A ranked man, Pat Venditte is opening eyes for all the right reasons
“That helps. I’m coming out here every day to try and prove that. At the end of the day I don’t have to just prove that to Baseball America. I have to prove that to the scouting director and the coaches with the Yankees to make sure that they like what I’m doing.”
Before he got to Trenton, the Creighton alumnus was 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA with the T-Yanks. He allowed just 49 hits in 72 2/3 innings, and fanned 85 against just 17 walks.
Even with those gaudy numbers and the newfound respect, Venditte wasn’t satisfied. He spent the offseason back in Omaha, Neb., adhering to an amped-up workout program designed to boost his velocity from both sides.
“A lot of conditioning, that’s what I tried to focus on this year to come back in better shape. I think that’s helped out a lot,” Venditte said after an exhibition game in Bradenton, Fla.
He’s also begun to work with a change-up to add a bit of a wrinkle to his arsenal, which while effective, isn’t overpowering to begin with.
For the second year in a row, Venditte saw action in big league camp. And although he only pitched to two hitters, he had enough to pick the brains of some major league pitchers for a bit of insight into how they prepared for their workload.
“Just kind of seeing them and watching them and learning how they attack hitters in certain counts ... I just paid attention to how they go about their business.” he said.
One other thing he did notice is, although he’s never seen a second full-on ambidextrous pitcher. When told that there were kids out there who had seen him work and wanted to give switch-pitching a whirl, he had a little bit of advice for the aspiring youngsters.
“Practice as much as you can,” he said. “It takes a while to get used to it. Some people pick it up easier than others. It’s a hard process, but if you stick with it, you can do it.”
While he was warming up before his outing that afternoon, Pirates executives were coming up to one another and marveling at Venditte as he threw four pitches with right hand, three with his left hand and then a final one with his right before beginning his inning.
If his offseason work starts paying off, it won’t be long before more people start noticing him for his results, not how he gets the ball to the plate.