November 28, 2022

Aaron Boone doesn’t think Anthony Rizzo deserved ejection for arguing balls and strikes

Rizzo got into it with umpire Manny Gonzalez late in the game. (Nick Wass/AP)

BALTIMORE—Anthony Rizzo got ejected for the first time this season on Thursday. The Yankees first baseman said he was tossed by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez in the top of the eighth inning of the Yankees 9-6 loss to the Orioles for shouting “the same pitch, same pitch,” from the dugout after he had been rung up on two pitches he felt were low. He shouted out after he felt Gonzalez called a pitch in the same location as a ball to Giancarlo Stanton.

“Obviously the replays showed it was clear. The next pitch to G from the dugout, first pitch was pretty much the same pitch, even looking at and all of a sudden, that pitch of the ball I said ‘same pitch, the same pitch’,” Rizzo said.

Gonzalez tossed Rizzo from the dugout. He felt that Gonzalez was being overly sensitive because they were looking at iPads in the dugout, which do not have live feeds, but players have used to critique umpires calls.

“We know that right now with iPads in the dugout that there’s a lot of sensitivity and (manager Aaron Boone) asked, Is it because of the iPad? We get the answer ‘yes.’ And they’ve just changed the whole iPad thing to where you don’t get  your actual live feed until the next inning,” Rizzo said. “So  if that’s a warranted objection then you better keep your mouth shut and asleep because we should be getting ejected.”

Boone felt it was too harsh a penalty, obviously.

“Balls and strikes,” Boone said to simplify the argument. “I thought it was a little bit of a quick hook and Anthony wasn’t overly …..it didn’t rise to that level for me.” Rizzo said he doesn’t believe he swore at Gonzalez, a veteran of 13 seasons in the big leagues.

And he understands it was a very costly ejection. Rizzo’s spot in the lineup came back up in the ninth—Joey Gallo drew a walk. In the bottom of the inning, Boone had to move his defense around. In the ninth, after the Yankees tied it and he had used Josh Donaldson as a pinch hitter and kept him in as a third baseman, he moved  DJ LeMahieu from third to first. On Austin Hays’ tough chopper, Donaldson made a throw that got past LeMahieu. It’s a play Rizzo felt he would have made.

“The frustrating part is my spot comes back up was a play defensively that I think clearly make and because I said it’s the same pitch, I got ejected,” Rizzo said.  “That’s where I get really frustrated.”

ARM ISSUES

The Yankees prided themselves on their pitching depth coming into this season and now it may get tested early. Not only did big league reliever Chad Green leave Thursday’s game with the dreaded forearm discomfort, but top pitching prospect Luis Gil left a minor league game Wednesday night with an apparent elbow injury.

Gil was scheduled to see team doctor Chris Ahmad on Friday. The right-hander pulled himself from his start with Triple-A Scranton in the fifth inning Wednesday night. The Times Tribune of Scranton reported that it is an elbow issue.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that he had not gotten much information on the injury.

“I know he left the game and I know he’s scheduled to see the doctor tomorrow,” Boone said before Thursday’s series finale against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Boone also said that he believes this is a new injury for Gil, who does not have a history of elbow issues.

Both Gil and Green are scheduled to see team doctors on Friday.

Gil made a spot start for the big league club last Thursday in Chicago allowing four earned runs on five hits over four innings. He walked two and struck out six. He made the start because the Yankees had back-to-back rainouts to start a stretch of 23 games in 22 days and they needed an extra starter. He likely would be called on to make a few more if he is healthy.

Gil made a big splash when he came up to the big leagues last season. He did not give up a run through his first three starts. He ended up making six emergency starts for the Yankees as they dealt with injuries and finished with a 3.07 ERA. He struck out 38 over 29.1 innings pitched, but also walked 19.

LOCASTRO UPDATE

Outfielder Tim Locastro, who is on the injured list with a strained lat muscle, is working out back in New York, but there is no timeline for his return.

“I would say it’s going well, his rehab’s going well, he is swinging off the tee and flips and everything, Boone said. “So we’ll have a better idea when we’ll get back but again, for the injury that he had, he was doing pretty well, symptom wise, surprisingly, and that’s continued to go that way. So I know he’s doing pretty well and continues to make progress, but as far as when yet I’m not quite sure, but I know he’s hitting.”

Locastro appeared in 15 games before getting hurt, mostly as a pinch runner. In 13 plate appearances he was slashing .231/.333/.462 with a home run and two RBI. He had four stolen bases.