DETROIT -- It was not as controversial as the play that ended Friday's game between the Astros and Brewers, which prompted Yankees manager Joe Girardi to call Joe Torre seeking clarification about the so-called Chase Utley slide rule, but Starlin Castro had his own run-in with a replay review in
DETROIT -- It was not as controversial as the play that ended Friday's game between the Astros and Brewers, which prompted Yankees manager Joe Girardi to call Joe Torre seeking clarification about the so-called Chase Utley slide rule, but Starlin Castro had his own run-in with a replay review in Friday's 4-0 loss to the Tigers.
The "neighborhood play," in which a middle infielder straddles the base or glides past it on a double-play pivot, is now eligible for review. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus successfully challenged that Castro was not in contact with second base on what was originally ruled a 5-4-3 double play on James McCann in the eighth inning. Andrew Romine was returned to second base, where he was stranded.
"It's a big, big, big rule," Castro said. "For me, when that play happened [Friday], I thought I was on the base. When I see the manager come out of the dugout, I think they're challenging it because maybe [McCann was] safe at first. My foot got up a little bit, but that's the rule. I think now, they don't slide hard at you, but now we have to make sure we stay on the base."
In the Houston-Milwaukee game, Jose Altuve was called out at first base for a game-ending double play after the umpires deemed Colby Rasmus slid illegally past second base following Altuve's grounder. The Brewers won, 6-4.
Under the new rule 6.01(j), runners have to make a "bona fide slide," which involves contact with the ground before reaching the base, attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot and being able to remain on the bag at the completion of the slide.
Girardi said that he thought Altuve should not have been called out because Rasmus did not impede shortstop Jonathan Villar, who made no attempt to throw to first base. Girardi suggested that the new rule may have an unintended consequence.
"I'm not so sure that middle infielders aren't in more danger now than they were before," Girardi said, "because now they have to stay on the base."
Castro said that he believes the new rule will succeed in limiting injuries for middle infielders. He views losing the "neighborhood play" as a fair trade for eliminating malicious slides.
"It protects us, and that's why sometimes [in the past], that play like [Friday], the umpire gives it to us because we don't have the rule and everybody slides hard," Castro said. "But now, we have to make sure that the foot stays on the base."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.