Venditte begins spring by recording an out with each arm

A's hurler shows off switch-pitching skills in Cactus opener

Venditte begins spring by recording an out with each arm

MESA, Ariz. -- What has become a routine act for Pat Venditte is an astonishing sight for those watching him.

The A's switch-pitcher introduced himself to the Cactus League on Tuesday, recording two outs against the Giants -- one with each arm -- as fans, and even teammates, ooed and aahed.

"I didn't realize it was him when he started throwing, so it kind of tripped me out there for a second," said A's second baseman Ben Zobrist. "Obviously he does it well. It's not like he's weaker from one side than the other. Obviously he's able to throw all of his pitches and spot up from both sides. It's really fun to watch. It's an anomaly for sure."

Venditte, in camp on a Minor League deal following seven seasons in the Yankees organization, entered the game with two outs in the third inning to face the right-handed-hitting Justin Maxwell from the right side, and he promptly induced a groundout to end the frame. Venditte then transferred his glove to his other hand to begin the fourth and proceeded to strike out the left-handed Brandon Belt with his left arm.

"Any time you get to a new team and begin a new season," he said, "you want to start out on a good note, and I felt I was able to do that today."

Venditte, a natural right-hander, paid particularly close attention to the new timers that have been installed in ballparks to regulate pace of play.

"For me, it's something I'm going to have to look at, because I don't want to get into a situation where I don't get one of my arms loose," he said. "Usually when I'm switching over, that second arm that I'm pitching with is going to be the first hitter. So I want to make sure I have enough time to get a feel for my pitches with both arms."

File that under switch-pitcher problems.

Jane Lee is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.