CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies made a small trade on Sunday as they acquired reliever Pat Venditte from the Mariners in exchange for minor-league outfielder Joey Curletta.
The 31-year-old Venditte has spent parts of two seasons in the majors with Oakland, Toronto and Seattle. In 41 career appearances, Venditte has 4.97 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 23 walks.
But those numbers may not be why you have heard of Venditte before.
Venditte made news when he was called up two years ago by the A's because he is ambidextrous. He has the ability to pitch with both his left and right hands.
"We've liked Venditte for a long time," Phillies GM Matt Klentak said. "Obviously there's some intrigue to what he could do, the fact that he can throw with both hands, but this guy was a pretty good Triple A performer last year and obviously has some big-league time. This organization, we don't have a ton of upper-level left-handed pitching depth."
Klentak admitted that as a baseball fan, he's curious to see Venditte's ability to 'switch-pitch' up close but he's more interested in seeing Venditte get hitters out regardless of which hand he's using to throw the pitches.
"However he can best get lefties and righties out we'll let him do that," Klentak said. "I anticipate he will continue to throw with both hands, no issue there. This is more about a player we think has a chance to be pretty good. It's about results. But I'm curious just like everybody else."
The numbers say Venditte has had his best luck throwing southpaw as left-handed hitters have a .179/.242/.366 stash line against him. Right-handers have fared much better with a .277/.380/.523 line.
Venditte is currently playing in the World Baseball Classic for Team Italy and will join the Phils in camp as a non-roster invitee after Italy's final game in the tournament.
Curletta was the player to be named later the Phillies acquired from the Dodgers last summer in the Carlos Ruiz trade. He never played a game in the Phils' minor-league system.
"Joey came to instructional league with us, we got to know him a little bit," Klentak said. "We've been watching him in minor-league camp. Good-looking kid, has some power...[you] just have to give to get."