TEMPE, Ariz. -- On the day after he was hit in the head by a line drive, C.J. Wilson said he had no interest in wearing the protective caps now available to protect pitchers from such drives.
“It’s like wearing a bucket on your head,” Wilson said.
The first such cap approved by Major League Baseball weighs 10 to 11 ounces, rather than the usual three or four. No pitcher has announced plans to wear the cap this season, and MLB has encouraged other manufacturers to design their own versions, presumably lighter ones.
Wilson said he tried one of the available caps at a union meeting over the winter.
“I’m trying to think of a polite way to say this: Literally, they’re terrible,” Wilson said. “They’re a terrible design. They’re cumbersome. It’s impossible to pitch with one of those on.”
Wilson was hit on the side of his head while pitching to Yorvit Torrealba in batting practice. He was bloodied but remained conscious and alert. He said he required no stitches, and he was cleared in a CT scan late Tuesday.
He said he expects to make his Cactus League debut Saturday, as previously scheduled.
He blamed no one for the injury, except himself, and said he never has gotten hit by a line drive in a game.
“I made a bad pitch,” Wilson said. “I should have caught the ball.
“If I ever get hit, it’s my fault. I catch plenty of line drives. I just didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. I was watching Pedro Martinez highlights on You Tube, trying to get amped up for my live BP session. True story. So I got about four hours of sleep. I didn’t have the reflexes I normally would have.
“In order for me to actually get hit by one, I would have to be diminished. There’s no way I would ever get hit by one under normal circumstances. That’s the problem with live BP -- you have your guard down. It’s like a bullpen. You’re not trying to be vicious and strike everybody out like in a game. The lesson for me is never let my guard down again.”