Yankees manager Joe Girardi is really excited to see one of his organization's pitching prospects make his spring training debut on Tuesday. And it's not really because the pitcher is necessarily a can't-miss prospect -- it's because he has a six-fingered glove and can pitch lefty or righty:â†µ
Former Staten Island Yankee Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous hurler out of Creighton, is expected to pitch in his first major league spring training game during Tuesday's split-squad contest against Atlanta.â†µ
Venditte, who uses a custom-made six-finger glove, pitched at Class-A Charleston and Tampa last season, posting a combined 4-2 record with 22 saves. Venditte is an Omaha, Neb., native who pitched at Creighton University.
The great thing about this story, though, is that Venditte isn't just a novelty act; he can really pitch. Venditte has struck out 129 batters in 100 minor league innings over the last two seasons between various levels of Single-A ball. He has a 1.53 career ERA in the minors.â†µ
After he and a switch-hitter tried deking each other out last season (Venditte would switch pitching hands according to which side of the plate the batter was standing), a new rule states Venditte has to choose his throwing hand first. We'll see how this plays out in his first taste of MLB ball on Tuesday.â†µ
Still, that six-fingered glove is creepy. There's no way around that one.