The Miami Marlins have reportedly signed veteran relief pitcher Pat Venditte to a minor league deal that includes a big-league spring training invite.
Pat Venditte is one of the most unique players in Major League Baseball history because he’s a “switch-pitcher.” The ambidextrous Venditte can throw with either hand for the Marlins, thus adjusting to each batter he faces.
Over his four-year big-league career, Venditte has gone 2-2 with a 5.03 ERA and 1.309 WHIP over 68 innings pitched. He’s registered 53 strikeouts and 28 walks over that span. A journeyman bullpen arm, Venditte has pitched for Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco throughout his career.
In 2019, Venditte made only two appearances with the Giants. He gave up six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched. Venditte was far more affective with the Triple-A Sacramento RiverCats, going 6-2 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.014 WHIP over 47 1/3 innings pitched. He registered 59 strikeouts and 17 walks with Sacramento.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported the signing via Twitter.
The ambidextrous Venditte could be a unique solution to a potential new problem for managers this year. The MLB instituted a new rule for 2020 that states pitchers must face a minimum of three batters in an appearance or pitch until the end of a half inning. This new rule was instituted in an effort to reduce the number of pitching changes in a game and to speed up average game times.
Venditte uses a customized glove that allows him to change his throwing hand depending upon the batter he’s facing. Over his career, Venditte has been more effective against left-handed batters. Lefties have a .179 batting average versus Venditte, whereas right-handed hitters have a .286 batting average against him.
If he sticks with the big club, Venditte could be the latest addition to a revamped Marlins bullpen for 2020. He joins free agent signee Yimi Garcia and Rule-5 draft selection Sterling Sharp as new relievers for Miami. They are replacing the departed Wei-Yin Chen, Tayron Guerrero, Tyler Kinley and Kyle Keller.
The Marlins bullpen was one of the worst in the league last season. Marlins relievers posted a collective 4.97 ERA, which was the fifth-worst in MLB. They also registered the fifth-worst save percentage at 55.1 percent.