The bullpen issues continued for the Oakland Athletics last night as they let down the team once again, allowing four runs and ultimately costing the A’s the lead. The bullpen has now allowed at least two runs in 12 of the last 18 games. It is time for Oakland to shake things up in their bullpen by calling up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A.
Yes, Venditte is an ambidextrous pitcher and he has been quite good this year. In spring training with the A’s, Venditte pitched 12 innings where he struck out seven and earned a 1.17 WHIP. Now in Triple-A Nashville, he has a 1.13 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.
Venditte brings something new to the table. Even though his velocity only ranges from the high 70s to the mid-80s, he does have three pitches on both sides – a fastball, changeup and slider, which is his strongest pitch on the left and right side. Also, not only does he feel comfortable pitching from both sides, but he can successfully strike out batters from the left and right.
However, Venditte is not on the 40-man roster. Additionally, roster space is tight after the A’s reclaimed outfielder Alex Hassan for the third time off of waivers from the Texas Rangers and with first baseman Nate Freiman coming off the DL soon. The A’s are going to have to shuffle some players around if they want to call up Venditte.
The Athletics seemed to have exhausted all of the reliever options they have on their 40-man roster. Venditte is really their only viable alternative left. After seven years in the minor leagues and his success so far this season in Triple-A, Venditte deserves a chance.