from his home in California.  

No pitcher in the modern era had thrown with both arms in a big league game.  But it was just one inning at the very end of Harris’s career.

Venditte, on the other hand, wants to become the first full-time switch pitcher.

Listen to the radio version of this story

Is it time for former Creighton star Pat Venditte to get an  MLB call-up?

Pat Venditte's been making a name for himself on the West Coast.

After spending the first seven seasons of his pro baseball career in the New York Yankees' organization, the switch-pitching Venditte signed a minor league free agent deal with the Oakland A's in the offseason.

Since then, the former Bluejay has worked his way into contention for a call from the Majors. He almost made it as a Yankee in 2014, and now there's speculation that he could be hearing soon from the front-office folks in Oakland.

By Nico, 16 May 2015 | athleticsnation.com

To me it's a joke that Pat Venditte has not been called up at any point yet and I do not think it's a stretch to argue that his presence on the roster might have averted no fewer than 3 losses (that could have gone on to be wins or losses). 

If you haven't followed it, Venditte is at AAA sporting a 1.23 ERA in 22 IP. He has allowed 11 hits and he has struck out 21. The walks (11) are a little higher than you'd like to see, but my goodness you can't see giving him a shot in the A's current bullpen -- which has one lefty and he has been terrible -- over Chad Smith or Angel Castro???

By Andy Garman, 13 May 2015 | KCCI News

In 2007, I went to Omaha to see something I'd heard about, but couldn't believe. Eight years later, Pat Venditte is still turning the tide on skeptics, one inning at a time.

Ambidextrous Nashville Sounds pitcher Pat Venditte has the rarest of MLB skills

by Chris Jones, ESPN The Magazine, 12 May 2015

Behold the switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, living proof that self-belief can conquer nature's curse.

HIS NEW GLOVE is jet black, with gold stitching. From afar, it looks like any other mitt, but up close, it is unlike any glove you've seen. It has six fingers, or four fingers and two thumbs, with a small nest of a pocket in its middle, splitting the half-dozen digits precisely in half. It looks made less for a hand and more for a paw.

(Article mentions Aubrey McCarty, a switch pitcher for Vanderbilt. The high school pitcher from Murfreesboro, TN is James Touchton who was recently featured in the news. See the complete List of Switch Pitchers )

By Susan Slusser, 6 May 2015 | SF Gate

Still – the A’s need a shakeup of some sort. And what would be more of a shakeup than adding a guy who can pitch left-handed and right-handed in the same inning? He had an excellent spring, he’s been more than solid at Nashville (with the exception of nine walks, which probably aren’t helping right now) and the A’s like to reward strong performance.

Plus, Venditte finally making the majors, at 29, would be a great story. And that alone would be something different for the A’s relief corps this year.

By Samantha Riley | Rant Sports

The bullpen issues continued for the Oakland Athletics last night as they let down the team once again, allowing four runs and ultimately costing the A’s the lead. The bullpen has now allowed at least two runs in 12 of the last 18 games. It is time for Oakland to shake things up in their bullpen by calling up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A.

Yes, Venditte is an ambidextrous pitcher and he has been quite good this year. In spring training with the A’s, Venditte pitched 12 innings where he struck out seven and earned a 1.17 WHIP. Now in Triple-A Nashville, he has a 1.13 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.

The game featured a couple of oddities, courtesy of the Nashville pitching staff in the later innings.
Switch pitcher Pat Venditte pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Sounds.
Venditte is the only ambidextrous pitcher in professional baseball and uses a six-finger glove with two thumb holes. Venditte faced nine batters, throwing right-handed to seven and left-handed to Tomas Telis and Hoying.
“I saw him warming up and thought, ‘Oh, a righty,’ ” Hoying said. “Then when I came up he was throwing lefty, so that caught me by surprise.”

By The Associated Press7:26 P.M.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS — Reassigned LHP Barry Zito, RHP Brock Huntzinger, RHP Pat Venditte, C Bryan Anderson and OF Jason Pridie to their minor league camp.

Switch pitcher Pat Venditte allowed a single to Jose Abreu in the ninth but got Avisail Garcia to ground into a double play to end the game. … The A’s are 17-9-2, the second-best record in the majors this spring.

Venditte tallies first win with scoreless relief 
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com, 20 March 2015

Athletics switch-pitcher Pat Venditte earned his first Cactus League win with two scoreless innings in a 3-2 victory over the Rockies

Mar 4, 2015
LOOK: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte make spring debut with Athletics
By Mike Axisa | cbssports.com

Tuesday afternoon in Arizona, the Athletics and Giants opened their Cactus Leagueschedules against one another at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa. Oakand won 9-4 (box score).

In the third inning, A's manager Bob Melvin called on switch-pitcher Pat Venditte with two outs. Yes, switch-pitcher. Venditte throws with both arms. He retired a right-handed batter to finish the third, then came back out and retired a left-handed batter to start the fourth. Watch the Video

Feb 28, 2015
Switch-pitcher Venditte the talk of A's camp - ESPN
But in the early stages of camp, no Oakland pitcher has elicited more chatter than a 29-year-old career minor leaguer with a novel gift.

Pat Venditte, who signed with the New York Yankees as a 20th-round draft pick out of Creighton in 2008, has a 2.46 ERA and 431 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings over seven minor league seasons. But his new teammates are far more impressed with his ability to pitch with both hands.

“For the first few days, he was the talk of camp,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Guys would stick around and take notice and watch him throw in the pen to see if we’re just talking about a gimmick here or somebody that can really pull it off. They walk away just shaking their heads. It’s tough enough to do it from one side -- especially at this level.’’  Read More

Feb 26, 2015

Oakland A’s player profile: Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte

The Oakland A’s have one player at training camp this spring that everyone is talking about. That would be ambidextrous pitcherPat Venditte. Yes, you heard me correctly. Venditte can pitch both left and right handed, and he is pretty good.
Venditte has been in the minor leagues for seven years with the New York Yankees but had the opportunity to sign with the Oakland A’s as a free agent this offseason. It is easy to see why the Athletics would want him in on their team. The Athletics love constructing unique lineups for each game based on the batter vs. pitcher matchup and Venditte gives them even more flexibility and control over the matchup between pitcher and batter.
Read More

Feb 20, 2015

'Switch pitcher' Pat Venditte turns heads in A's camp

MESA, Ariz. – Pat Venditte is like so many other non-roster pitchers across the major leagues, wearing a uniform number more suited for an offensive lineman and doing anything he can to impress A’s officials.

Yet Venditte can’t help but stand out when he takes the mound.

The 29-year-old Nebraska native is the extremely rare case of the switch pitcher. He’ll throw with his right hand against right-handed batters. Then when a lefty digs in at the plate, he’ll switch his ambidextrous glove to his other hand and throw from the left side. 

Feb 14, 2015

Ambidextrous Pitcher Still Looking For A Chance In The Majors

By Greg Echlin, Only A Game
This winter in Omaha, Creighton University’s baseball team prepared for its season alongside Creighton alum Pat Venditte. Even though he finished his senior season here seven years ago, they pull for him as he takes what might be his last shot at the big leagues.

He reported this week to the Oakland Athletics, the team known for “Moneyball” and for thinking outside the box, which suits Venditte just fine.

“On your baseball card, under pitching, it won’t be ‘R.’ It won’t be ‘L.’ It’ll be ‘S?'” I asked.

“I guess,” he said. “An ‘S’ or a ‘B’ for both. I don’t know what they categorize that under.”

How about an ‘A’ for ambidextrous?

Switch-Pitching Pat Venditte Impressing

By Derek Crawford, Baseball Essential, April 21, 2015
After seven years in the minors, ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte is still trying to get his call up to the Majors. And if his start at this year in Nashville is any indication, that call could come very soon for the 29-year-old. 

Jan 26, 2015

Why Pat Venditte Should Actually Make The Opening Day Roster
By Nico, athleticsnation.com

By and large, the switch-pitching Pat Venditte is a feel-good story. He's the kind of player you adopt as a fan favorite and act like you want him on the team, until you start worrying about the standings and admit that "No, he's probably not one of the best 25 choices -- it's just that he's soooooo cool!"

I have never seen Venditte pitch, so all I have to go on at the moment are his pedigree (meh, a 29 year old 20th round pick yet to pitch above AAA) and his minor league stats (pretty darn good, actually), and when I actually watch him throw to hitters I will have a better sense of how often I think he can get big leaguers out.
Read More

November 22, 2014

Switch-pitcher Venditte inks Minor League deal
Former Yankees farmhand posted 2.46 ERA over seven seasons
By Andrew Simon / MLB.com

The A's reportedly have signed a right-handed pitcher and a left-handed pitcher, all in one move.
The ambidextrous Pat Venditte will take his switch-pitching talents to Oakland on a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to big league Spring Training, according to a recent tweet from his agent, Marc Kligman. The club has not confirmed the signing.
Read more

November 25, 2014

Former Creighton pitcher Pat Venditte on signing with Athletics
By Bluejays Today

Former Creighton pitcher Pat Venditte joined "The Bottom Line" on Tuesday to discuss signing with the Oakland Athletics, his time in the New York Yankees farm system, pitching with both arms and more.
Venditte, an Omaha Central grad, is professional baseball’s only ambidextrous pitcher. He was 3-6 with a 3.25 ERA in two seasons of Class AAA ball. Throughout his full minor league career, Venditte has a 2.46 ERA in 384 23 innings.
Last week, Venditte signed with the A's, which came with an invitation to spring training.

Pat Venditte - Oakland Athletics - MLB.com

Pat Venditte News 2014 >>