June 21, 2008

Switch Hitter vs Switch Pitcher

dianagramr, Humbug Journal:
Staten Island Yankees pitcher Pat Venditte is able to pitch with either hand (quite well in fact). In last night's game [June 19] against the Brooklyn Cyclones, Venditte faced the first two batters of the ninth as a right-handed pitcher. Then, switch-hitting Ralph Henriquez came to the plate to bat from the left side. Venditte switched his custom-made, six-finger glove to his right hand and prepared to pitch lefty. Henriquez then turned around to bat right-handed. The two players switched sides several times before umpires stepped in to discuss the issue. ...
SNY video of the final two batters is here.

The Sporting News has some background and the New York Times wrote about Venditte back in April 2007.

10 comments:

ish said...

I've always wanted to do that. Surprised not many others have.

redsock said...

Damn! Quick comment!

...

More video fun.

Jack Marshall said...

Ah! Brings back fond memories of ol'
Greg Harris---his giant curve, his clutch starts, and his specially made glove that could go on either hand, just in case the Sox had the guts to let him pitch lefty. Lou Gorman wouldn't permit it, the weenie. Finally the Expos did, in one of Harris's last games in the bigs. I would have loved to see it.

Amy said...

This was one of the most amusing baseball videos I have seen. I guess there just was no rule for this situation? No rule limiting when and how many times a batter can switch from one side to the other?

The Omnipotent Q said...

I was behind home plate with my dad at this game, 10 rows off the field, and it was comical to see the batter and pitcher keep switching back and forth. After a nearly 10 minute delay, they decided that the batter would get in the box first. Henriquez batted righthanded and Venditte threw righty, and struck him out on 3 pitches. A bizarre ending to my first Cyclones game of the year.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Amy: they said later that the rule is a batter can only switch sides once during any at-bat. Not sure if that's just a minor league rule...

Jack Marshall said...

Amy: there is a rule. I believe once the at bat has started, the pitcher can't switch on the same batter; ditto the hitter. (Redsock would know better, but I believ the rule on batters dates back to when Cap Anson used to jump from the right side of the plate to the left and back again to confuse the pitcher. I THINK the batter would step in, the switch pitcher would pick an arm,, and the batter would be able to switch sides once, as if it it was a new pitcher. Then it's frozen. The pitcher can't change arms until the next batter.

andy said...

I would hope that if this kid can really pitch better than average from both sides then he will be allowed to do so in the adult league. I would love to see it. Imagine, he can double his career. Would he rate an asterisk for stats if he were to regularly pitch back to back games from both arms? He could be a long reliever and pitch both ways all night or pitch in every game of the year with a day off in between for each arm. The possibilities are endless and I want to see all of it.

Amy said...

Thanks, Jack and Omnipotent, for info on the rules. Strange that if there is such a rule that the umps could not figure out how to enforce it.

Jack Marshall said...

Sadly, Amy, it's almost certain that the pros won't tolerate it.