Today the Phillies acquired AMBIDEXTROUS reliever Pat Venditte from the Mariners for Joey Curletta. We were there when Joey Curletta was told he had been traded. At the time, that was all we knew. Curletta was sitting on the bench during the minor league intrasquad game. He didn’t even know where he was going, he was only told he had been traded and that he needed to go pack.
I hadn’t gotten to know Curletta who was acquired in the Carlos Ruiz trade. I’d seen him around this year but never got the chance to talk.
I was, however, very excited that the Phillies have acquired Venditte! I, like Venditte, am one of those rare people who are ambidextrous. I first became aware of Venditte when an associated press article ran the headline, “Amphibious Pitcher Makes Debut”.
Being ambidextrous isn’t common. According to the American Psychological Association, 90% of the population is right-handed with the remaining 10% being left handed, or a mild combination of left and right handedness. They estimate that only 1% of the population is actually, truly ambidextrous. I was raised “right” and only discovered that I was ambidextrous when I hurt my right hand in an accident. It took less than a week to be able to sign my name with my left similarly to my right handed signature. Full-blown legible writing didn’t take much longer. I’ve gotten to the point that I can sign either way and it usually is dependent on what hand is free to grab the pen. It really comes in handy when painting. I’m an amateur painter and there are times where being able to paint with the “other” hand is just easier so that you don’t drag your hand through paint or you can get a better angle with the brush.
Venditte is currently playing in the World Baseball Classic for Team Italy and will join the Phillies here in Clearwater as soon as they are eliminated or the tournament is over. I’m excited to see him and hope I can get his autograph. Us 1%-ers need to stick together, or is that walk hand in hand in hand in hand?
It was announced this morning that former Clearwater Thresher Josh Tobias has been traded to the dreaded Boston Red Sox for RHP Clay Buchholtz.
Tobias started with Lakewood and ended with Clearwater. He is young but showing strong potential. Buchholtz is on the downside of a good career. He has one year (and 13-million dollars) remaining in his current contract. He may be ok as a temporary stop gap measure while waiting for some of the minor league pitchers continue to develop and mature. That being said, Buchholtz has had issues in the past, ending up in the bullpen on more than one occasion.
Tobias, while young, has shown signs of great potential, with a strong bat. Tobias has a .301 batting average while in the Phillies’ system. You can see his bat strength in this video from the final game of the Threshers season where he hit a strong homer to right. See HERE.
Will the gamble of giving up potential talent for a stop gap pitcher pan out? Only time will tell.
The Philies have traded pitcher Chris Leroux to the Toronto Blue Jays for “cash considerations”. Leroux is expected to join Triple-A Buffalo. Leroux had been listed on the Phillies extended spring training roster.
THIS JUST IN: Disagreeing with Ruben Amarro Jr. Will end up with you being banished to Canada! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
All silliness aside, Michael Schwimmer has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Art Charles, a 1B minor leaguer.
Schwimmer has been the center of controversy since last fall when he was sent down to Lehigh Valley. Schwimmer argued that he was injured and therefore could not be sent down and should have been placed on the disabled list.
His fans, known as the SCHWIM Team, will miss him. I’ll still see him here in Dunedin.