MLB looks to protect pitchers from line drives
“It would depend on how intrusive it is,” he said. “Pitchers would want it to be no irritant or agitant. The weight would be important.”
When he returned to the A’s after his accident, McCarthy said he would be willing to listen to ideas about protective headgar, provided it didn’t impact his pitching.
Halem said baseball was in the early steps of getting a protective device on the field. It would require testing and an examination from an independent laboratory to see whether it could withstand the force of a line drive going 100 mph or more.
“We actually had a guy that was in our organization that wore a helmet,” Giants ace Matt Cain said Saturday. “I mean, obviously it’s not the best-looking thing. But safety-wise, I mean, obviously it’s beneficial.”
MLB could implement the safety change in the minors, having made similar moves involving larger batting helmets. Putting it in effect for the majors would require agreement from the players’ association.
“We’d have to discuss how we’d roll it out,” Halem said.
Baseball mandated batting helmets for big leaguers starting in 1971. Players already in the majors could opt not to wear them, and Boston backup catcher Bob Montgomery played until 1979 without one, instead putting a protective plastic lining inside his cap.
Fox broadcaster Tim McCarver watched the replay of the Fister ball and said he thought baseball might need to “resort to helmets for pitchers.”
Philadelphia pitcher Vance Worley heard that remark and tweeted: “Pitchers….wearing helmets….really?”
Last year, Washington shortstop Ian Desmond hit a liner that struck Colorado pitcher Juan Nicasio in the head. Knocked off his feet, Nicasio broke his neck when he fell on the mound.
Desmond also heard McCarver’s suggestion.
“Helmets for pitchers??? Really,” Desmond tweeted.