2016 Blue Jays Season Review: Pat Venditte

By: Jay Blue and @JaysGirlEmily

Blue Jays From Away

We’ve finally arrived at the end of our Blue Jays season reviews! Here’s our take of how the final player who played for the Blue Jays contributed to their ALCS-appearing season. 

The Blue Jays picked up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte on waivers from the Oakland Athletics' last October. He came into spring training and pitched eight games for the Blue Jays, earning a save (whatever that means in spring training) and allowing only three hits and two walks in 8 1/3 innings while striking out three.

Venditte opened the season in Buffalo and after two innings of work, was called up to Toronto where he made five appearances for the Blue Jays, giving up three runs in 3 2/3 innings before going back to Buffalo for a few weeks. He made six appearances there, allowing four runs in 7 1/3 innings before getting called back up to Toronto. He allowed three unearned runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 17 but threw 2/3 of an inning, allowing a hit and striking out one against the Yankees in his next appearance.

Venditte went back to Buffalo for four games and came back to Toronto for one appearance against the Baltimore Orioles on June 12, giving up two runs in two innings. Venditte went down to Buffalo until he was traded to the Seattle Mariners on August 6. He pitched well in Triple-A Tacoma but allowed four runs in consecutive games for Seattle (including in a spot start) after a September call-up.

For the Blue Jays, Venditte allowed four runs (including a home run) on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts against 3 1/3 innings worth (19 batters) pitching right handed. In 5 1/3 innings, he faced 25 batters as a lefty, posting a far-better 1.69 ERA with just one walk and four strikeouts.

Contract Status

Venditte was traded to Seattle for a Player to Be Named Later (who turned out to be minor league infielder Tim Lopes, brother of Blue Jays’ minor league second baseman Christian Lopes).

Emily Says

The first ever ‘switch’ or ambidextrous pitcher in the major leagues, Pat Venditte, was claimed by the Blue Jays off waivers from Oakland on October 19th, 2015. Venditte was optioned to Buffalo following Spring Training, but returned to the majors and made his Toronto debut on April 13th. He threw a scoreless inning, then allowed a run apiece in each of his next three outings. He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits over 3.2 innings in 5 games in April, a 7.36 ERA for the month.

At the end of April he was sent back to Buffalo, and was recalled on May 17th. In one outing he allowed three unearned runs in 2.1 innings of work (all three came in one inning after two consecutive two-out fielding errors) and in a second, he pitched two-thirds of a scoreless inning. After one more trip to Triple-A, he appeared in a game on June 12th, throwing two innings with two runs allowed. That would be his final game with the Blue Jays, as he was traded to the Seattle Mariners on August 6th.

In his time in Toronto, he pitched to a 5.19 ERA in 8.2 innings over 8 games. He allowed 11 hits, one home run, four walks and seven strikeouts while also allowing three of 10 inherited runners to score. His WHIP was 1.73. With Seattle he went on to make 7 appearances totaling 13.1 innings, with a 6.08 ERA including four home runs allowed.

An interesting quirk of Venditte’s ability is that MLB Gameday announces each time he changes arms as though he is a new pitcher entering the game. Because Venditte had to announce which hand he was going to pitch with first, switch hitters could then choose to hit the opposite way against him once he chose. That way, left-handed opponents hit .400/438/.533 off of him and right-handed opponents actually hit worse, putting up a .208/.321/.364 slash line.

 Regular Season Grades

Jay: D
Emily: D