The Giants are close to a deal with ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte, as reported by NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic.
Yes, a switch pitcher.
Venditte can throw with both his right and left arms, and he can do it rather successfully.
Now that we know we could be seeing him as a member of the Giants' organization, here are a few things to get to know him better.
He dominated in his major league debut
On June 5, 2015, Venditte made his major league debut with the A's against the Red Sox after he was promoted from Triple-A Nashville. He became the first full-time switch-pitcher in the modern era to pitch in the bigs.
In the bottom of the seventh inning of the 4-2 loss to Boston, Venditte was introduced to the world and threw two scoreless frames.
He also switched pitching hands during the feat.
There was a rule put in place for him
You're probably asking how he was able to pitch with both arms during his debut. Well, scratch your head no more.
The "Pat Venditte Rule," or "5.07 (f) (8.01 (f)) Ambidextrous Pitchers," in the MLB rulebook states the following:
A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher's plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.
This basically says a pitcher (and a hitter) cannot switch hands mid-at-bat.
Speaking of switching mid-at-bat, that's exactly what Venditte and Antoan Richardson did during a spring training game.
Richardson is a switch hitter, so he and Venditte had some fun going back and forth during a time where you can have more fun with it.
And watch former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons call for Venditte from the bullpen:
That's kind of unique, right?
Yes, we know what amphibious means, but that doesn't mean everyone does. The now-30-year-old was referred to as an amphibian by a Northwest paper after he made his debut:
Favorite headline of week. He pitches righty, lefty — and evidently, also underwater. Faces Aquaman in next outing. pic.twitter.com/efxaQxFp8Z— Neill Woelk (@NeillWoelk) June 8, 2015
Hey, these things happen. Copy editors have difficult jobs, and it ended up being a viral tweet, so there is some silver lining to it after all.
Some other nuggets
-- Venditte also possesses a unique mitt that he can flip over either hand during a bullpen session or when he's out on the mound. It has six fingers and room for his thumb on both sides:
-- If you're curious what you're getting with Venditte, don't expect a ton of velocity. This isn't anything negative -- he's spoken on the fact that he's not going to be blazing fastballs by the batters, but his unique delivery is what keeps him employed, and since his dad came up with the idea to turn him into an ambidextrous pitcher, he plans on taking full advantage of that opportunity.
But, lefties beware. His splits show he's ridiculously successful against those hitters ... when he's pitching as a southpaw. Lefties are hitting just .190 off him, and he has given up just 18 hits in 100 at-bats.
We knew Farhan Zaidi and Bruce Bochy were wanting to bring on platoon players, and Venditte is the most platoon-ish player you can get.