“He knocked me out,” Lucroy said Friday, reliving the play that led to a hospital visit for Lucroy and a two-game suspension for Marisnick.
Lucroy was positioned in front of home plate to receive a throw from Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning of a tie game Sunday at Minute Maid Park. Marisnick made a last-second move to his left and collided viciously with Lucroy, seemingly regretting the decision instantly. Lucroy sustained a broken nose and his third diagnosed concussion. Marisnick reached out via text message later that night.
“A situation like that, split-second decisions have to be made,” said Lucroy, who will have his nose repaired Monday and doesn’t expect to spend much time on the injured list. “I don’t think he was trying to hurt anybody. However, I did give him the whole lane, the whole foul territory, to slide. I did tell him that in the text. As a catcher, when the play’s at home, I always try to give the runner some place to slide. That’s what the new rule says. You’re supposed to do that. If you don’t, you can get called for interference. We communicated. And it is what it is.”
Marisnick, who was also fined, appealed his suspension in part because he wants to elaborate on the matter with officials from Major League Baseball. In his initial statement, Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, said that though Marisnick might not have intended to injure, the Astros outfielder nonetheless violated rules designed to protect catchers from this.
The Angels have since added some depth behind the plate, activating backup Kevan Smith off the injured list and acquiring veteran Josh Thole — along with left-handed reliever Adam McCreery — from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations on Friday.
Lucroy has made it a point to position himself in front of home plate while awaiting a throw ever since he was called for interference while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers and facing the Angels a few years ago. He hopes baserunners will do their part to abide by the rules in the future.
“I mean, you can look at my face,” Lucroy said, pointing to his black eye. “There’s a reason why the rule is in place.”