Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte throws two scoreless innings in MLB debut

26 Comments

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:

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

Getty Images
7 Comments

The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.