Before the 2014 season, Major League Baseball approved new protective headgear for pitchers to help reduce the severity of injuries from come-backers. It sounded like a good idea, but the cap was big, bulky, and frankly looked weird, so many pitchers chose to wait until the technology got a little better.
But not Padres reliever Alex Torres. When he was brought in in the top of the eighth against the Dodgers on Sunday, he took the mound with the oversized protective hat. And that makes him the first pitcher in the league to wear it in a game.
"It could save our lives, if someone hits a ball to your head," Torres said. He was aware, though, that it's not the most fashionable thing in the world. "It doesn't feel as bad as it looks, but it does look as bad as it looks."
Torres was joking. Mostly. He knows that the it looks funny right now, but it will only improve with use in live game situations. "There will be continued progress in the adjustments of the headwear, but it's up to each individual player [to wear it]."
Here's a video of Torres in action wearing the cap, along with commentary from the Padres broadcast team as well as legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.
What do you think of the protective pitchers cap? Let us know in the comments section below!