Aug 10, 2022
ESPN News Services
PHOENIX — Rodolfo Castro got the call-up and dropped a call in his return to the big leagues.
The Pittsburgh infielder lost his phone during a slide into third base, and the Pirates lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 on Tuesday night.
“I don’t think there’s any professional ballplayer that would ever go out there with any intentions of taking a cellphone,” Castro told Pittsburgh media members through an interpreter. “It’s horrible it happened to me. Obviously, it was very unintentional.”
Rookie Tommy Henry (1-1) was sharp in his Chase Field debut, allowing a run on four hits in seven innings for his first big league win.
Castro made a different kind of noise after being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis — with his phone.
The second-year second baseman walked in the fourth inning and went to third on Oneil Cruz’s single. Castro slid headfirst into the bag to beat the throw, and the impact sent his phone flying from his back pocket.
Third-base umpire Adam Hamari immediately saw the phone and pointed to it on the ground. The 23-year-old Castro picked up the phone and handed it to Pirates third-base coach Mike Rabelo, who had an exasperated look on his face before taking it.
Castro said he put his oven-mitt-like sliding glove in his pocket and forgot about the phone.
“You stay around the game and you see things you haven’t seen before,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “This was just a kid who made a mistake. It’s just one of those things we move forward from and tell him, ‘You can’t do that.”’
Major League Baseball has cracked down on technology being used on the field since the Houston Astros used live TV feeds to steal opposing teams’ signs during their run to the 2017 World Series championship and part of the 2018 season.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season. The Astros also were fined $5 million and forfeited their first- and second-round picks in 2020 and 2021.
Castro might want to keep his phone close by on Wednesday in case MLB decides it wants to impose a penalty.
“My first day back, if I was to be the center of attention, I would want it to be helping the team win, but never in this form,” Castro said. “This is definitely something that was an accident, a mistake, something I’m going to learn from. But definitely something I didn’t mean to happen.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.