MLB Approves Optional Use Of Protective Headgear For Pitchers
Last season Alex Cobb was struck in the head by a line drive and afterward said he felt that pitchers should be given the option to wear some sort of protective head gear – he will have that choice beginning this spring.
According to a report on ESPN’s Outside The Lines (Link) Major League Baseball has informed teams that it has approved the use of protective head gear next season.
According to the ESPN report, “the newly approved caps, manufactured by 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox, will be made available to pitchers for spring training next month. Their use is optional.”
According to the company:
“The caps are a little over a half-inch thicker in the front and an inch thicker on the sides — near the temples — than standard caps, and afford protection for frontal impact locations against line drives of up to 90 mph and for side impact locations at up to 85 mph. The soft padding, isoBlox says, is made of “plastic injection molded polymers combined with a foam substrate” and is designed to diffuse energy upon impact through a combination of dispersion and absorption techniques.”
Last season the Rays Alex Cobb was struck by a line drive off his head that caused him to miss 60-days of action. During his rehab he spoke to the media (LINK) about the possibility of using protective headgear.
Even after J.A. Happ went through this we were asked pretty heavily about this topic. I came right out and thought that there should be something for us to have the option to do. I don’t want it to turn into something where every pitcher on that mound is mandated to wear something – that’s everybody’s personal choice. It’s one that you want to have a little say so if this incident happens again that you were able to do everything you could to protect yourself, your future, your family.”
“Thankfully, we haven’t seen it yet but if something more serious happened with death or any other serious injury it wouldn’t be a fun thing to think about if we had the opportunity to wear something – we’re just not given that opportunity right now. It’s obviously going to take a long time to get rolling in that direction hopefully it will speed the process a little bit and guys will be able to start getting used to it.”
The Outside the Lines report suggests that the protective headgear will protect only 40% of the pitchers head leaving 60% still exposed but all can agree that pushing forward with the optional use is a great kick start to a solution to the problem.