Yasmani Grandal has been one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ hottest hitters in recent weeks. You might not have guessed that though based on his first plate appearance Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In fact, the switch-hitting catcher looked like a complete baseball novice when he stepped in as a left-handed hitter against Cardinals right-handed pitcher Mike Leake while sporting the wrong batting helmet.
Yasmani Grandal accidentally wore the wrong helmet during his first at-bat ???????????? pic.twitter.com/oxtT0stY7I
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) May 25, 2017
Not only does it look awkward, it’s a little bit dangerous too, given that the ear flap exists to protect hitters from taking an errant pitch directly to the side of the head.
Fortunately for Grandal, he survived the at-bat unscathed after grounding out to first baseman Matt Carpenter.
What’s especially strange is that Grandal somehow did not notice his mistake while awaiting his turn at-bat in the on-deck circle. Even if he’d read the wrong scouting report or simply forgot which arm Leake throws with, you’d think he would have become aware of his mistake before making the approach to home plate. And once there, he surely would have been allowed to switch if he requested to do so.
Oddly enough, none of the above happened. But Grandal was a little more organized for his second at-bat.
— Stephen Ratz (@stephen_ratz) May 25, 2017
Grandal would actually strike out that time, but at least he looked less awkward and a lot safer. He finished the Dodgers 6-1 loss 0 for 3 at the plate after recording at least one hit in 14 of his 15 games in May.
Perhaps this is the exact reason why some switch-hitters like to wear a double-flapped helmet. You can’t possibly go wrong then. Or maybe it’s just bound to happen to a switch-hitting catcher, who in addition to his batting helmets also must keep track of his catching helmet.
Whatever the case, this is definitely one of those moments Grandal’s teammates will be hanging over his head for a long, long time.
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