Switch-pitcher Venditte recalled by Blue Jays

Switch-pitcher Venditte recalled by Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays bolstered their struggling bullpen Wednesday, recalling switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Buffalo. In order to make room for Venditte, the team designated right-hander Arnold Leon for assignment.

Venditte tossed a scoreless ninth inning in the Blue Jays' 7-2 win over the Yankees. He faced switch-hitter Chase Headley as a left-handed pitcher, then faced righty hitters Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine as a right-handed pitcher.

The ambidextrous Venditte joined a Toronto bullpen that had gone 0-4 with a 4.35 ERA entering Wednesday night's game vs. the Yankees, and was a unit that currently features just one left-hander in Brett Cecil. Venditte has held left-handed hitters to just five hits in 43 at-bats over his big league career, making him a formidable option against some of the tough left-handed bats in the American League.

"With [Franklin Morales] going down and Cecil struggling a little bit, regardless of that, you'd like to have two [left-handers in the bullpen]," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said before Wednesday's win. "Especially with the guys who are playing now."

The 30-year-old Venditte pitched two innings of scoreless relief, with five strikeouts, for Buffalo, after allowing just two unearned runs in eight appearances this spring. In the right situation, Gibbons hinted Venditte could also be used for multiple innings.

"He had a good spring," Gibbons said. "He could have been here anyways, so it will be good to have him. It's a good opportunity."

Venditte, who was claimed off waivers from Oakland last October, made his Major League debut last season as a member of the A's, and went 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA.

Leon, 27, was acquired from the Athletics over the offseason for cash considerations, and made the team's bullpen after giving up just two hits in seven innings during Spring Training. Leon pitched a total of 2 1/3 innings over two regular-season appearances for the Blue Jays, surrendering two earned runs on three hits for a 7.71 ERA. The former A's pitcher is out of options and would have to clear waivers before being sent to the Minors.

Alykhan Ravjiani is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.