It seems more and more frequently that pitchers in baseball are being struck in the head by line drives. From Brandon McCarthy last season to Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians last night, pitchers have been brutally injured by these comeback line drives, prompting some to call for protection for pitchers.
The most common idea: a protective, kevlar cap. Prototypes have been released and some pitchers have even adopted the new gear. A recent MLB report stated that this season, six new pitchers have adopted the padded hats.
Early versions of the cap looked big, bulky, and inhibiting. They weren’t well received by players or MLB staff, but some still opted for the extra padding.
Newer versions of the padded hats aren’t gigantic and are much more functional. Hector Noesi of the Chicago White Sox is one of the new converts to the padded caps, but chose a much slimmer, more traditional looking version.
While eventually these caps may become the league standard, for now, they’re prototypes. Something for players to use at their discretion to make themselves, their family’s and their fans feel safer. But as pitchers continue to take liners in the head and suffer serious injuries, so will the call for protective caps. Coming as hard and fast as a Miguel Cabrera shot up the middle.