June 25 (UPI) -- New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen disputed reports he violated Major League Baseball rules by contacting manager Mickey Callaway during games.
Van Wagenen said reports by The Athletic and The New York Post claiming he communicated with Mets trainers and officials during games are accurate. The first-year general manager, however, said he has never directly contacted Callaway midway through a game.
"No in-game decisions are ever called down to the dugout," Van Wagenen said. "We're not allowed to communicate with Mickey or his coaching staff during games, and we're not doing that."
MLB rules mandate players and coaches cannot use cellphones anywhere during a game. Exceptions are made in the MLB All-Star Game, where players have taken photos midgame in recent years.
The New York Post reported Monday that Van Wagenen had a direct influence on Callaway removing Mets starter Jacob deGrom from a June 1 start in Arizona. The Mets believed deGrom suffered an injury that day and, despite the reigning Cy Young winner's protests, he was removed in the seventh inning.
Callaway said that decision was made after receiving "information from all parties."
"We made the decision to take care of our ace pitcher that's going to be here for a long time," Callaway said. "We all thought it was prudent at that point."
Van Wagenen reiterated before Monday's 13-7 loss to the Phillies that Callaway has all control of baseball decisions.
The Mets are 37-42 and nine games out of first place in Callaway's second season as manager. New York went 77-85 last season and has not made the playoffs since 2016.