AL East Notes: Venditte, Beeston, Blue Jays, Herrera

Yankees farmhand Pat Venditte is hoping to have a chance to be the first major leaguer to regularly employ a switch-pitching approach, as Newsday’s Jim Baumbach writes. Just like a switch-hitter, Venditte chooses which arm he’ll use to achieve the platoon advantage. (A rule crafted with him in mind requires the pitcher to choose which side he will throw from, with switch-hitting batters then permitted to pick a side of the box.) Venditte has been quite effective; he owns a 2.49 career ERA in the minors. This year, he dominated at Double-A before getting bumped to Triple-A, where he has a 3.75 ERA over 48 frames with 8.6 K/9 against just 2.8 BB/9. Across both levels, he has held righties to a .668 OPS, with lefties posting a meager .512 mark against his sidearm offerings (a mid-80s heater and a slider, one from each side).

Here’s more from the American League East:

  • While Blue Jays watchers tend to have focused on the standing of GM Alex Anthopoulos, who reportedly will stay on past the present season, an even more important situation to watch is that of CEO Paul Beeston, writes Shi Davidi of Beeston’s contract is said to be expiring this year, says Davidi, and other organizational changes signal that change could be afoot.
  • Blue Jays righty Chad Jenkins has been one of several Toronto players to shuttle constantly between the majors and Triple-A this year, writes Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star. The Jays have been the most active team in the league this year in optioning and recalling players, but Anthopoulos says that has resulted from an effort to avoid straining players on the major league roster. “We definitely haven’t used the waiver wire much this year,” Anthopoulos explained, “but we have consciously optioned players back and forth to avoid DL placements. That has absolutely been by design. … All players, especially relievers, realize that when the pen has been used a lot, those with options get sent out to protect the entire group, including the player being optioned.”
  • Red Sox utilityman Jonathan Herrera will undergo season-ending surgery to deal with bone chips in his elbow, tweets Alex Speier of The 29-year-old, who came over from the Rockies in an offseason deal, struggled to a .233/.307/.289 slash over 104 plate appearances on the year. He played on a $1.3MM salary this year, his second season of arbitration eligibility. Though his price tag will remain manageable, Herrera would appear to be a non-tender candidate.

19 Responses to AL East Notes: Venditte, Beeston, Blue Jays, Herrera Leave a Reply

  1. coreif 11 months ago

    Man, did my heart jump when I saw Pat Venditte’s name at the very top of the page.

    • Frittoman626 11 months ago

      Me too, I thought he was released. Thankfully he wasn’t and does actually get his chance to pitch in the majors. Can’t be worse than Rich Hill or the other mop up guys they constantly bring up…

    • Scott Berlin 11 months ago

      I was just talking about him the other day since I was talking to a few people about me encouraging my son to be ambit-dextrious. He’s been in minors for awhile, I’ve been wanting them to bring him up for years. I think he pitched in the MLB Futures game a couple seasons ago.

  2. Karkat 11 months ago

    Anyone who hasn’t seen the Pat Vinditte minor league video where he’s facing a switch hitter from before they made the rule should go look it up. It’s hilarious.

    • Louis Brown 11 months ago

      Funny this would come up. I was watching that last night just for the hell of it, long before this (the story) was posted.

    • start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

      That was one of my favorite baseball videos not starring Ventura and Ryan.

    • MB923 11 months ago

      Just to make sure, it’s the Pan Venditte vs. Ralph Henriquez video?

      • Karkat 11 months ago

        If there are somehow multiple Pat Venditte vs switch hitter videos out there, I’m sure they’re all amazing.

  3. AndreTheGiantKiller 11 months ago

    Dodgers are looking for bullpen help. It’s two for the price of one!

  4. mstrchef13 11 months ago

    I thought the rule was originally intended for Greg Harris several years back.

    • Scott Berlin 11 months ago

      It arose from a plate appearance/at bat where Pat Venditte faced a switch hitter and they both wanted to keep switching approaches. If I recall the article correctly it was one of the first times if not the first a switch pitcher faced a switch hitter. The umpire temporarily ruled that they could only switch arms or sides of the plate once during an at bat for the remainder of the game.

  5. chicothekid 11 months ago

    That rule sounds pretty bogus to me. This guy is a once in a generation talent and they want to penalize him for it? If anything, they ought to make the hitter pick a side and let the pitcher adjust accordingly.

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      It’s consistent with other rules for pitchers, such as how the batting team gets to pinch hit after a pitching change, but the pitcher has to face at least one batter before he can be switched out.

    • cyberboo 11 months ago

      venditte isn’t the first pitcher to throw from both sides on the mound. In the 1976 inaugural draft for the team, the Blue Jays drafted a young pitcher named Jerry Garvin and he would pitch right to right-handed hitters and left to left handed hitters. When facing a switch hitter, the umpires ruled he couldn’t change sides during the at bat and the hitter after taking the first pitch couldn’t switch either.

  6. Colin Chartier 11 months ago

    We definitely haven’t used the waiver wire much this year,” Anthopoulos explained, Uh yeah you’ve used it a lot like you do every year

    • Jaysfan724 11 months ago

      8 waiver claims in 2014, 17 in 2013

      • Colin Chartier 11 months ago

        some teams make 1 or 2 although the amount is less, theyve still been very active in the waiver wire

      • Charles Kime 11 months ago

        21 is the more important number, as in years since the Jays have even sniffed the playoffs… on to yet another off-season of “the future looks bright” mumbo jumbo from Jays fans…

  7. Puig Power 11 months ago

    Venditte might be my favorite prospect now. Rooting hard for him to make it.

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