Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte will throw two side sessions today at the Lew Wolff Training Complex in Fitch Park, one for each arm:
#Athletics pitching groups for the first day of spring, and list of non-pitchers. pic.twitter.com/8c76h9bI5H— John Hickey (@JHickey3) February 20, 2015
The Bay Area News Group's John Hickey caught up with Pat Venditte, and asked him about his eponymous rule that establishes that the switch-pitcher must choose which hand he is throwing before the switch-hitter decides which way he intends to bat. Venditte says, "I hope that's not all I'll be known for."
The glove of #Athletics switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, which fits both his hands. He'll throw both RH & LH today. pic.twitter.com/5riF0PWSUB— John Hickey (@JHickey3) February 20, 2015
Hickey's full story on Venditte is worth a read. The switch-pitcher is throwing with both arms this morning, but I suppose half as much as he needs to:
Pat Venditte throwing with left arm pic.twitter.com/GZoK6BVTPM— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 20, 2015
Venditte throwing righty: pic.twitter.com/gtAmX7jPZu— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 20, 2015
Tommy John surgery recoverers Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, and Raul Alcantara are all throwing today as well:
#Athletics @JarrodBParker & @griffin_64 throwing their first official bullpens of the spring! #AsTalk pic.twitter.com/OWeTPJq3hN— A's Updates from CSN (@CSNAthletics) February 20, 2015
Other news from Mesa:
Hohokam Stadium ribbon cutting
The Athletics are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at Hohokam Stadium that was scheduled to start around 9:30 am Pacific Time.
LIVE IN MESA: Ribbon cutting ceremony at Hohokam Stadium. #GreenCollar pic.twitter.com/G8ySwLYDvF— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) February 20, 2015
A's managing owner Lew Wolff and President Mike Crowley will be answering media questions following the ceremony. The renovations of Hohokam and the nearby Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park were a $26.9 million undertaking using a combination of Mesa tourism taxes and A's investment.
Injury updates from Bob Melvin: Sean Nolin and Stephen Vogt
Starting pitcher Sean Nolin is dealing with a groin issue that will keep him from throwing off the mound the first few days of camp, Bob Melvin says (Susan Slusser's tweet). It does not appear to be a serious issue, however, and Nolin is feeling better already (Jane Lee's tweet).
As noted at Fanfest, Stephen Vogt is not expected to catch in early spring games as he completes his recovery from the foot surgery, but he is catching bullpens (Joe Stiglich's tweet). Vogt will DH at the beginning, then move onto catching, and then he'll get into first base and the outfield during the regular season (Jane Lee's tweet).
Bob Melvin also sent his best wishes to San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who is recovering from an operation to insert stents into his heart:
Melvin sends best wishes to Bruce Bochy: "Talk about scary ... I'm sure he got a lot of messages today, including one from me."— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 20, 2015
Melvin says he sent message to Bruce Bochy and wishes him best. "Talk about scary .... Best manager in the big leagues" #Athletics— Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) February 20, 2015
Best shapes of their lives
Entering his first full season since returning from Tommy John surgery, Eric O'Flaherty tells John Hickey, "My arm feels like it did at 18. The Rest of me still feels 30."
Fernando Rodriguez, now in his second season removed from Tommy John surgery, is reminding himself to take it easy even though he feels great, telling Hickey, "I tell myself there's no reason on Feb. 19 to throw 1,000 mph."
I believe Brett Lawrie has arrived at the Wolff, as the carpet in his instagram photo appears to match the carpet in John Hickey's tour of the weight room yesterday:
Finally, more like Eric Studgard am I right?
Even though Sogard has always been stronger than his #NERDPOWER persona, he’s looking good pic.twitter.com/I3nphygxuB (photo @JenniferTrumpp)— Jeremy F. Koo (@jfkooAN) February 20, 2015