Padded hat for pitchers approved by MLB

Updated: 1/28/2014 5:03 pm

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( - Seeking a way to reduce the risk of injury to pitchers who are struck by line drives, Major League Baseball has approved a padded hat for on-field use during games.

Pitchers will have the option to wear the isoBLOX Protective Cap made by the 4Licensing Corporation beginning in the 2014 season, it was announced Tuesday.

But the player perhaps most closely associated with the dangers of throwing pitches 60 feet, 6 inches from major-league hitters says he won't wear the hat the way it's currently made.

"The technology is there," Brandon McCarthy told "It helps. It's proven to help. But I don't think it's ready yet as a major league-ready product. And I told them that. I told them that's where it's at."

McCarthy was pitching for the Oakland Athletics against the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 5, 2012, when he was hit in the head by Erick Aybar's line drive. He suffered a skull fracture and needed surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding.

According to, McCarthy spent the past eight months working with MLB and isoBLOX on the cap but found it was too big, too hot and too heavy.

"It's just too big," said McCarthy, who now pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks. "It has to disappear."

McCarthy suffered a seizure last June that doctors linked to his head injury.

On Tuesday, he replied to a question about the hat on Twitter by telling a follower they were "headed in the right direction" but that the hat wasn't ready to be worn in games.

"Nobody wants this to work more than me," McCarthy told "But we tried to take this as far as we could and see if it's something that could work, but it just wasn't there."

He said hopefully in a couple of years there will be a protective hat pitchers can wear that isn't too distracting on the mound.

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