MLB yet to approve protective head gear
Major League Baseball will not approve any protective head gear prior to the 2013 season.
As reported by Outside the Lines, MLB has yet to approve a design that meets its medical standards. MLB senior vice president Dan Halem had hoped to approve a design in time for Opening Day this weekend.
"If I had a product that passed [high-speed impact] tests, it'd be out there tomorrow," Halem said.
Medical officials from MLB have been testing prototypes from EvoShield and Unequal Technologies. Reportedly a number of other non-affiliated individuals have also approached MLB with early-stage ideas. But none of the product concepts have made it to the advanced stages yet. Officials have also looked at the helmets used in cricket and football for inspiration. Safety, weight and not affecting a pitcher's bio-mechanics, are all issues being considered.
Efforts to develop protective head gear for pitchers were accelerated when Oakland Athletics' pitcher Brandon McCarthy underwent emergency brain surgery after being struck in the head by a line drive in September. McCarthy has since recovered and signed a two-year, $15.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is intent on helping develop a solution.
"The stuff that's out there already is no good at all," McCarthy said. "It seems like it's still a long way away. I don't even care if it's MLB-approved. I just want something that's functionally approved by me."
McCarthy is scheduled to make the first start since his injury on April 3 when the Diamondbacks host the St. Louis Cardinals.