MLB pitchers will be experimenting with padded caps to prevent injuries from driven hits, according to a report on ESPN.com.
The report cites Rob Vito, the president of sports equipment company Unequal Technologies, who says that the league has looked into providing its pitchers with caps that have an extra layer of padding to prevent skull injuries. The report states that the league is in negotiations with several companies that could provide the protective gear, of which Unequal is only one.
However, Tito gave some insight into what his company’s product could potentially look like on the field:
Vito said Unequal’s padding for each cap weighs 4.3 ounces, is one-eighth of an inch thick and is made of a three-layer synthetic composite that includes military-grade DuPont Kevlar and a polymer with the properties of rubber. He also said Unequal could mass-produce the cap padding and sell it as an insert for about $60 apiece retail.
The issue of head injuries to pitchers became more prominent in the closing stages of the 2012 season, most notably when the Oakland Athletics Brandon McCarthy was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels. McCarthy suffered hemorrhaging, a brain contusion, and a skull fracture in the incident, and as such had to undergo a two-hour surgery to help repair the damage.