Padres pitcher Alex Torres worked the eighth inning Saturday night against the Dodgers, but it was no ordinary relief appearance. The 26-year-old left-hander became the first player in MLB history to sport the newly-approved pitching headgear.
"It could save our lives, if someone hits a ball to your head," Torres said (via MLB.com). "I get it for free, so I'm just gonna use it to see how it feels."
Torres came to the Padres this past offseason in a trade from the Rays, and that's notable here because he was Alex Cobb's teammate when this happened last season:
In light of those line drives, MLB approved the use of this protective headgear back in January. It's obviously not required.
As for how it feels?
"The difference between how this hat and the regular hat feels isn't much," Torres said (MLB.com). "I tried it before using it in the game, playing catch. It doesn't feel really bad. It doesn't feel like how it looks on my head."