San Diego Padres reliever Alex Torres became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to wear a protective cap on the mound.
A design for the padded cap was approved by MLB in January, almost a year and a half after Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy suffered life-threatening brain injuries from a line drive to the head.
Torres, who was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen in 2013 and saw starter Alex Cobb concussed by a batted ball to the head, told MLB.com that the new cap isn’t much different than a normal baseball cap.
"The difference between how this hat and the regular hat feels isn't much," Torres said. "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."
According to MLB.com, Torres ordered the cap a month ago. He threw the eighth inning in Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing one run and striking out two in the frame.