Team Italy switch-pitcher Pat Venditte was named as a member of the 2020 Creighton University Athletics Hall of Fame class on March 25, 2020. The Omaha, Nebraska native enjoyed a successful collegiate pitching career while attending nearby Creighton University from 2005 to 2008 and posting the school's single-season record for ERA (1.88) and appearances (38). Pat Venditte was the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference tournament MVP after helping Creighton win its first conference title. During that season, he threw 43.2 scoreless innings in a row and earned national player of the week honors from Collegiate Baseball.
Pat Venditte ended his college career with a 2.86 ERA in 248.1 innings. His 255 strikeouts rank sixth in Creighton history, including 39 games with a strikeout with both arms. He was drafted in 2007 and 2008 by the New York Yankees and signed after being selected in the 20th round of the 2008 MLB draft. Pat Venditte made his Major League Baseball debut in 2015 with the Oakland Athletics and has since appeared in 58 games during his career in the big leagues playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants.
Pat Venditte signed a minor-league contract with the Miami Marlins on January 6, 2020. His father, Pat Venditte Sr., reported that Miami Marlins pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre called the ambidextrious pitcher to check on what he was doing to stay in shape. Pat Venditte Sr. said, "Pat continues to work on all aspects of the game. He remains game ready on a daily basis. He has an indoor facility afforded to him that is one of the finest in the US called The Yard in Peoria, Illinois. Pat's workout at The Yard includes running, weightlifting, batting, long toss and bullpen (both arms). He has incorporated a couple of new pitches in his repertoire."
When the the start 2020 MLB season arrives, it is anticipated that team rosters will be expanded from 26 players to 29 players during the first month of competition. This change will help clubs to alleviate pitcher workloads early in the year as frequent doubleheaders are expected. Although teams had previously been capped at a maximum of 13 pitchers on the roster, it is not know at this time if MLB will place further restrictions on the number of pitchers. If more pitchers are allowed on the Marlins Opening Day roster, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte may benefit.
Pat Venditte Sr. said, "Last Sunday Pat and the Marlins team met with Miami manager Don Mattingly, CEO/part-owner Derek Jeter, and other club officials only to be told that this time of year is reserved for baseball... but due to the coronavirus they wanted players to go home and take care of their families. The Marlins are special and La Famiglia is most important to the organization. Hopefully, Lord willing, baseball will be allowed to spur our great nation back to a country free from panic and harm. God bless!" Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti