ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick was suspended for two games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for his violent home plate collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy before the All-Star break.
Marisnick said he still felt terrible about the play and had a rough couple of days during the break to digest the situation. He also said he had spoken with Lucroy, who sustained a concussion and a broken nose.
“I’ve seen a lot of takes on it, and obviously everybody has their own opinion,” Marisnick said before the AL West-leading Astros played their first game after the break. “But I know deep down in my heart that I had no intent to hurt, or make contact, with him.”
Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, said he thoroughly reviewed the play from all angles. While acknowledging he didn’t believe Marisnick intended to injure Lucroy, Torre said the actions in last Sunday’s game warranted discipline because they violated MLB rules designed to protect catchers from that type of situation.
Marisnick, who also was fined, appealed the suspension and was available to play in the series opener against Texas though he wasn’t in the starting lineup. He said he wanted an opportunity to speak more thoroughly with MLB officials about the play.
Astros manager AJ Hinch, a former big league catcher, said he remained steadfast in his defense of Marisnick and how unintentional the play was, and was also still empathetic toward Lucroy.
“I don’t think the suspension was necessary, I don’t think it was warranted, but MLB wants to maintain their control over the collisions at the plate, and for all of the right reasons,” Hinch said. “I haven’t seen in my career too many unintentional acts warrant a discipline, but this is a tough one because of the extent of the injury to Jonathan Lucroy and the nature of the rule around home plate.”
Lucroy was carted off the field after the collision at the end of the eighth inning of a home game the Astros won in 10 innings. Marisnick was called out for colliding with Lucroy, and the call was upheld after a crew chief review.
Marisnick posted on his Twitter account afterward that he “made a split second decision at full speed” and that he thought the play was going to be on the outside when he made the move toward the inside of the plate. He reiterated that when talking at his locker before Thursday’s game.
He said his lunging move before the contact with Lucroy “was me trying to clear all the way to the inside, and that’s why I’m so far inside, and the throw to the plate took him a little bit more inside than I anticipated.”
As for his talk with Lucroy, Marisnick said that occurred after Sunday’s game.
“I just kind of explained and apologized,” Marisnick said, not revealing Lucroy’s response. “I’ll let him tell his side of the story. I don’t want to put words in his mouth.”