All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Should we put helmets on pitchers?
10/26/2012 2:47 PM
http://www.dtmba.com/mueller.pdf

Interesting study.

Granted, the premise is metal vs wooden bats, but it does get into odds of a pitcher getting hit per batted ball.

10/26/2012 2:50 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/26/2012 2:40:00 PM (view original):
I do tend to think pitchers are far more likely to get hit in the face than the head.

Simply because they're trying to catch the ball.   It's what you're taught to do.   And, when you're trying to catch something, you're looking at it.    With your face. 
I call BS on this, but without empirical evidence.

The automated flight vs fight reaction to a sphere coming at your head, to me, means that first you turn your head, then you duck/dodge/get the hell out of the way.

Saw it last night. First thing he did was turn his head. That's why he got cranked off the side of his melon.
10/26/2012 2:52 PM
In my opinion, and I have nothing to back this up, pitchers get hit in the head more often than the face.  While you want to catch the ball, you look away if your face is about to be crushed, more often than not.  You watch the video of Fister, and he clearly looks away from the ball.  

You know if a pitcher is killed, they're going to put helmets on pitchers.  Just like they did base coaches.  So why not now and prevent it?


10/26/2012 2:54 PM
Ok, you'll have to summarize.  I stopped at 6 percent of pitchers struck by batted balls were hit in the face/head.  I scanned further down and was something like 15 out of every 100,000 struck ball hit a pitcher.   Without doing the math, my once/twice a year seems even less likely at the BL level.   
10/26/2012 2:58 PM
Posted by deathinahole on 10/26/2012 2:50:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/26/2012 2:40:00 PM (view original):
I do tend to think pitchers are far more likely to get hit in the face than the head.

Simply because they're trying to catch the ball.   It's what you're taught to do.   And, when you're trying to catch something, you're looking at it.    With your face. 
I call BS on this, but without empirical evidence.

The automated flight vs fight reaction to a sphere coming at your head, to me, means that first you turn your head, then you duck/dodge/get the hell out of the way.

Saw it last night. First thing he did was turn his head. That's why he got cranked off the side of his melon.
I'm going off what I've seen/experienced.    My entire life I was told "Don't turn your head" when fielding a ball.  I assume all baseball players are told the same thing.  The initial reaction is to catch the ball and look at it.   Perhaps there's an instinct that kicks in when you realize you can't catch it and your head turns.

As for a hitter, they're taught to get out of the way.   Nothing unmanly about that.   But a fielder diving out of the way?  Not happening.
10/26/2012 3:00 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/26/2012 2:54:00 PM (view original):
Ok, you'll have to summarize.  I stopped at 6 percent of pitchers struck by batted balls were hit in the face/head.  I scanned further down and was something like 15 out of every 100,000 struck ball hit a pitcher.   Without doing the math, my once/twice a year seems even less likely at the BL level.   
Nope.

Assuming an avg of 140 pitches a game, that's 15 times every 714 games.

2430 games a year in MLB, so that's ~48 times a season.

If you want to say it happens less at the BL level, and the hits to the head are less, that's still a lot.

10/26/2012 3:02 PM
Batters get hit in the face too. Should they wear a shield? At the very least, they don't take off their helmet and go "the odds are I'm going to get hit in the face anyway".
10/26/2012 3:03 PM
So you're saying pitchers get hit in the head 48 times a year in MLB?   I KNOW that's not right.
10/26/2012 3:06 PM
Posted by deathinahole on 10/26/2012 3:02:00 PM (view original):
Batters get hit in the face too. Should they wear a shield? At the very least, they don't take off their helmet and go "the odds are I'm going to get hit in the face anyway".
Batters are instructed to move.   Pitchers aren't.

Should pitchers wear shinguards?   64% of pitchers hit by batted balls are hit below the belt.    At what point do we say "This just isn't safe.  Scrap this ******* game!"  

Seriously, I have to drive to the gym in a couple of hours.   Exercising could cause cardiac arrest.  It happens.   Or I could get hit by a car on the way.  It happens.  Should I skip the gym?   Or should I say "Life is full of risks.  You can't live it if you hope to avoid all of them."
10/26/2012 3:10 PM
Pitchers at the NCAA level get hit 48 times a year (if they played the same 162 game sched as MLB)
A portion of those were to the head.

A very loose calc; there were 46 injuries reported in the study, 9 were to the head. So, 20% of the time a pitcher gets hit, it's to the head (in this study)

10/26/2012 3:14 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/26/2012 3:06:00 PM (view original):
Posted by deathinahole on 10/26/2012 3:02:00 PM (view original):
Batters get hit in the face too. Should they wear a shield? At the very least, they don't take off their helmet and go "the odds are I'm going to get hit in the face anyway".
Batters are instructed to move.   Pitchers aren't.

Should pitchers wear shinguards?   64% of pitchers hit by batted balls are hit below the belt.    At what point do we say "This just isn't safe.  Scrap this ******* game!"  

Seriously, I have to drive to the gym in a couple of hours.   Exercising could cause cardiac arrest.  It happens.   Or I could get hit by a car on the way.  It happens.  Should I skip the gym?   Or should I say "Life is full of risks.  You can't live it if you hope to avoid all of them."
Last time I checked, it's pretty hard to get killed having a batted ball cranked off your shin.

Even if you break it down to "career ending injury" instead of "killed", I'm not against a helmet for the pitcher. I think the first pitcher that does it will be a Jacques Plante, who was the first goalie to wear a mask; ridicule, mockery, then other pitchers do it, then 40 years from now he's hailed as an innovator.
10/26/2012 3:15 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/26/2012 3:06:00 PM (view original):
Posted by deathinahole on 10/26/2012 3:02:00 PM (view original):
Batters get hit in the face too. Should they wear a shield? At the very least, they don't take off their helmet and go "the odds are I'm going to get hit in the face anyway".
Batters are instructed to move.   Pitchers aren't.

Should pitchers wear shinguards?   64% of pitchers hit by batted balls are hit below the belt.    At what point do we say "This just isn't safe.  Scrap this ******* game!"  

Seriously, I have to drive to the gym in a couple of hours.   Exercising could cause cardiac arrest.  It happens.   Or I could get hit by a car on the way.  It happens.  Should I skip the gym?   Or should I say "Life is full of risks.  You can't live it if you hope to avoid all of them."
The better analogy would be "I'm not wearing a seat belt when I drive to the gym."
10/26/2012 3:17 PM
Posted by deathinahole on 10/26/2012 2:47:00 PM (view original):
http://www.dtmba.com/mueller.pdf

Interesting study.

Granted, the premise is metal vs wooden bats, but it does get into odds of a pitcher getting hit per batted ball.

Taking this thread off on a loosely related tangent . . .

It seems that a bigger potential injury risk is the use of maple baseball bats in MLB, as they tend to break and shatter and fly all over the place,  While the traditional ash bats also broke, they didn't produce the same level of flying shrapnel that shattered maple bats tend to have.

Before they start putting helmets on pitchers, maybe they should reconsider the use of maple bats in MLB.

10/26/2012 3:18 PM
I think they might be able to consider both at the same time.
10/26/2012 3:19 PM
Posted by tecwrg on 10/26/2012 3:17:00 PM (view original):
Posted by deathinahole on 10/26/2012 2:47:00 PM (view original):
http://www.dtmba.com/mueller.pdf

Interesting study.

Granted, the premise is metal vs wooden bats, but it does get into odds of a pitcher getting hit per batted ball.

Taking this thread off on a loosely related tangent . . .

It seems that a bigger potential injury risk is the use of maple baseball bats in MLB, as they tend to break and shatter and fly all over the place,  While the traditional ash bats also broke, they didn't produce the same level of flying shrapnel that shattered maple bats tend to have.

Before they start putting helmets on pitchers, maybe they should reconsider the use of maple bats in MLB.

1) agree with the maple bat ban
2) agree with disallowing metal bats in college
3) agree in putting helmets on pitchers
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