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Why Yankees-Rays was delayed 16 minutes for a pitching change

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The Yankees wanted to offer Lucas Luetge a number of extra seconds to warm up, but as an alternative they got 16 minutes.

Manager Aaron Boone eventually got to make the pitching change he wanted within the eighth inning of their 4-3 win Wednesday over the Rays, but not before a lengthy delay brought the sport to a screeching halt because the umpires conferred with the league office on a rule clarification after a second straight mound visit with none pitches being thrown in between.

“That was brutal,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “To start with, I feel like that may’t occur. It will probably’t take 20-Half-hour or whatever to work out what’s occurring. There’s gotta be any individual that knows what to do.”

Miguel Castro had retired the primary two batters of the eighth before getting in trouble when he gave up a double to Manuel Margot and hit Randy Arozarena with a pitch. After pitching coach Matt Blake visited with Castro on the mound because the Rays’ staff tended to Arozarena, Ji-Man Choi was announced as a pinch-hitter. At that time, Higashioka made one other mound visit to permit Luetge more time to warm up within the bullpen.

Boone then tried to make the pitching change, but was met by the umpires, who convened for a lengthy meeting to find out whether or not he was allowed to due to Blake’s recent visit.

Aaron Boone talks with home plate umpire Cory Blaser during a delayed pitching change for reliever Lucas Luetge.Jason Szenes

“At first they were saying we couldn’t return out because once [Arozarena] gets hit, that [next] at-bat is now in play so we are able to’t exit twice throughout the at-bat,” Boone said. “Well, for those who announce a pinch-hitter, you’ll be able to. And [Blake] was already on the market before they announced that pinch-hitter. In order that’s what I used to be getting [at] and ensuring we had a rules check on it.”

Crew chief Phil Cuzzi told a pool reporter that the confusion got here all the way down to when Choi was announced because the pinch-hitter. Ultimately, they deemed that Blake’s trip to the mound got here while Isaac Paredes was still the hitter and that Boone’s got here after Choi had been announced because the pinch-hitter.

After Luetge was finally allowed to enter, he gave up back-to-back RBI singles before getting out of the jam.

“I used to be just playing it by ear,” Luetge said. “I used to be trying to observe and warm up at the identical time.”

Aaron Hicks has not consistently shown the identical arm strength after 2019 Tommy John surgery as he did before it, but he recently provided the Yankees some encouragement that he’s still able to more.

Last Wednesday in Minnesota, Hicks caught the coaching staff’s attention with a throw home from left field that nabbed Gio Urshela on the plate.

“It was eye-opening to us, like, ‘Woah, that’s in there,’ ” Boone said. “We hadn’t seen that arm come back. To see him make that throw, there’s only a few people making that throw. That was paying homage to Aaron when he had that awesome arm. So it’s good to see that’s in there and hopefully we proceed to see increasingly of that as he gets further removed [from Tommy John surgery] and continues to play.”

Josh Donaldson returned from his one-game suspension (for his “Jackie” comments to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson), playing third base and going 0-for-3.

The Yankees released Ender Inciarte from his minor league contract. The veteran outfielder had been twiddling with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, batting .252 with a .744 OPS and 4 steals across 34 games.

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