The day many have been waiting for is finally here and excitement around the struggling Oakland Athletics is starting to build as the team is preparing to call up switch pitcher Pat Venditte to the big leagues. The news was first reported via Twitter by sports radio personality Gary Sharp and has been confirmed, via source, by Jane Lee.
Venditte, who has spent most of his professional career in the Yankees organization, was picked up by the Oakland Athletics this previous winter and made a splash at spring training with his novelty approach on the mound.
Venditte, who turns 30 at the end of this month, has proven that he is more than capable as a switch pitcher and that it’s not a simple novelty. In the minors this year, right handed batters have a .208 batting average against him and left handed batters have a .095 average against him and he’s earning a 1.36 ERA with 33 innings pitched. If you use the metric I wrote about yesterday, he has a rating of .146 which compares favorably to the struggling Dan Otero who is sitting at a 1.03 at the moment.
At the time of this writing it is unclear what move will be made by the Oakland Athletics to allow Venditte a spot on the roster. Of course, it is easy to assume that Dan Otero, who had a tough outing yesterday, would be a potential demotion or that Stephen Vogt, who came off the field limping, may have sustained more serious injuries than originally reported. When I posed the question via Twitter, a likely scenario that I hadn’t thought of was suggested; Coco Crisp is heading to the 60 day disabled list.
Beane also said the same thing about Sean Doolittle, though, so take it for what it’s worth – speculation.
With as well as Billy Burns is playing at the moment, that wouldn’t have the same negative impact on the team as Vogt going down and Billy Beane, in an interview with 95.7 yesterday, stated that we shouldn’t expect to see much of Coco in the 2015 season. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that this is a distinct possibility.
This is a great opportunity for Venditte and the Oakland Athletics. If Venditte can perform at the big league level with any consistency from both sides of the rubber, he’ll be a very useful tool in the always-platooning organization and offer the team two pitchers for the price (and roster space) of one. At the very least, it may stir a little excitement in the team and keep the attention on them positive as they work their way out of the worst season start in decades.