PHOENIX — Major League Baseball has reportedly launched an investigation to determine if the Diamondbacks used an electronic watch, against league rules, in the National League wild-card game against the Rockies on Wednesday night.
The investigation comes just weeks after commissioner Rob Manfred sanctioned the Boston Red Sox for having personnel wear an Apple Watch to steal signs from New York Yankees catchers earlier this season.
Arizona defeated the Rockies, 11-8, in the wild-card game to advance to the National League Division Series to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Prieto has been a coach and interpreter for the Diamondbacks for the past three seasons.
Electronic equipment with internet capabilities is banned in the dugout by MLB.
After the Red Sox were fined for their use of an Apple Watch, Manfred said in a statement that “all 30 clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.”
In a statement to the Arizona Republic, Prieto said the watch was on “airplane mode for about two days.”
“If they want to take my Apple Watch, take my phone, they can do it. I wasn’t doing anything,” Prieto said. “I know it’s a rule, I know I missed that, but if they want to investigate, they can have it.
“It’s a rule and you have to follow the rule. But it’s been on airplane mode for the last two days. I have no chance of texting anybody or anything.”
The team told KNXV that was a “simple oversight.”
“Ariel Prieto has assured us that this was a simple oversight and honest mistake,” the Diamondbacks said in a statement. “The watch he wore last night was absolutely not used in any way related to our game and we will make certain prior to the NLDS that it will not be an issue again.
“Ariel takes full responsibility and feels terrible that this has been a distraction of any kind.”
The Rockies have not commented.