Oakland Athletics call up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

Calling for a lefty or a righty? Oakland Athletics bring up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

The Oakland Athletics bolstered the number of left-handed and right-handed pitchers in their bullpen by adding a single player: Pat Venditte.

The switch-pitcher got the call up Friday from triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League to join the team in Boston before a game against the Red Sox.

Venditte, 29, became a sort of viral sensation during spring training in Arizona with his unorthodox, six-finger glove and his ability to throw a fastball, changeup and slider with both arms.

It also prompted the creation of the Pat Venditte Rule, which stipulates that a pitcher can switch throwing arms at will, but once a player's at-bat has begun, the pitcher must use the same arm until the at-bat is complete.

Venditte is 1-0 as a starter in triple-A this season with a 1.36 ERA -- 2.37 career -- with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks over 33 innings. Opponents are batting .137 against the ambidextrous hurler.

Venditte has bounced around the minor leagues since 2008, when he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 20th round. 

The first time Venditte appears in an MLB game, he will become the first switch-pitcher to play in the big leagues since 1995, when Greg Harris of the Montreal Expos last appeared in a game.

Harris had reportedly pleaded with his managers over his career to be allowed to switch back and forth against hitters but wasn't granted the opportunity until he joined Montreal. 

The Athletics didn't seem to have a problem letting Venditte switch it up during spring training. 

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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