Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro probably assumed he was off the hook for an on-field incident last week against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he slid to third base and dropped a cellphone from his pocket in the process.
However, the seemingly honest mistake violated MLB’s on-field and in-dugout electronics policy, and Castro has been given a one-game suspension — as reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Castro also has to pay an undisclosed fine.
The 23-year-old was playing his first game back in the majors after getting the call-up. Castro claims that he simply left his device in his pocket without realizing it.
Based on the video of Castro’s slide to third, he appeared to be in the full swing of the game and not trying to preserve the phone still cradled in his back left pocket.
Third base umpire Adam Hamari was the one to spot the phone once Castro reached third and was still unaware of the missing phone.
“I thought the umpires handled it very well and did a good job,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said after the game. “There was no intent to do anything. He made a mistake and kept his phone in the pocket.”
Castro is expected to appeal MLB’s suspension, which will make him eligible to play Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox.
“I just really want MLB to hear my version of the story and make sure they understand my heart behind everything,” Castro shared ahead of Tuesday’s matchup. “None of this was intentional. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
Note: If you’re sliding into DMs halfway through a baseball game, MLB will slide into yours with a nice slap on the wrist.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela