The Giants are close to signing Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher you have to see to believe
Some teams are looking for a great left-handed reliever this offseason. Others are searching for a solid right-handed option. The Giants need both, but instead of scouring the league for two different bullpen arms, they're reportedly close to signing one man -- pretty much the only man in the last 135 years -- who is both a left-handed pitcher and a right-handed pitcher: Pat Venditte.
Yes, Mr. Ambidextrous or, as many, many others may know him, Mr. Amphibious. Venditte, 33, had the best stint of his big league career last season -- putting up a 2.57 ERA with nine strikeouts over 15 games for the Dodgers. He was slightly better against lefties than he was against righties. Look at him mystifying the Reds in his 2018 debut:
I know Venditte has been around for nearly 10 years, bouncing up and down between the Majors and Minors, but it still never gets old seeing him enter a game. He pitches at baseball's highest professional level with BOTH hands. That's insane! A pitcher doing this with any kind of regularity hasn't happened in more than two centuries and may never happen again. Look at his glove!
The Expos' Greg Harris switched hands for one game back in 1995 and that's about it for the modern era. The other four switch-pitchers all played in the 1800s. One of them, one Tony Mullane out of Cork, Ireland, won 284 games. Because there were no gloves during his time, Mullane used to put both hands on the ball and then quickly use his right or left hand to trick the batter. Venditte can't do that while wearing a glove and, also, it's not 1881 anymore and there are rules we have to follow. The Pat Venditte Rule, actually. It states that the pitcher must declare what arm he's using before the at-bat starts and then the hitter can choose what side of the box he'd like to stand in (if he's a switch-hitter). The rule came to be in hilarious fashion during a Minor League game in 2008:
Venditte is a natural right-hander, but his dad had him throwing baseballs and footballs and anything else with his left hand since the age of 3. Little Leaguers used to think he was two separate people. The Giants are hoping he can continue to confuse Major Leaguers in a similar way next season.