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Blue Jays pick up ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte off waivers from Athletics

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(left photo) Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports | (right photo) Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In the nail-biting hours before game 3 of the American League Championship Series, the Blue Jays announced that they have selected Pat Venditte off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. To make room for him, fill-in infielder Darwin Barney was designated for assignment. Venditte is not eligible to play in the postseason.

Venditte, 30, is most well known for his ability to pitch with both is right and left hands, and finally made his major league debut in June this year with the A's, after toiling for seven years in the Yankees' farm system. Unfortunately, just four appearances into his major league career, Venditte strained his right shoulder and was placed on the 15-day disabled list rather than allowing him to pitch exclusively with his left arm. His biggest specialty is his ability to get the platoon advantage (except against switch hitters, see below) so the A's didn't feel a need to keep him on the roster as a plain old lefty.

He returned to the active roster in August he didn't exactly put up great numbers, recording an overall ERA of 4.40 through 28.2 innings, striking out 19.3% and walking 10.1%, with strikeout numbers down significantly from his minor league numbers.

When it looked like Venditte was approaching the major leagues, the Official Baseball Rules were amended with rule 5.07(f) which forces Venditte to signal which hand he wishes to pitch with before each at bat. When a switch hitter comes up, Venditte will have priority to indicate which arm he would like to pitch with and then the hitter can decide which side of the plate he would stand on.

Barney was acquired for minor league catcher Jack Murphy in a September trade after Troy Tulowitzki was injured and was not eligible to be placed on the postseason roster. Barney is entering into his first year of arbitration eligibility so he was a non-tender candidate, while Murphy is eligible for minor league free agency unless the Dodgers add him on to the 40-man roster this offseason.