Team Italy switch-pitcher Pat Venditte agreed to a one-year major league contract with the San Francisco Giants during the recent MLB winter meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 21, 2018. The 33-year-old Omaha, Nebraska native has spent the last 11 years in professional baseball trying to find a home on the major league level. Having pitched in 56 big league games between sporadic stints with the Oakland A’s in 2015, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners in 2016, and last year with World Series runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers, Pat Venditte has not been given the luxury of demonstrating his special talent in MLB during the course of an entire season. 2019 may be the year for the proud Italian American to show the world he belongs in Major League Baseball. San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has a vision to place Pat Venditte in the bullpen on a permanent basis as a lefty specialist.
Owning a 2-2 record with a 4.45 ERA during his 64.2 innings of relief in MLB, the ambidextrous pitcher has been very successful throwing against left-handed hitters by limiting them to a .186 batting average (21-for-113). Farhan Zaidi knows what Pat Venditte is capable of doing since he worked in the front offices of the same franchises the switch-pitcher threw for. The current San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations used to be the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager and before that spent time in the Oakland A’s organization. Looking to find the right pieces for the Giants bullpen, Farhan Zaidi has now given Pat Venditte the best chance to have major league impact.
Pat Venditte made the most of his opportunities with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018. Making 15 appearances out of the bullpen, he posted an impressive 2.57 ERA in 14 innings of work. Most remarkable was the fact that during his final 10 games with the Dodgers Pat Venditte threw 9.2-scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and two walks. Despite his success on the major league level, Pat Venditte fell victim to roster numbers as the Los Angeles Dodgers designated him for assignment and later released him in order to trade for Atlanta Braves pitcher Adam McCreery.
By adding Pat Venditte, the San Francisco Giants 40 man-roster is now at 38 players. Farhan Zaidi not only values Pat Venditte because of his unique matchup versatility against hitters out of the bullpen but also for the maximum roster versatility he provides to the team since he has one minor league option remaining. Let's wish Team Italy's Pat Venditte the best in 2019! Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti