Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy was carted off the field during his team's game against the Houston Astros on Sunday following a scary collision at the plate with center fielder Jake Marisnick.
Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group noted the Astros outfielder was called out for the collision, while Lucroy was taken from the field on a cart. According to Fletcher, the catcher was taken to the hospital and will be evaluated for a nose fracture and concussion.
Marisnick pinch ran in the bottom of the eighth inning with the game tied at 10 and came barreling toward Lucroy in an attempt to score on a potential sacrifice fly from George Springer. Marisnick crossed home plate but made contact with Lucroy's head on the collision as the ball bounced away.
"Through my eyes I thought the play was going to end up on the outside of the plate," said Marisnick on Twitter after the game. "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."
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times suggested neither player was at fault:
Mike DiGiovanna @MikeDiGiovanna
At the risk of offending those who think Marisnick's slide was dirty ... it looked like Jake was trying to take an inside tack to avoid a collision and Lucroy, while trying to catch ball, leaned his body right into Jake and the collision. Not sure either was at fault. #Angels
Lucroy was 2-for-4 with a run and RBI before exiting the final game before the All-Star break. Justin Bour pinch hit for Lucroy in the top of the ninth, and Dustin Garneau entered as catcher for the bottom of the ninth. He has been inconsistent for much of his first season with the Angels and entered play slashing .233/.304/.349 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.
He was a serious power threat behind the plate in 2016 with 24 home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers but is yet to rediscover that stroke since. He had a combined 10 home runs the past two years for the Rangers, Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics.
The Angels will likely turn toward Garneau behind the plate if Lucroy is forced to miss extensive time. The journeyman has played for the Rockies, Athletics and Chicago White Sox in addition to Los Angeles the past five years and is slashing .263/.391/.316 without a long ball in 16 games this season.