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You may have already heard about Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher. If you haven’t, meet Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher.

Venditte was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 2007 out of Creighton in the 45th round of the Amateur Draft but opted to return to school for his senior year. But the Yankees drafted him again this year – this time in the 20th round – and made sure this unique talent was in their system. This time, Venditte was quickly signed and made his debut for the Staten Island Yankees last night in the ninth inning and it resulted in some pretty amusing results.

As this video on Hot Foot shows, Venditte, who uses a special glove that allows him to switch from lefty to righty pitcher at will, faced off against Ralph Henriquez of the Brooklyn Cyclones with two outs in the final inning. Problem is, Henriquez is a switch-hitter. And he kept moving back and forth between the righty and lefty batter’s boxes before one single pitch was thrown, and Venditte was forced to keep switching his glove hand in response.

But from what i understand (I could be wrong) this is actually illegal in professional baseball. Rule 6.02 of the official MLB rulebook states:

The batter leaves the batter’s box at the risk of having a strike delivered and called, unless he requests the umpire to call “Time.” The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter’s box at will.

So this means that unless the batter is granted a timeout, once he steps into the box, the pitcher has the right to throw one pitch. However, last night, after a few switches in the batter’s boxes, Venditte became annoyed. A delay ensued as a result while all parties involved attempted to sort through the impasse. I don’t know what the umpires told Henriquez to do, but ultimately, he batted righty, Venditte pitched righty, and it all ended with a strikeout to finish the game.

You have to figure that this is not the first time that Venditte has faced a switch-hitter, which begs the question as to how this was handled then. What do you think, UmpBumpers? How should this rule be interpreted?

6 Responses to “Pat Venditte and Rule 6.02”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    Nick, why do you consistently write things that are far more interesting than anything I do? Stop making me look bad. Jerk.

  2. I suspect that the players (specifically middle infielders) are more aware of it and recognize the opportunity. So rather than throwing to a teammate to record the extra out(s), they take it themselves.

  3. Lyndsay says:

    I’m all for fucking with ambidextrous pitchers. Henriquez was like, “well maybe I’ll bat left…no, right. no wait…left. no right!” awesome. I want to see more of that in the majors.

  4. JojoFireball says:

    In regards to switch hitters in general I assume that most of the hitters who hit off of him in college and summer ball would just hit from their stronger side. And apparently what I’ve heard about Venditte is that he’s much better from the right side sitting between 88-90 and only about 84-86 from the left side. He supposedly has a solid changeup from the left side but who knows, I’ve never seen him throw in person.

    Even if he is better from the right side, most switch hitters are truly right handed hitters and alot of them feel more comfortable from that side, even though they face a ton more righties so consequently they’re hitting left handed more often.

    The thing that bothers me with the video is that Ralph didn’t even get any solid hacks in. After all that, I would’ve at least come out of my shoes twice so maybe I’d run into one. THAT would’ve been a highlight…

    And I also now love Lyndsay because she has no qualms about dropping an f bomb to get the comments going…. Woman after my own heart…

  5. David Wright says:

    Once the batter steps in the box on whatever side he chooses then he can\’t switch sides once the pitcher is on the rubber and ready. It is a simple call.
    If the batter tries and switch sides while the pitcher is ready then he should be called out.

  6. When I heard about this pitcher last year we looked into the rules a bit. I’m pretty sure that according to the rulebook (I dont know the specific number for it, but I can try to find it at some point) a batter or a pitcher must pick there side at the beginning of the bat. I think technically a player cannot bat righthanded for 2 pitches then lefthanded for 2 pitches regardless of what side the pitcher throws from. The rule with stepping out of the box without permission compliments this, but overall, the batter cannot switch their batting side mid at-bat anyways.

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