INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – At their first meeting since a pair of pitchers were hit on the head by line drives, baseball general managers discussed ways to protect hurlers from injuries in the future.
Major League Baseball staff have said a cap liner with Kevlar, the high-impact material used by military, law enforcement and NFL players for body armor, is among the ideas under consideration.
"If we settle on something that is going to make sense, and obviously the pitcher has to be comfortable with it, we'll obviously put that in as soon as possible," MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said Wednesday.
Oakland's Brandon McCarthy was hit on the head by a line drive in September, causing a skull fracture and brain contusion that required surgery.
Detroit's Doug Fister was hit on the head by a liner off the bat of San Francisco's Gregor Blanco during the World Series. Fister was unhurt and stayed in the game.
MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green is to give a report at next month's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. MLB senior vice president Dan Halem has said protective headgear for pitchers could be in place in the minor leagues for next season.
"We'll talk to our doctors to make sure that they're comfortable or they're satisfied this is an advance," Torre said.
Any change to require protection for big league pitchers would have to be negotiated with the players' association