SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia was a player representative while with the Blue Jays and he has been in contact with Players Association executive director Tony Clark about possible new rules concerning collisions at home plate.
So when the new rules came out Monday, Arencibia was happy with the changes.
"I think it's great," Arencibia said. "It takes away malicious intent on plays at the plate."
The changes mean a catcher can no longer block the plate if he doesn't have the ball. It also means a runner can't run out of a direct line to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher, or any player, covering the plate.
"There are still going to be collisions at home plate," Arencibia said. "The runner doesn't always have to slide and the catcher still has the ability to block home plate if he has the ball. But this takes away hits that are not considered professional. It's pretty clear what you're able to do and what you're not able to do."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.