Monday, March 29, 2010
Girardi to see switch-pitcher for himself
Well, it's not Double-A ball. But at least someone is finally going to see Pat Venditte:
Yankees minor league ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte is expected to pitch in his first major league spring training game during Tuesday's split-squad contest against Atlanta.
Venditte, who uses a six-finger glove, pitched at Class-A Charleston and Tampa last season, posting a combined 4-2 record with 22 saves.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he has wanted to see Venditte pitch all spring.
I'm assuming that when Girardi says he wants to see Venditte pitch, he means up close and all personal-like. Because Venditte's all over YouTube, plus I'll bet dollars to doughnuts there's somebody running around Tampa's practice fields with a video camera.
Hey, whatever it takes. I've been hearing a lot lately about the eyeball test, and I wouldn't propose to take that vital tool away from the man in the dugout. Maybe, just maybe, Venditte will pitch so well that Girardi will put a burr under someone's saddle and Venditte will get a chance to advance. I was disappointed a couple of weeks ago when I read that he's going to start the season with Class A Tampa ... which is where he finished last season, and pitched as brilliantly as usual.
Venditte has struck out 11.6 hitters per nine innings in each of his two seasons. He'll turn 25 this summer. I understand that he's probably not good enough to pitch effectively in the majors. But wouldn't you like to find out before he turns 27?