MLB to debut protective caps for pitchers

February 12, 2016 / BaseballSports Medicine
MLB will debut protective headwear for pitchers during this year’s spring training, according to a report from ESPN’s Outside The Lines.

Photo: Kevin Hoffman
Photo: Kevin Hoffman

The move toward pitcher’s helmets has gained traction over the last couple of years, as players like Alex Cobb and Dan Jennings suffered serious injuries after taking line drives off of their heads. The caps reportedly weigh 10 to 12 ounces and will be given to 20 pitchers.

Pitchers have tried various designs of protective headwear over the last year, most saying that the helmets were not comfortable enough to wear during a game. Jennings told ESPN “I don’t think many guys will wear anything unless it’s mandatory.”

From the article:

MLB pitchers acknowledge they are disinclined to make even slight changes to their feel on the mound or their routine and appearance.

At the end of last season, only Houston’s Collin McHugh among MLB pitchers was known to be wearing protective headgear. McHugh said Thursday he is a big supporter of the SST insert and that he had not heard of the new MLB/MLBPA product.

Upon learning about it, McHugh said, “I’m super excited that MLB is getting in front of this with the players’ association … and when they started to have first- and third-base coaches wear helmets — and we [pitchers] are closer to the plate and in a more awkward position — it was just a matter of time before MLB introduced something for us.”

These conversations haven’t caught fire at the college or high school levels, but safety issues that start at the top have a way of trickling down to other leagues. One could argue the debate is especially important in leagues using aluminum bats.

ESPN cited sources saying the helmets “easily passed” impact testing at 85 mph and could “almost certainly” protect pitchers at higher speeds.

Click here to read the complete article.

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