Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Next season you may notice something different at Syracuse Chiefs and Auburn Doubledays games. At the Baseball Winter Meetings, which start Monday, Major League Baseball is expected to approve a rule requiring pitchers in all minor leagues to wear protective headgear.
“With the probability of bats breaking like they are and the speed of the ball coming off of the bat, today seems to be a lot faster than the old days. Baseball looks to protect its players,” said Syracuse Chiefs General Manager John Simone.
They won't look like the batting helmets players wear at the plate when they hit and it won't exactly be the regular baseball hat either, it'll probably be more of a marriage of the two of them with a hard cover inside.
"Hopefully because Major League Baseball will do it, the youth leagues will incorporate it. There's always an expense involved, a lot of that expense can be borne by the leagues or parents if your son's a pitcher. It should be something they do in the youth leagues automatically,” Simone continued.
Simone says it will probably be annoying at first, but slowly pitchers will become used to it, just the way hitters did years ago when helmets became required for them during games. In a couple of years, Simone says pitchers’ protective headgear will be just as common as anything else in the game – and probably used at every level.
There hasn’t been any discussion at the high school level to require pitchers to wear protective headgear. Instead, the talk has been about bats that would reduce the speed baseballs could be hit, lessening the risk for pitchers that way.