Vote: Should Pitchers Be Allowed to Shag Fly Balls?


May 15, 2012

Vote: Should Pitchers Be Allowed to Shag Fly Balls?Shagging fly balls is just a part of the baseball experience. Players do it as kids, and running for batting practice flies has becomed engrained as a routine activity before games.

This season has been the prime example of when shagging fly balls can go bad, though. First it was Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who was rushed to the hospital after being hit by a home run ball during batting practice on April 11. Luckily, he ended up being OK.

Then, of course, there was the horrifying scene of Mariano Rivera tearing his ACL while attempting to make an acrobatic catch on a ball in the outfield prior to the Yankees' game in Kansas City on May 3. Rivera's injury has raised the question of whether pitchers need to be risking themselves with outfield practice.

On Tuesday, the Red Sox faced a similar reality. Starting pitcher Felix Doubront was hit on the noggin with a baseball during batting practice prior to Boston's series finale against Seattle. Doubront turned out to be fine, but the concern just continues to grow as more and more pitchers are afflicted with injuries while shagging.

The epidemic seems to be spreading around baseball. Then again, given the teams involved, maybe it's just the AL East. Either way, do you think pitchers should still be out tracking down balls before games?

Should pitchers be allowed to shag fly balls?

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