Athletics promote LHP Pat Venditte. Athletics promote RHP Pat Venditte.
A's promote ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte
Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, Ben Zobrist and Andry Parrino: The Athletics have four switch-hitters, but those guys have nothing on ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte, who the A's just called up to the bigs.
The Yankees drafted Venditte in the 20th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Creighton University. Venditte became a free agent after last season and inked a Minor League deal with the A's, hoping to finally get the call to the show at age 29.
He's not the first: There were four documented cases of pitchers throwing with both arms way back in the 19th century and one instance of it happening in the modern era. In the second to last appearance of his MLB career, Expos pitcher Greg Harris used both arms to retire Reds in a 1995 game:
Tony Mullane -- a true switch pitcher who played from 1881-94 -- won 284 games and amassed five straight 30-win seasons while pitching with both arms. He also played first base, second base, third base shortstop and outfield while maintaining a .243 career average. The more ya know ...
The Pat Venditte Rule: Basically every level of baseball Venditte has pitched at has had to add or adapt a rule to clarify whether the pitcher or batter has to declare which way they'll be playing in an at-bat first. MiLB learned that the hard way when Venditte made an appearance in 2008:
Often called "The Pat Venditte Rule," it mandates that the pitcher must declare first, then the batter may choose. After at least one pitch is thrown, each player has the opportunity to switch sides once during the at-bat.
His Cthulhu glove: That monstrosity on Venditte's non-throwing hand (whichever one that happens to be at the moment) is a custom six-finger glove that's got a thumb slot on both sides, thus allowing Venditte to wear it on either hand while fielding.
His makeup: Despite his quirk, Venditte is actually pretty effective with both arms. Like most switch-hitters, he's slightly more effective with one arm than the other: He throws a fastball, changeup and slider with both arms, but the velocity and break on the balls he throws right-handed are a little more polished.
He's an Arrested Development fan: Though, he got into the game a little late, all that matters is that he's seen the light.
He pitched lefty-only for Italy at the WBC: After Venditte underwent surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder, he still managed to make Italy's World Baseball Classic roster in 2013, where he pitched just as a lefty.
He can sign twice as many autographs? Logic would suggest, right? Excuse me, "correct?"