Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick collided with Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy on a play at the plate on Sunday afternoon in the eighth inning of a 10-10 game. The throw from right fielder Kole Calhoun drew Lucroy into the third base line. Marisnick lowered his shoulder and barrelled into Lucroy, who suffered a concussion and a fractured nose.
After the game, Angels manager Brad Ausmus suggested Marisnick should be suspended. Major League Baseball agreed with Ausmus. Marisnick has been suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount, the league announced on Thursday. Chief baseball officer Joe Torre said, “After thoroughly reviewing the play from all angles, I have concluded that Jake’s actions warrant discipline. While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision.”
Rule 6.01(i) states:
(1) A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate), or otherwise initiate an avoidable collision. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out (regardless of whether the player covering home plate maintains possession of the ball). In such circumstances, the umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 6.01(i).
(2) Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Not withstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(2) if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw (e.g., in reaction to the direction, trajectory or the hop of the incoming throw, or in reaction to a throw that originates from a pitcher or drawn-in infielder). In addition, a catcher without possession of the ball shall not be adjudged to violate this Rule 6.01(i)(2) if the runner could have avoided the collision with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) by sliding.
Marisnick can appeal his punishment, which would allow him to continue playing until the matter is resolved. If he doesn’t choose to appeal, he will begin serving his suspension tonight, when the Astros begin the second half of the season against the Rangers.