The Pat Venditte Rule is on the books.
The Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC) released its official rules for dealing with ambidextrous pitchers on Wednesday. These guidelines were reached after PBUC staff consulted with a variety of sources, including the Major League Baseball Rules Committee.
Here’s how it reads:
* The pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from.
* The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any “switch” by either player is allowed.
* After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter’s boxes, each player must remain that way for the duration of that at-bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again “switch” one time).
* Any switch (by either the pitcher or the batter) must be clearly indicated to the umpire.
There will be no warm-up pitches during the change of arms.
* If an injury occurs the pitcher may change arms but not use that arm again during the remainder of the game.
On the face of it, it seems fair. Maybe there’s a little advantage to the batter but at some point the game needs to be played.
As for Venditte, he has been terrific for Staten Island. In six appearances, he has pitched 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with one walk and six strikeouts.