Houston Astros centerfielder Jake Marisnick has been suspended two games and fined an unspecified amount by Major League Baseball for colliding with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy during a play at home plate on Sunday in Houston. Lucroy sustained a concussion and a broken nose as a result of the collision. If Marisnick does not appeal the suspension, it will begin on Thursday when the Astros start a series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
"After thoroughly reviewing the play from all angles, I have concluded that Jake's actions warrant discipline," said Joe Torre, MLB's Chief Baseball Officer. "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."
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 10-10 game on Sunday, Marisnick tagged from third on a fly ball to right field. As he approached the plate, Marisnick stepped to the left to avoid Lucroy. However, the throw from right field drifted up the third base line and carried Lucroy into the path of Marisnick. Marisnick initially was called safe but was later ruled out after the play was reviewed.
After the game, Marisnick tweeted, "Through my eyes I thought the play was going to end up on the outside of the plate. I made a split second decision at full speed to slide head first on the inside part of the plate. That decision got another player hurt and I feel awful. I hope nothing but the best for @JLucroy20."
The play drew passionate reactions from around the league. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina sent out an expletive-laden Instagram post calling for MLB to take action against Marisnick. That prompted several Astros, including Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman, to come to the defense of their teammate in the comment section of Molina's post. Justin Verlander even called the post "#fakenews."
Marisnick is considered one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. At the plate, he's hitting .250 and has an OPS of .775. Both are the second highest of his career.