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MLB looking at head safety for pitchers

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MLB looking at head safety for pitchers

With several high profile cases of pitchers being struck in the head by batted balls, Major League baseball is moving quickly towards improving safety on the mound. According to the Associated Press, MLB is looking at liners for pitchers’ hats and other options to prevent head injuries.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy suffered a fractured skull and a brain contusion in September after taking a ball off the head. The league tells AP the event increased the urgency to improve safety.

"After that, it kind of pushed up our timetable," MLB senior vice president Dan Halem said. "We decided to fast track it."

In Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister was hit in the head by a line drive, but continued pitching after examination by the training staff. After broadcaster Tim McCarver opined on television that pitchers should wear helmets several players took to Twitter in disagreement. 

One of those players happened to be Nationals shorstop Ian Desmond who was quoted in the article by the Associated Press.

"Helmets for pitchers??? Really," he said.

The same article pointed out how Desmond himself had been involved in scary incident last season when a liner hit by the shortstop struck Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio in the head. Nicasio broke his neck when he fell on the mound.

Desmond is a position player, but the potential mandate is just as unpopular with pitchers. Both Vance Worley and Barry Zito expressed displeasure in the piece about possibly wearing head gear on the mound.

The league says they will try to do something that won’t impair a pitcher’s ability and weight will likely be an issue. This would likely rule out any sort of helmet, at least in the traditional sense. One proposal involves lining hats with the material Kevlar which is used for bullet proof jackets.

It doesn’t sound like anything will be imposed for the 2013 major league season, but something could be tried for the minors. Either way, it sounds like an inevitable measure for Major League Baseball as they try to prevent a serious head injury happening to one of their players. McCarthy’s case was a bad one and they don’t want to see something worse.

What do you think, should pitchers be required to wear protective head gear when on the mound?

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Nationals were willing to give up the farm for Chris Sale

Nationals were willing to give up the farm for Chris Sale

By Jason Dobkin

The Nationals were ready to give up a host of top prospects to get Chris Sale from the White Sox.

They weren't able to nab the ace — Chicago decided to trade Sale to the Red Sox for a group of prospects headlined by second baseman Yoan Moncada — but it wasn't for lack of a competitive offer.

The Nats were deep in talks with the White Sox on Monday night, offering up two of their top prospects in right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito and outfielder Victor Robles. They were also reportedly willing to let go of another top pitching prospect, Reynaldo Lopez, who originally wasn't on the table.

Giolito and Robles are two of the best prospects in baseball, and Lopez isn't far behind. Moncada, though, is considered possibly the No. 1 prospect. In addition to Moncada, the Red Sox also gave up stud pitching prospect Michael Kopech.

RELATED: Should the Nationals pursue Andrew McCutchen?

The Nats could have possibly gotten a deal done involving Trea Turner, but they weren't willing to budge on him.

The Nationals' missing on Sale comes not long after they also missed out on pitcher Mark Melancon, who signed with the Giants.

Considering how much Washington was willing to part with to get Sale, losing out on him probably hurts.

MORE: Two ways to look at the Nationals' missing out on Chris Sale

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Reports: White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox, not Nationals

Reports: White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox, not Nationals

The Nationals missed out on a major trade target when news broke this afternoon that the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox. 

The report comes from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. 

Washington had been the frontrunner to land Sale as recently as this morning. And as recently as 30 minutes ago, the Nationals vs. Red Sox contest seemed like it could go either way.

But apparently the Nats couldn't match Boston's offer of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech plus two minor leaguers, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network. 

Now, the dream rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale won't happen. 

The trade for Sale was so close, it could impact other potential deals for the Nationals. The team reportedly explored trading Gio Gonzalez to the Yankees if Sale indeed ended up in Washington. 

MORE NATIONALS: Report: Nats exploring trading Gio to Yankees