PHOENIX – Rodolfo Castro received the call-up and dropped a call on his return to the big leagues.
The Pittsburgh infielder lost his phone while sliding into third base, and the Pirates lost 6-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night.
“I don’t think there’s a professional ballplayer who would ever go out with the intention of picking up a cell phone,” Castro told Pittsburgh media officials through an interpreter. “It’s terrible that this happened to me. Obviously it was very unintentional.”
Rookie Tommy Henry (1-1) was sharp in his Chase Field debut, enabling a four-hit run in seven innings for his first major league win.
Castro made another noise after being called by Triple-A Indianapolis – on his phone.
The second-year second baseman went into the fourth inning and finished third with Oneil Cruz’s single. Castro slid headfirst into his pocket to deflect the throw, and the impact ejected his phone from his back pocket.Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro’s cell phone fell out of his back pocket Tuesday night as he slipped to third place against Arizona. Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images
Third base umpire Adam Hamari saw the phone immediately and pointed it to the ground. Castro, 23, picked up the phone and handed it to Mike Rebelo, the Pirates’ third base coach, who had an annoyed look on his face before answering.
Castro said he put his oven mitt-like slip mitt in his pocket and forgot the phone.
“You stay with the game and see things you haven’t seen before,” said Pirates manager Derek Shelton. “It was just a kid who made a mistake. It’s just one of those things that we walk away from and tell him, ‘You can’t do that.”’
Major League Baseball has cracked down on on-field technology since the Houston Astros used live TV feeds to steal opposing teams’ signs during their 2017 World Series Championship run and part of the 2018 season.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been suspended for the 2020 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million and forfeited their first- and second-round picks in 2020 and 2021.
Castro might want to have his phone nearby on Wednesday in case MLB decides to issue a penalty.
“On my first day back, if I was the center of attention, I would want it to help the team win, but never in this form,” Castro said. “It’s definitely something that was an accident, a mistake, something I’ll learn from. But definitely something I didn’t mean to do.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.