Major League Baseball is looking at ways to protect pitchers from being injured by batted balls such as the one that struck Doug Fister in the head, and says hat liners are a possibility in the minors next year.
The safety issue is on a ''fast track,'' MLB senior vice president Dan Halem said Friday night.
''Hopefully, we can come up with something,'' he said. ''We're making progress.''
MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green has been talking to companies about protective headgear for pitchers, Halem said. A report is on the agenda at baseball's winter meetings in December.
A cap liner with Kevlar, the high-impact material used by military, law enforcement and NFL players for body armor, is among the ideas under consideration.
Halem said baseball already was exploring options when Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy was hit in the head by a line drive last month, causing a skull fracture and brain contusion.
''After that, it kind of pushed up our timetable,'' Halem said. ''We decided...