CHICAGO -- Royals pitcher Bruce Chen didn't think he was doing anything new or illegal, but he was called for a quick pitch in the fourth inning against the White Sox on Friday night.
Plate umpire Mike Everitt called it on a pitch to Brent Morel, ruling it an automatic ball. That prompted Royals manager Ned Yost to come onto the field for a discussion with the ump.
"You look at the rulebook and it's the umpire's judgment. [Even though] other umpires haven't called it all year long and we've been doing it all year long, it was his judgment it was a quick pitch," Yost said.
Chen has used the quick pitch to try to catch batters off guard before, but this is the first time he's been called for an infraction.
"Whatever it takes," Chen said. "I'm going to use everything I can. I've already dropped down my arm angle, and I'm more ready to quick pitch people. It's part of the game. They know that, and they know I'm going to do everything I can to win the ballgame."
Everitt explained to him that a hitter, according to Rule 8.05 (e), has to be "reasonably set in the batter's box" before a pitch is delivered. And it's up to the umpire's judgment. The penalty is an automatic called ball or, if runners are on base, a balk.
Chen said that now he thoroughly understands the rule, but don't look for him to abandon the quick-pitch strategy.
"That's a huge part of my game," he said.