The team's extension down the lines to the foul poles will be the longest protection in the MLB.
The Chicago White Sox and Illinois Sports Facilities Authority are planning to extend the protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field down the lines to the foul poles, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Tuesday.
According to Van Schouwen, the changes will be made as soon as possible this season.
The push for increased netting comes after Chicago Cubs player Albert Almora Jr. hit a hard line-drive foul into the stands at a game against the Houston Astros on May 29, striking a child. On June 10, another fan was bloodied and taken to a hospital after being hit by a foul ball off the bat of Eloy Jimenez. Protective netting would have prevented both injuries.
“It keeps people safe; It’s a smart move,” Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said, per the Sun-Times. “I hate seeing young kids get hit and having to go to the hospital.
“In today’s day and age, you have a lot of young fans, and guys are hitting the ball harder," Giolito added. "I see the counter-arguments like, ‘Don’t sit there,’ or, ‘Just pay attention to the game.’ Dude, no matter how much you’re paying attention to the game, if that thing’s coming in 115 miles an hour with tail, no matter if you have a glove this big, it could hit you right in the forehead.”
Exact details of the net extension have yet to be released.