"The media hype is over with and [Venditte] is [okay] with it," stated Thunder manager Tony Franklin. "He knows what comes with the territory and it doesn't bother him."
This 6-foot, 195-pound pitcher from Creighton University can be easily seen taking the mound with a six fingered glove in which he uses to accommodate each hand. It is this fascinating scene that makes who have seen him pitch believe it the reason for his outstanding success. Others believe it's another reason.
"He baffles everybody by throwing with two hands," said Franklin. "The best way to look at it and the reason for his success is that he works his tail off. The guy works like the devil and the dickens to make sure he is on top of his game.
"I see him out there working all the time on things and he's pretty diligent about what he does out there and I think that's probably the biggest reason for his success."
But along with unique skills come greater difficulties for Venditte.
"He has to be concerned with both sides where most guys only have to be concerned about one side," Franklin explained. "He's putting in double the work so no wonder he is working like a mad man out there.
"I couldn't begin to tell you what it feels like to have to switch hands to face batters every time you're in the game. And it can't be that easy. It just can't be. Throwing pitches from one side is difficult enough, but Venditte seems to harness the fact that he can do it from both sides and he is working very hard at it."
And Pat Venditte
only continues to make things harder for himself by adding in a secret weapon he learned from pitching coach Tommy Phelps.
"Phelps taught me the cutter a few weeks back and I think that's really made a big difference," said Venditte. "I think a lot of [my success] has to do with the cutter. It's an additional pitch [so] the hitter just can't sit on a fastball and curveball. I think it's given me a lot of compliments."
And starting off pitching to the advanced and Double-A hitters has been a boost of experience for his career as well.
"It's been a little bit of a process," Venditte said. "It's getting better but I still have a long way to go. [We're] getting close to the mid- way point of the season but I want to finish strong. I've added some different pitches to help me through, but I think the more I'm up here, the more I get comfortable and the more confident I [am]."
Venditte knows what he needs to continue to work on and is willing to focus on getting his cutter up to speed with his fastball and curveball. Like Franklin said, he is not one to give up, but rather continue stronger.
"Staying down in the zone is very important here," Venditte admitted. "If you leave your pitches up, you get punished for them a lot more. But over all it's been a little bit of a process. I really needed this to have their confidence to keep putting me out there."
I am sure his hometown in Nebraska misses him as much as he misses it. But it is evident that the city of Trenton needs him more on the pitcher's mound. His trademark as a switch-pitcher has made him a sight to watch on the field over the years, but it's his willingness to continually make adjustments that is the reason for his success.
"I think it's all about how good a pitcher he is going to be," said Franklin. "After all, this is the level where you start to find out where you kind of match up and stand within the ranks of baseball. And I think Pat is starting to make his mark as far as being a good pitcher is concerned."
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TRENTON, NJ - While down in lower minor league levels, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte caught the media's attention not only through his ability to throw with both arms, but with his raging success at the mound. But now that he's back in Trenton, Venditte isn't letting his infamy get to his head as he makes sure he keeps on track of his game.
Pat Venditte continues to have success, not because of switch-pitching, but because of adjustments.