Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy said that beginning next season, pitchers will likely have the option of wearing protective headgear while on the mound in order to protect against line drives to the head.
"They're coming," McCarthy told Fox Sports. "From everything I know, they'll be available this year. I don't believe they're going to be mandatory. Actually, I'm almost certain they won't be mandatory."
McCarthy, while a member of the A's, got cracked in the head against the Angels during a game in 2012, and he said that the new equipment would protect against a similar occurrence.
"It should be strong enough and capable enough that literally if I got hit by the exact same ball, I would've been able to keep pitching in the game," he said.
McCarthy said he met with the lead MLB doctor during spring training last year to discuss the equipment. He also noted that minimizing pitchers' vulnerability is a high priority for MLB.
One MLB spokesperson told Fox: "One product that has passed the testing standards should be available to players for next season. We are still evaluating a number of other potential products. We expect this issue to continue to evolve, but we believe this is an important first step."
Despite the obvious benefits, McCarthy said he has one reservation.
"It looks ridiculous and we get so used to the way things look," he said. Hopefully this doesn't prove too big of a hindrance.