Tanner Scheppers took a liner just above his left eye his sophomore year at Fresno State. He doesn’t remember much of it, but was conscious when he left the field and headed to the hospital.
Scheppers called it a scary moment and hopes something like that never happens again. But don’t plan on him taking the extra step of wearing the newly approved protective pitching caps.
Prototypes of the new caps will be shown to Rangers pitchers in the coming days at spring training. They will be custom built for each pitcher interested and are designed to provide protection for a ball coming as fast as 83 mph.
“I’m not going to wear them,” Scheppers said. “How many pitchers have died because of getting hit? None. You don’t want it to happen, but it’s part of the game.”
Most of the Rangers pitchers echoed Scheppers’ thoughts. Veteran reliever Jason Frasor doesn’t feel the caps are something he’ll be interested in using, and neither does Colby Lewis.
“I always say, ‘Hit me anywhere but my face,’ ” Frasor said. “I’ll try it on, but I don’t think that it’s for me.”
Nick Tepesch, who had a start cut short last season when a come-backer hit his arm, will give the new caps a look as well. But he doesn’t foresee them being comfortable enough to use in a game.
“I doubt I’ll use it, but never say never,” Tepesch said.
.203 Opponents’ batting average against Jason Frasor last season, the 10-year veteran’s career low.
He said it
“He better get his pillow because he’s going to be on those long bus rides.” — Ron Washington on Michael Choice, who is expected to be among the spring leaders in at-bats