Pirates' Castro serves suspension after losing phone on slide

August 27th, 2022

PHOENIX -- Pirates second baseman apologized Aug. 9 after his cellphone fell out of his back pocket during a headfirst slide into third base in the fourth inning of Pittsburgh’s 6-4 loss to Arizona at Chase Field.

Castro called it “an accident, a mistake” that the phone was still in his pocket during the game, which isn’t allowed per MLB rules. A week later, Castro received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for violating Major League Baseball’s electronic device policy. After appealing, he served his suspension in Saturday's game against the Phillies.

“In all reality, I just remember getting dressed, putting my pants on, getting something to eat … never did it ever cross my mind that I still had my cellphone on me,” Castro said through an interpreter. “I went out there, put my sliding pad in my pocket, never felt my phone and just went out there and what happened, happened.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think there’s any professional ballplayer that would ever even go out there with any intentions of taking a cellphone out. It’s horrible that it happened to me. Obviously, it was very unintentional, I didn’t mean to do this at all in any way or form, it’s something I didn’t even know I had on me. And to be completely honest with you, I feel horrible.”

Castro was called up by the Pirates earlier in the day after spending the past two months at Triple-A Indianapolis. He was moving from first to third on a two-out single by Oneil Cruz, and as Castro’s hands hit the bag, his phone slid out onto the dirt.

Third-base umpire Adam Hamari first noticed the phone on the ground, alerting Castro that it had fallen out. Castro said he was “shocked” when he saw it there and immediately picked it up and gave it to Pittsburgh third-base coach Mike Rabelo.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton said the club spoke with Castro about the incident, letting the 23-year-old know that it’s something that can’t happen.

“It was just a general mistake, and I thought the umpires handled it really well. Adam did a good job,” Shelton said. “And then [crew chief] Hunter [Wendelstedt], we talked about it as I came off the mound the one time. There was no intent to do anything.”