Texas Rangers

Ugly home plate collision could get Houston Astros outfielder suspended

Pence’s focus is on Rangers, not All-Star Game

Texas Rangers outfielder Hunter Pence will not play next week in the All-Star Game, but he isn’t disappointed. He wants to be healthy for the second half.
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Texas Rangers outfielder Hunter Pence will not play next week in the All-Star Game, but he isn’t disappointed. He wants to be healthy for the second half.

Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick is probably looking at a suspension from MLB after a violent home plate collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Even if Marisnick didn’t intend on running over Lucroy — and that’s debatable — the league is still likely to suspend him.

Fans on social media have taken polar opposite sides, of course, with many Astros fans claiming Lucroy was blocking the plate. Ridiculous. But many Angels fans are accusing Marisnick of a dirty play. At first glance, they may seem true. But after watching replays Marisnick’s explanation has some merit.

Lucroy, who played for the Rangers in 2016 and 2017 was carted off the field and taken to a Houston hospital for tests after the play in the eighth inning Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

Lucroy suffered a concussion and a fractured nose.

Marisnick was ruled out after a replay review.

After the game, Marisnick was contrite and tried to explain how the collision occurred. In his defense, it happened in fractions of seconds. The replays appear to show exactly how it happened. As Marisnick raced down the third-base line, he sees Lucroy plant his left foot on the line. Marisnick figured Lucroy was moving his entire body towards the line. Instead, Lucroy planted his left foot as the replay throw was approaching and stayed on the fair side of the line in front of the plate.

In that moment, Marisnick chose to alter his path to the fair side of the line as well. Marisnick’s upper body collided with Lucroy’s upper body.

“Once I made the decision it was too late,” Marisnick said. “It was a bad play and I hope he’s okay. It’s terrible. I wish him the best and hope he’s okay.”

St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina posted an angry, profane reaction to the collision in defense of Lucroy, calling for the league to take action.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus, a former Astros catcher, thought it was a dirty play.

“It certainly didn’t look like a clean play,” he said. “It looked like Marisnick took a step to the left and bowled into him with his arm up. The call was right. MLB should probably take a look at it and consider some type of suspension.”

Astros manager A.J. Hinch called it an ugly play.

“I never like to see any athlete get carted off the field,” he said.

The Astros begin the second half with a four-game series against the Rangers beginning Thursday at Globe Life Park.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.