Cincinnati Reds star Elly De La Cruz caused a brief delay in their game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.
De La Cruz drew the umpires’ attention in the second inning at Nationals Park as he stepped up to the plate with a small device that looked like a knob cover on the bottom of his bat.
Although it was small and didn’t stand out much at all, it appeared to leave the umpires very confused. They called into the league office briefly, too, before eventually forcing De La Cruz to take the item off.
was allowed to put the device back onto his bat for his second plate appearance the following. According to Bally Sports Cincinnati, the knob was actually a cover for a Blast Motion sensor that can read and track metrics on every swing.
This is nothing new for De La Cruz, either. As the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith pointed out, he’s used the knob cover since he was called up to the Reds last month.
collects data on a number of things, including swing metrics, impact metrics, ball flight and swing quality. Blast Motion was named the official bat sensor technology of MLB in 2016, although the sensor itself still isn’t approved for in-game use. The minor leagues allow players to use the sensors in live games.
De La Cruz, however, was just batting with his empty sensor cover on his bat — which is allowed.
The brief interaction didn’t seem to throw De La Cruz off, either. He hit a solo home run in the fifth inning that went 455 feet into the upper deck in right field.
That marked his fourth home run this season and his 14th RBI. It also put the Reds up 5-1.
De La Cruz has shone since he was called up from the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Louisville last month. The in just his 15th MLB game on June 23, which was the first by a Reds player since 1989 and made him the third-fastest to do so in league history.
De La Cruz entered Wednesday’s game with a .308 batting average. He had four hits in their 8-4 win over the Nationals on Tuesday, too, which made him the first player 21 years old or younger to have two four-hit games within his first 25 games in the league since 2001, .