Major League Baseball has approved a patted hat for pitchers to begin wearing this coming season as added protection against come backers which can do major damage to a players head. Obviously this padding is not going to make the pitchers completely safe, but it is better than wearing a thin hat as they have previously. Ask Alex Cobb, Brandon McCarthy, J.A. Happ, and Steve Shields if they wish they had had something between their heads and the baseball when it hit them doing well over 100 mph. I bet they would say yes. While McCarthy has already said he will not be wearing the new padded hats, I bet he would if he did not think it would impede his pitching.
Everyone makes their own choices in life, but I am glad to see MLB is giving pitchers a choice and an additional way to protect themselves. The batting helmets, arm and leg guards, plus the tools of ignorance worn by the catchers should have shown MLB a long time ago that the pitcher needs some sort of protection as well. While they are not hit every game, when pitchers are hit everything stops. The stadium is not going to fall silent if Jason Giambi, the active leader in getting hit by pitch, gets hit on the elbow, but it will when Brandon McCarthy is hit in the head. Everything that can be done to prevent catastrophic injuries should be done to protect the players, umpires, and fans. However baseball comes with come inherit risk. Pitchers need to learn to finish their pitch and land in a position where they can protect themselves. Greg Maddux was the master at this, and his landing position helped him win 18 Gold Gloves. He was able to protect himself and be an active fielder, which undoubtedly allowed fewer base runners on and fewer runs to score.
You cannot prevent every injury, it is an unfortunate part of the game, but you can mitigate it. Head injuries have become big news in football and I think MLB needs to get out in front of these preventable injuries to protect pitchers. Baseball has often been criticized for being slow to change. I think this is a perfect opportunity for baseball to show that it is serious about protecting its players from the hazards of the game.