ST. PETERSBURG -- Former Rays relief pitcher Alex Torres in the Padres' game Saturday became the first big league player to pitch with the MLB-approved protective hat.
Torres, who was traded to San Diego in January in the deal that included Logan Forsythe and Brad Boxberger, was 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 62 strikeouts out of the bullpen for Tampa Bay in 2013. He wore the cap during the eighth inning of the Padres' 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, allowing a run, walking two and striking out two.
Rays starter Alex Cobb, who was hit in the head with a line drive last June and missed two months of the season, has advocated for the use of protective headgear on the mound, though he has not worn the approved cap in a game.
When told on Sunday afternoon that Torres had pitched with the hat, Cobb said it was "awesome" that he did.
"He's wearing the MLB one? That's cool. You know, it was out there for someone to be the first person to do it," Cobb said.
"A step in the right direction, again, to finally get somebody to get out there and take the risk and be willing to see how it feels, and hopefully I get some feedback on how it went for him."
Cobb asked how Torres did with the cap on, as some pitchers have voiced issues with the heavier, bulkier protective cap throwing them off while on the mound.
That includes Boxberger, who, when asked if he would become the second player to wear the hat, as he was the one to replace Torres on the Rays, replied, "No chance."
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.