BRADENTON (KDKA) — Some pitchers around the majors will have a different look on the mound this season, at least during Spring Training.
That list includes three Pirates – Mark Melancon, Juan Nicasio and Jared Hughes.
The new pitchers helmet might look different or even a little awkward, but it’s an initiative by Major League Baseball to help better protect pitchers.
“It feels like a hat. It’s very light, it’s very comfortable,” said Hughes.
“I’m actually really impressed. It’s very light-weight, comfortable,” Melancon added.
These guys will try it out while they are in camp in Florida. If they like it, you might see it during the regular season.
Hughes is 100 percent on board.
“The cons are really superficial. People might make fun of me, I might look a little silly, but at the same time, I think that the pros outweigh that so much,” Hughes said. “You have the fact that it’s going to save you, it’s going to keep you on the field.”
All three guys have been fitted for the specially-designed helmet, which was invented to help prevent a catastrophic injury.
“Wearing it in the bullpen, I didn’t have any difference. It wasn’t moving, the bill looked the same,” said Hughes. “It felt good. I’m not going to let how something looks affect how I take care of myself and how I take care of my safety.”
“The game’s getting so fast, and reaction time isn’t possible with how hard the guys are hitting the ball,” Melancon said.
The helmet might look heavy, but it actually only weighs a few more ounces than the Pirates’ regular hat.