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Pat Venditte joins Dodgers on minor league contract

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MLB: Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers
Time to see if that six-finger glove comes in blue.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have reportedly added switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training, per both Chris Cotillo of SB Nation and J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News.

The signing has not yet been confirmed by the team.

Venditte had a 3.36 ERA in 52 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the Phillies system in 2017, with 69 strikeouts and 36 walks in 69⅔ innings. He was a non-roster invitee to start last spring with the Mariners, but was traded to the Phillies on March 12 for former Dodgers minor leaguer Joey Curletta.

Venditte turns 33 in June.

In 2017, Venditte had the platoon advantage in 276 of his 309 batters faced (89.3%). Lefties hit .202/.302/.302 with a 32.6% strikeout rate, and right-handers hit .223/.350/.351 against him last year with a 17.2% K rate.

Venditte was profiled in May by Greg Joyce of Lehigh Valley Live:

When Venditte throws in the bullpen, he gets in the same amount of work for each arm before he enters a game. He features a few more types of pitches with his right hand than his left and throws from different arm angles that keeps opposing batters guessing. He's working on diversifying his arsenal from the left side, but hasn't gotten comfortable enough to use it in a game yet.

...

"Hitters know what they're going to get; then it's up to me to disrupt that timing," Venditte said. "I'll do a leg hold and things like that, a quick pitch, other things to get them off of that. They know what's coming; anytime you live in the low 80s, there's a lot of offspeed that's going to be incorporated."

Venditte wears a six-fingered glove that allows him to switch hands while on the mound.

He precipitated a major league rule change, which deals with how Venditte must declare the hand he is pitching with at the start of each plate appearance, MLB rule 8.01(f):

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.

Venditte has pitched parts of two seasons (2015-16) for three different teams — the A’s, Blue Jays and Mariners — and has a 4.97 ERA and 5.01 FIP in 41 relief appearances, with 42 strikeouts and 23 walks in 50⅔ innings.

The Dodgers open their spring training schedule on Friday, Feb. 23 against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. The reporting dates for pitchers and catchers have not yet been announced.