MLB Striving For Better Head Protection


alex cobbMajor League Baseball is working to improve head protection as a result of what has become a frightening trend in MLB, a pitcher throws towards the plate, and seconds later is struck by a line drive often sending the pitcher to the ground and to the DL.

In under 2 years, 7 Major League pitchers have been hit in the head by line drives, the most recent was Miami Marlins reliever Dan Jennings Thursday night which resulted in him being concussed and hospitalized. The ball that struck Jennings was clocked at 101 MPH.

Jennings joins a list that consists of Brandon McCarthy, J.A Happ, Alex Cobb, Aroldis Chapman, Mickey Storey, and Doug Fister. Of all those pitchers, only Fister managed to stay in game after being hit.

Major League Baseball, in a collaborative effort with the MLB Players Association have been funding research by California based engineering company Boombang that will allow pitchers to have increased head protection order to help prevent serious injuries like the ones we’ve seen over the past couple years.

“Our hopes are that they come up with something that pitchers can use without interfering with their mechanics,” MLBPA assistant general counsel Bob Lenaghan said about the research project.

After Brandon McCarthy was struck with a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar, he required brain surgery.

The McCarthy incident is what first lead to increased concern for pitchers safety, but today there is only 1 product approved by MLB for use in game,  the isoBLOX cap. This cap does not get wide spread use as the added weight and bulkier appearance don’t appeal to pitchers. With MLB and MLBPA working together to fund research, hopefully baseball will have a strong solution for increased pitcher safety in the near future.



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