Remember that gruesome scene from Sunday’s game in Houston, when Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy, blood streaming from his nose, staggered to his feet and fell to the ground after being pummeled by 6-foot-4, 220-pound Jake Marisnick in a violent home-plate collision?
“The last thing I remember, I was kind of inching my way up the line and reaching for the baseball,” Lucroy said. “The first thing I remember after that is when they put me on the golf cart. He knocked me out.”
Lucroy suffered a concussion and broken nose and was placed on the seven-day concussion list Friday. Kevan Smith was activated off the injured list to share catching duties with Dustin Garneau.
Lucroy has a small shiner under his right eye, his nose is slightly swollen and disjointed, “but I’m doing pretty good, considering,” he said. “The way I feel, I don’t think I’ll be out too long.”
Marisnick was tagging from third on a fly to right in the eighth inning of a 10-10 game. Marisnick told reporters he thought the throw was pulling Lucroy into foul territory, so he took a last-second crossover step in an attempt to slide head first to the inside part of the plate.
But Lucroy leaned toward the inside of the line as he tried to catch the ball, and the two smashed into each other, Marisnick lowering his right shoulder into Lucroy’s face and bowling him over.
The collision sparked a heated social-media debate, with many fans accusing Marisnick of being a “dirty player” and many others defending him.
“I’ve watched the play from different angles, and from some angles, it looks bad,” Marisnick said. “...The lunge people see, me making moves to make impact, is me trying to clear all the way to the inside. The play took him a little bit more inside than I anticipated. If you’re watching from that angle, you see me try to get out of the way.”
Marisnick text messaged Lucroy on Sunday night to apologize. Did Lucroy, who has now suffered three concussions, think the contact was accidental?
“In a situation like that, there are split-second decisions that have to be made,” he said. “I don’t think he was trying to hurt anybody. However, I did give him the whole lane, the whole foul territory, to slide.”
JC Ramirez has been healthy enough to surpass 90 pitches in a game for triple-A Salt Lake, but his fastball during his recovery from Tommy John surgery has sat at 90 to 92 mph, below his career average of 95.6. The veteran right-hander gave up seven earned runs and 10 hits, including four homers, in five innings of Thursday night’s 13-3 loss to Las Vegas and has a 7.47 ERA in seven triple-A starts in which he has struck out 17, walked 14, hit four batters and allowed six homers in 31-1/3 innings.
Reliever Keynan Middleton, also in the final stages of Tommy John rehab, struck out three after loading the bases in one inning for Class-A Inland Empire on Thursday night. He threw 19 pitches, and his fastball was clocked at 94 to 96 mph. He probably will pitch next for Salt Lake and could be activated by the end of July.
Infielder Zack Cozart, out since late May because of left-shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to undergo a season-ending cleanup procedure on the shoulder Wednesday. Cozart hopes to begin swinging a bat in six weeks, have a “normal” offseason and be ready for spring training in 2020. … The Angels added depth by acquiring veteran catcher Josh Thole, 32, and left-handed reliever Adam McCreery from the Dodgers for cash. Thole has hit .242 in eight seasons with the New York Mets and Blue Jays. The 6-9, 250-pound McCreery is 10-11 with a 3.51 ERA in six minor league seasons. Both were assigned to triple-A Salt Lake.