MLB gives thumbs-up to protective pitchers caps

Brandon McCarthy nearly lost his life after being hit by a line drive in 2012.

(USATSI)Brandon McCarthy nearly lost his life after being hit by a line drive in 2012.
Moore MLB: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers On Tuesday morning, Major League Baseball informed the 30 clubs that it has approved a protective cap product for pitchers, the Associated Press has confirmed. William Weinbaum of ESPN first reported the news. The players' union was consulted during the process.

"We're excited to have a product that meets our safety criteria, " said MLB executive vice president for labor relations Dan Halem to Weinbaum. "MLB is committed to working with manufacturers to develop products that offer maximum protection to our players, and we're not stopping at all. "

 

The caps, which are manufactured by 4Licensing Corporation, a subsidiary of isoBlox, will be made available to pitchers in spring training and are optional, not required. The cap had to meet National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) standards at 83 mph, which an MLB-run study concluded was the average speed of a line drive when it reached the pitcher's mound. Here are some more details from Weinbaum:

The company says the caps are a little over half-an-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.

In addition to the added thickness, the padding increases adds seven ounces to the weight of a cap, which currently weighs three-to-four ounces, said Foster. The padding is to be sent to New Era to sew into MLB's official custom-fitted caps.

"What we've given [pitchers] is a product with protection they've never had before. It changes the game for them, " said Bruce Foster, CEO of 4Licensing. "Short of wearing a helmet, I am doubtful there'll be a product to protect against 100 mph. Hopefully there will be. "

Brandon McCarthy suffered life-threatening brain injuries when he was hit in the head by a line drive during in September 2012. Last year, J. A. Happ and Alex Cobb both missed time after being hit in the head. It's worth noting McCarthy, Happ and Cobb were hit below the cap line, so the new product would not have necessarily helped them. MLB is not considering additional protection for pitchers (visor, mask, etc. ) at this time.

 

Players are currently allowed to wear any kind of protective device as long as it doesn't interfere with play, even products not licensed by MLB. Both Halem and Foster point out that while use of the protective cap may be limited in the big leagues, it has great potential for youth leagues.

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LaTroy Hawkins hit by ball in groin while not wearing protective cup

Major League Baseball gamers who don’t put on protecting cups, guys like New York Mets right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, should know they’re taking a calculated risk. They do it for bodily consolation because, even these days of advanced engineering, cups can really feel cumbersome *down there*.

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Well, Hawkins won the lottery within the worst potential means Wednesday evening. Pitching in opposition to Jerry Hairston of the Los Angeles Dodgers within the ninth inning, Hawkins fielded a pointy grounder again to the mound along with his unprotected groin.

And it damage. Rather a lot.

Hawkins managed to choose up the ball and throw out Hairston at first. With Andre Ethier coming to bat as a pinch hitter, Dodgers workers went to check on Hawkins. Later in the New York Every day News, he said:

“I assumed I might get by way of it,” said Hawkins, who took two warm-up pitches with trainer Ray Ramirez, manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen all watching earlier than going through Ethier.

Regardless, Ethier hit a tying two-run dwelling run, and Mets would fall 4-2 in 12 innings. Afterward, Hawkins supplied this PG-rated quote about how it felt:

The New York Publish published a extra detailed (NSFW) model:

(Getty) “It was a direct hit — no cup,” stated Hawkins, who remained in agony after the game. “Once I lifted my leg, I may feel my balls in my throat, but I believed I could get through it. I feel like I got kicked by a mule, and it hurts.”

As Deadspin mentioned, it’s one of many nice quotes in baseball historical past.

Reporter Marc Carig called the session with Hawkins, “Possibly probably the most excruciating postgame interview I’ve ever been concerned with.”

He wasn’t even the man who took a shot to the groin. And yet, there’s a one thing of a psychic bond that types amongst beings with testicles. It is almost like we may feel Hawkins’ pain. Virtually.

No bueno indeed.