A little history could be made this weekend at Fenway Park. The Oakland A's, according to several sources, are promoting switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Nashville. The move has not yet been announced officially and the corresponding roster move isn't currently known. [UPDATE: The A's officially announced the move. Venditte will replace RHP Dan Otero on the A's roster. Otero was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Coco Crisp was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Venditte on the 40-man roster.]
When he makes his debut, Venditte will be the second pitcher in the history of the game to throw with both arms. The switch-pitcher joined the A's as a minor league free agent this off-season after seven years in the New York Yankees' chain. Venditte was a non-roster invitee to big-league camp for the first time in his career this spring and pitched well enough to stay with the A's until the final cuts of spring.
Venditte has continued to pitch well since the start of the regular season. In 33 innings for Triple-A Nashville, Venditte has a 1.36 ERA and 33 strike-outs. He has allowed only 19 hits and one homerun. Venditte has been used in a variety of roles, including as a spot starter, a long reliever, a set-up man and a closer.
Venditte has been effective with both arms. Left-handers are batting .095 against Venditte, while righties are hitting .208. When Venditte faces a switch-hitter, he must declare which arm he is going to use during the at-bat before the at-bat begins. Venditte uses a special six-fingered glove that allows him to switch the glove mid-inning.
A graduate of Creighton University, Venditte was 20th-round pick of the Yankees in 2008. He pitched well during his time with New York but never received a chance with their big league club. The switch-pitcher doesn't throw that hard, but he has a deceptive delivery from both sides of the rubber and he varies his pitches well. His career minor league ERA is 2.37 and he has 464 strike-outs in 417.2 career innings pitched.
The A's bullpen has improved some since its horrendous start to the season, but Oakland still sports the worst bullpen ERA in the major leagues at 4.86. The A's bullpen nearly blew a six-run, ninth-inning lead on Thursday, holding on for a 7-5 victory over Detroit. The A's continue to be without closer Sean Doolittle (shoulder injury) and projected set-up men Ryan Cook and R.J. Alvarez are in Triple-A working through early-season struggles. The A's recently added veteran Eric O'Flaherty to the bullpen off of the disabled list and placed former starter Drew Pomeranz into the bullpen, as well.
Below is video of Venditte pitching with Oakland this spring.