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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


MLB approves protective caps for pitchers

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 28, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

MLB-Protective Caps BaseballIt was a stunned sort of quiet that fell over Yankee Stadium on May 29, 2010. Alex Rodriguez had just doubled to right field, Nick Swisher was rounding third base, and Indians starter David Huff was lying face down on top of the mound.

Rodriguez’s line drive had hit off Huff’s head, ricocheted over the right side of the infield, and carried on the fly into the outfield toward the right-field line. As soon as Rodriguez got to second base, he put his hands on his head, took off his helmet, and took a knee.

“Your heart stops,” Rodriguez said that day. “You want so badly to take it back. You’re scared. You think of him. You think of his family. You think of a million other places that the ball could have gone other than where it did. Why there?”

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball took a step toward protecting other pitchers from that exact same situation.

The league has approved the use of a padded, protective cap for pitchers. No one will be required to wear it – not in the Majors or the minors – but players will be allowed to test out the new technology during spring training. They can wear it during the season if they’d like to do so.

“We talked to a lot of guys who had been through this, and they provided a wealth of information to help us,” Bruce Foster, CEO of the 4Licensing Corporation, told The Associated Press. “We went through a myriad of different designs to develop this.”

MLB-Protective Caps BaseballThe approved cap is called IsoBLOX. It’s made with safety plates sewn into the hats. The finished product weighs six to seven ounces more than normal caps. They’re also roughly a half-inch thicker in the front about an inch thicker on the sides.

That sort of slightly awkward design might make pitchers hesitant to use the new caps. When larger protective batting helmets became available, few hitters embraced the new helmets because they felt and looked awkward. That said, pitchers being hit by comebackers has become a much-more talked about problem than hitters being drilled in the head.

Toronto starter J.A. Happ and Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb were hit in the head last year, and Tigers starter Doug Fister took a line drive to the head during the 2012 World Series. It was also in 2012 that A’s starter Brandon McCarthy was hit in the head by a line drive. He eventually required surgery for a fractured skull, a brain contusion and bleeding within the head.

“I mean, we’re playing a game,” Rodriguez said on the day his line drive flattened future-teammate Huff. “I know it’s a business too, but for all of us, playing it should always be a game first. When something like that happens right in front of your eyes it makes you think long and hard about things much bigger than throwing or hitting a baseball or running around the bases for a few hours a day.”

Associated Press photos

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44 Responses to “MLB approves protective caps for pitchers”

  1. Chip January 28th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    The latest All Free Agent team:

    C – Yenier Bello
    1b – Carlos Pena
    2b – Justin Turner
    3b – Michael Young
    SS – Stephen Drew
    LF – Brennan Boesch
    CF – Vernon Wells
    RF – Nelson Cruz
    DH – Kendrys Morales

    Bench: Jeff Baker, Kelly Shoppach, Wilson Betemit, Andres Torres

    Rotation:

    Ubaldo
    Ervin Santana
    Arroyo
    AJ Burnett
    Tommy Hanson

    Bullpen:

    Closer: Rodney
    RHP: Andrew Bailey, Carlos Marmol, Joel Hanrahan, Suk-Min Yoon, James McDonald
    LHP: Oliver Perez

  2. Hassey January 28th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I still like Brennan Boesch and Michael Young

  3. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 28th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Michael Young said he will stay with the Dodgers or retire.

    *******************

    blake, I am going to give you both 93 and 147 as of today and will drop one out when we know for sure which to drop out.

    :)

  4. Mottsx January 28th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    @AdamKilgoreWP

    Jeff Baker, Gar-Field High alum and masher of lefties, is close to signing. Nats are still in.

  5. exiledintampa January 28th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Kevin Mallar makes “Hot Stove” unwatchable. It’s too bad cause I must have seen him play 50 times in A ball. He played for the Brevard Manatee’s and my son was a batboy. He was a nice guy to the batboys. And I used to talk to him all the time. Now I can’t stand his voice. Fredi Gonzalez, The Braves Manager was Brevard’s Manager that year. I learned more about baaseball sitting next to the dugout and talking to Fredi than ever before. He was terrific.

  6. UpState January 28th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Jeff Baker:

    No recent NYY mention.

    Is this bad ?
    or
    Is this ‘stealth’ ?

  7. joeman January 28th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Aroldis Chapman for 1 year 5 mil…..WOW

  8. mick January 28th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Jeff Baker:

    No recent NYY mention.

    Is this bad ?
    or
    Is this ‘stealth’ ?
    ============
    Contact Michele or Wanzies.

  9. CountryClub January 28th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    “A MELBOURNE teenager has hit a home run by signing a lucrative professional contract with the New York Yankees that will make him a millionaire before he can legally drive.”

    http://www.news.com.au/sport/m.....zY.twitter

  10. DocTodd January 28th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I like how the article states the Melbourne kid throws 150 kph…

  11. longtime January 28th, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I like how the article states the Melbourne kid throws 150 kph…

    equals 93 mph

  12. tomingeorgia January 28th, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Rats,
    It’s freezing rain.

  13. exiledintampa January 28th, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    What’s the legal driving age in Australia? Cause if he was here, he could drive and would have to be drafted before he could be signed after high school.

  14. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    93 for a 17 year old is pretty darn good….

  15. CountryClub January 28th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    The Yanks need to keep throwing money at the areas of the world that don’t fall under the international salary cap. Sooner or later, MLB will close the loophole.

  16. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    “blake, I am going to give you both 93 and 147 as of today and will drop one out when we know for sure which to drop out.”

    Sounds good

  17. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    CountryClub says:
    January 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm
    The Yanks need to keep throwing money at the areas of the world that don’t fall under the international salary cap. Sooner or later, MLB will close the loophole.

    Yup….and areas where there is no draft yet

  18. Jerkface January 28th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Does this count against the 2012-2013 IFA pool? I think it should. Or would it count against next years limit?

    93 mph for a 17 year old is nice. Australia is one of those ‘next great frontiers’ for baseball.

  19. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    @RiverAveBlues: After Phil’s comments last week, it seems Joba too is content with blaming everyone else for his struggles. http://t.co/QsnLgK6ePR

  20. Jerkface January 28th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    This kid counts under the IFA pool limit. I just don’t know which year he falls under.

    Players Covered by a Club’s Signing Bonus Pool and Exemptions
    from Pool
    1. International Players (defined as players who are residents
    of any country or territory other than the United States,
    Canada, and Puerto Rico) will be covered by a Club’s
    Signing Bonus Pool unless exempted pursuant to subparagraphs
    E.2 below.
    2. Bonuses paid to International Players will not count
    toward a Club’s Signing Bonus Pool in the following two
    circumstances:
    a. Players who previously contracted with a Major or
    Minor League Club.
    b. Players who are least 23 years of age and have played
    as a professional in a league recognized by the Commissioner’s
    Office for a minimum of five seasons. During
    the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 signing periods,
    Cuban players who are at least 23 years of age and have
    played as a professional in a Cuban professional league
    for a minimum of three seasons will be covered by this
    exemption. In all signing periods following the 2013-
    2014 signing period, Cuban players only will be exempt
    if they are 23 years of age and have played as a professional
    in a Cuban professional league for a minimum of
    five seasons.

  21. CountryClub January 28th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Jerkface January 28th, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    This kid counts under the IFA pool limit. I just don’t know which year he falls under.

    ———-

    Bummer.

  22. Chip January 28th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    @RiverAveBlues: After Phil’s comments last week, it seems Joba too is content with blaming everyone else for his struggles. http://t.co/QsnLgK6ePR
    ———————

    Joba is a giant child who was handed adulation before achieving greatness. He came in with a big fastball, a lot of excitement and he fed off of it.

    Did the Yankees do things to screw up his development? Clearly they did. But Joba is the one who let himself get out of shape, he’s the one who never worked to advance his craft, he allowed himself to be passed on the depth chart by David Robertson and Shawn Kelley when, in terms of raw talent, he’s the far better pitcher, and he’s the one who, ultimately, made it easy for the Yankees to let him walk.

  23. Chip January 28th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    CountryClub says:
    January 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm
    The Yanks need to keep throwing money at the areas of the world that don’t fall under the international salary cap. Sooner or later, MLB will close the loophole.

    Yup….and areas where there is no draft yet
    ——————

    IFA cap or not – the Yankees should throw money there. The punitive reaction from MLB is dwarfed by the rewards.

  24. Barry January 28th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    At last — something almost lovely re Alex Rodriguez.

  25. chicken_stanley January 28th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    93 for a 17 year old is pretty darn good….

    ——————–

    In high school, we played in a tournament against several neighboring counties. In our first game, there were about 6 scouts in attendance to watch the pitcher we would face… He was a junior (just over 16 yrs old) and was a flamethrower. According to the scouts, he sat at 93 most of the game and dialed it up to 96 a couple of times. Needless to say, he shut us down. I made a concerted effort to follow him after that because I really thought he was on a track to stardom. Sadly, he blew his arm out before he graduated and never pitched beyond high school.

  26. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I made a concerted effort to follow him after that because I really thought he was on a track to stardom. Sadly, he blew his arm out before he graduated and never pitched beyond high school.”

    Many do….the human body isn’t meant to throw baseball over handed that hard. Only a select few guys can both do it…..and do it without their arm breaking

  27. chicken little January 28th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Joba is a giant child who was handed adulation before achieving greatness. He came in with a big fastball, a lot of excitement and he fed off of it.

    Did the Yankees do things to screw up his development? Clearly they did. But Joba is the one who let himself get out of shape, he’s the one who never worked to advance his craft, he allowed himself to be passed on the depth chart by David Robertson and Shawn Kelley when, in terms of raw talent, he’s the far better pitcher, and he’s the one who, ultimately, made it easy for the Yankees to let him walk.
    _________________________________________________________________________
    this is a perfect assessment of Joba.

  28. UnKnown January 28th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Joba and Phil making excuses and not owning up to flat out not getting the job done is disappointing.

    Call it the Lohud way. They must be active readers. :lol:

  29. chicken_stanley January 28th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Many do….the human body isn’t meant to throw baseball over handed that hard. Only a select few guys can both do it…..and do it without their arm breaking

    ————–

    I played just a little bit beyond high school but he was the hardest thrower I ever faced… I honestly don’t know how hitters are able to recognize a pitch and then make the decision to swing or not and finally put good wood on it when its coming mid 90′s or higher.

  30. coney1 January 28th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve noticed Wanzies has been MIA since the Tanaka signing. He seemed to be of the belief that the Yankees were going to blow past $189M and add another starter besides Tanaka (like Jimenez), a solid reliever, and a 3b option. It’s odd that he hasn’t appeared here since Cashman said they were done spending money. Has anybody heard from him?

  31. Jerkface January 28th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    @npbtracker 5m

    Apparently 60% of NHK’s MLB broadcast schedule is Yankees games. http://blog.livedoor.jp/i6469/.....85010.html

  32. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Joba was mostly responsible for what happened to Joba…..

  33. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    So AJ is gonna pitch in 2014…..

  34. AAA January 28th, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Joba was mostly responsible for what happened to Joba…..

    ======================================

    I’ll go 65/35 Joba. Maybe 70/30. Yankees can’t get a complete pass for painfully mismanaging an electric arm.

  35. blake January 28th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    “I’ll go 65/35 Joba. Maybe 70/30. Yankees can’t get a complete pass for painfully mismanaging an electric arm.”

    Nah but I really think that’s overstated….they handled him poorly but ultimately it’s up to the player how good they are IMO and Joba really did nothing to help himself

  36. AAA January 28th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Nah but I really think that’s overstated….they handled him poorly but ultimately it’s up to the player how good they are IMO and Joba really did nothing to help himself

    ===========================================

    Agreed, but half the battle for a coaching staff is being able to deal with the proverbial million dollar arm with a 5 cent head.

  37. pete2 January 28th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I think Joba’s problem is conditioning. If the kid got himself in shape he could be effective.

  38. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Let’s see how Joba does with the Tigers before we make up our minds the Yanks were to blame.

  39. chicken_stanley January 28th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    The funny thing is, Joba still has decent stuff… not electric like when he first came up but decent nevertheless. It seems like his fastball has straightened out and he no longer has command of the slider. He could have some success going forward but he definitely has some things to work through

  40. sandy g January 28th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    the new protective caps for pitchers are nice but does no good if the pitcher is hit in the face as 95% have been.

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