Dodgers: Is a Switch Pitcher Going to Make the Opening Day Roster?

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Pat Venditte
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Pat Venditte /

The Dodgers are always finding ways to add more weapons to their arsenal and in 2018, they might have a brand new weapon.  A switch pitcher.

When the Dodgers invited Pat Venditte to spring training this season, they probably figured he would give them an interesting weapon to stash in the minor leagues.  Through the first few weeks of spring training, Venditte has been one of the best relievers in camp for the Dodgers.  It remains to be seen if he will actually crack the opening day roster but he definitely has a real shot.

This spring, Pat Venditte has a 0.86 ERA to go along with twelve strikeouts in nine innings, and a .171 batting average allowed.  This is only spring but perhaps the Major League’s only switch pitcher has finally figured out how to make things work.  Venditte has a career ERA of 4.97 so his stats are not anything special.

So far in Venditte’s career, it seems like he has done a better job of getting left-handed batters out no matter which side of the mound he throws from.  Here is the statistical breakdown of Venditte’s matchups from both throwing arms:

Left-handed hitter versus Left-handed pitching: .187 AVG allowed

Left-handed hitter versus Right-handed pitching: .143 AVG allowed

Right-handed hitter versus Right-handed pitching: .267 AVG allowed

Right-handed hitter versus Left-handed pitching:  .368 AVG allowed

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As far as giving up hits goes for Venditte, it’s easy to see that his Achilles heel is facing a right-handed batter when he is throwing from the left-side of the plate. Pat also seems to have a better time getting left-handed hitters out since they hit below .200 against Venditte no matter which side of the mound he pitches from.

There is a good chance that Andrew Friedman and the front office are already planning different ways they can use Pat Venditte.  With Venditte’s ability to get lefties out with either arm, the Dodgers could use him like a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen.  No matter which side of the plate a batter chooses to hit from, the umpires always seem to make Venditte choose which arm he is throwing with first.

Although it seemed like this was a gimmick early on in spring training, Pat Venditte has shown he is no joke and he is now marching towards a spot on the Dodgers opening day roster.  With a team full of different weapons, a switch pitcher is about the only type of weapon that the Dodgers didn’t’ have.

Next: Who will be the Dodgers biggest x-factor in 2018?

In another week or so we should find out some more roster cuts, but at this point, it would be a big upset if Venditte is left off the opening day roster.  Not only for the sake of winning but for the sake of curiosity and entertainment, I hope the Dodgers give Pat Venditte a chance to make a name for himself in the regular season.  Afterall, this could be one of Pat’s last shots to make the major leagues so we are hoping he turns into a multi-use weapon out of the pen for Dave Roberts.