Will pitchers wear protective caps?

Will pitchers wear protective caps?
January 29, 2014, 9:30 am
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Major League Baseball has approved a padded cap meant to protect pitchers from injury on line drives up the middle. But a guy who could have used one a couple of years ago doesn’t sound like even he wants to wear it.

Apparently, it doesn’t look cool.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon McCarthy, who was struck in the head in 2012 when he was pitching for the Oakland A’s, said he found the isoBlox cap "too big," "didn't pass the eye test" and "too hot," ESPN.com reported.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw agreed the cap won’t win any fashion awards, but he seemed more willing to try it.

Kershaw told the MLB Network: "I've actually tried one of those on. I've thrown with it. You don't look very cool. I'll be honest. You don't look very cool out there. But technology is unbelievable, and it really doesn't feel that much different once you get used to it. … I'm definitely not opposed to it."

The manufacturer said the isoBlox cap can provide protection on balls hit at up to 90 mph. MLB has determined the average speed of a line drive back to the mound is 83 mph. The caps are a half-inch thicker in front and an inch thicker at the temples than regular caps.

Any pitcher — in the majors or minors — who wants to wear the cap can order them at spring training.

But at least initially, this appears to be a tough sell. Another pitcher who got conked on the head last year, the Toronto Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ, said: "I'd have to see what the differences in feel would be — does it feel close enough to a regular cap? You don't want to be out there thinking about it and have it take away from your focus on what you're doing."

Cap tip to mlb.com.