The Angels could get their first regular-season look at Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous Oakland reliever who pitches both right-handed and left-handed, when the Angels and Athletics open a three-game series in Anaheim on Friday night.
They will not be getting a look at baseball’s first “amphibious” pitcher, as one Oregon newspaper mistakenly called Venditte.
“He can pitch underwater!” Angels catcher Chris Iannetta joked. “It’s definitely hard enough to pitch in the major leagues with one arm. It’s pretty impressive to do it with both.”
“I’m curious to see him,” said Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, a switch-hitter. “If he goes left, I’ll hit from the right side. If he goes right, I’ll go left. It should be fun.”
Under rules established specifically for Venditte, the pitcher must declare which arm he is going to throw with before an at-bat. If a team brings in a pinch-hitter, Venditte can switch arms because a new hitter has entered the game.
But if facing a switch-hitter such as Aybar, Venditte must decide what arm he’s going to throw with before the at-bat and stick with it throughout the at-bat.
Aybar can then decide which side he will hit from. Venditte cannot switch arms during an at-bat.
“Otherwise,” Manager Mike Scioscia said, “we’d be here all day.”