Major League Baseball approved a product design to protect pitchers against line drives that are hit towards them. A padded cap made by the 4Liscencing Corporation will be made available to pitchers when they report for Spring Training, however the use of the cap will be optional.
The design comes 17 months after Brandon McCarthy, then with the Oakland Athletics, sustained serious head injuries after a comeback liner struck him in his head. The company states the cap is half an inch bigger on the front and an inch thicker near the temples. The cap protects from impact on a 90 MPH pitch to the front and a 85 MPH pitch to the side.
The new cap will not prevent all injuries, and many of the serious injuries occur below the cap line. There is still talk about protecting pitchers with possibly visors, masks or helmets.