Major League Baseball announced the approval of a padded, protective cap for pitchers on Tuesday.
Brandon McCarthy, who has been outspoken about the need for better protection and has been active in the process of improving that area, said that the cap is not ready and he will not wear it. In 2012 McCarthy was struck in the head by a line drive and required surgery to relieve pressure on his brain that was being caused by internal bleeding. When he feels a protective hat is ready, McCarthy has made it clear that he will be the first to wear one.
As for the cap that was approved today, another player who was struck in the head in recent years will test it out for himself. Juan Nicasio of the Colorado Rockies was hit by a come-backer in August of 2011. His injury required surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae.
Rockies head trainer Keith Dugger spoke with Thomas Harding of MLB.com about the cap, and he said the team will have Nicasio test it out:
We’ll bring it to his attention…We’ll fit one on him and ask him to test it again, and see if it’s something he wants to go with.
“It’s a good thing. It’s one of the few devices that has passed standards and it can be custom fit for anyone. It’s just going to take time to get used to. The good thing is there are options for players.”
Dugger also emphasized the fact that teams can never mandate that players wear them. For now, it sounds like the reception to these caps will be lukewarm, but at least it is a step in the right direction.