This now creates an open roster spot for the Trenton Thunder. If the Thunder decides to fill the bullpen slot, it could be with Cory Arbiso who is currently on the disabled list. However, this could be an opportunity to bring up switch pitcher, Pat Venditte, who has been excellent with Tampa. In 3 games he has pitched 7+ innings striking out 13, and pitching to an ERA of 3.68.
Having Venditte repeat in Tampa starting this year, was a sign the Yankees didn't recognize him as a true prospect. However, in EJ Fagan's post, Pat Venditte Finally Considered a Prospect, he makes the following observation:
Usually, you can tell who the Yankees consider a prospect and who they do not. The Yankees do something very specific with their prospect relief pitchers: they stretch them out and put them on a set rotation. That means that they will pitch every 3rd day for 2-3 innings. They’ve done it with David Robertson, Mark Melancon, Wilkins De La Rosa, J.B. Cox, Anthony Claggett, and Michael Dunn. No others on a real schedule come to mind. Those guys are far and away the seven most-valued Yankee relief prospects of the last 5 years. Guys like Jon Hovis, Eric Wordekemper, Josh Schmidt, etc have stuck around the Yankee farm system, but haven’t been given the playing time of the true prospects. Venditte was getting playing time similar to the latter group up until the end of last year, but the Yankees started stretching him out more following his promotion to High-A in 2009.
What happened on Saturday? Pet Venditte pitched a fairly unnecessary 3 innings, following Adam Warren’s 6-inning start. A well-rested Tampa bullpen had plenty of guys who could have used work to pitch a third inning, but the Yankees pushed Venditte back out, who was dominating and presumably going to go until he hit his pitch count.
Venditte followed up that 1st 3 inning appearance with two more outings of 2 innings each, 3 days apart. This seems to support the fact that he has been upgraded to a top prospect relief pitcher by the organization. A promotion to Double-A will further support that conclusion.