Brandon McCarthy might try a pitching helmet, but doesn’t think they should be mandatory

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An update on Brandon McCarthy, who tells Susan Slusser that, compared to a lot of things, getting his skull fractured by a line drive was not particularly painful.  Viva adrenaline I guess.

He also talks about pitching helmets, which we’ve discussed here before.  He tells Slusser that he’d maybe try one, but that he doesn’t think such a thing should be forced on anyone:

I’m all in favor of innovation … and if in 50 years, every pitcher is wearing some sort of soft-shell helmet that looks different, that will be all right. But I don’t want it to be mandatory.”

Seems sensible given that, unlike say seat belts in cars and even batting helmets for hitters, protecting a pitcher’s head is not something that addresses a large-scale threat. It is undeniably dangerous to get smacked with a comebacker, but it’s not a common thing either.

Like we’ve noted before, however, even if it’s not mandated — and I don’t think it should be —  it’s probably something that will happen eventually just because  of technology improving and certain players just choosing to do it and having the habit just become more and more acceptable.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.