Update (9:32 PM EST): Venditte took the mound again to start the eighth inning. With two outs, facing switch-hitting catcher Blake Swihart, hilarity ensued. Per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, Swihart was going to bat right-handed. Venditte declared (see rules below) that he would pitch right-handed, so Swihart switched to batting left-handed. Swihart struck out swinging anyway.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte made his major league debut for the Athletics on Friday night and tossed a scoreless seventh inning. He began pitching left-handed to Brock Holt, getting him to ground out to first base. Pitching right-handed, he then gave up a sharp single to left field to Hanley Ramirez, but induced an inning-ending double play from Mike Napoli.
Venditte was originally taken by the Yankees in the 45th round of the 2007 draft. He stayed in the Yankees’ organization through 2014 before moving on to the Athletics. In 33 innings with Triple-A Nashville, Venditte compiled a 1.36 ERA with a 13/5 K/BB ratio across 16 relief appearances and one start.
What the rulebook says about ambidextrous pitchers:
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.