MLB Disabled List Rules

What are the MLB disabled list rules? How have they changed recently, and how does it affect the MLB today? Get ready to understand the MLB disabled list rules.

Disabled Lists

The disabled list, or DL, is a list that Major League Baseball teams can put players on if those players have long-term injuries. By putting a player on the disabled list, the team is allowed to add a player to the roster to cover for the injured player on the disabled list.

If a player is on the disabled list, the player is not permitted to play in the baseball game since the player is not on the active roster. Despite not being able to participate in the game, players on the disabled list typically still dress in uniform and sit in the dugout with their team as long as the League approves it first.

If a player recovers enough to play with the baseball team before the season ends and the team's roster is full, a different team member must be removed before the recovered player can officially become active again.

Players on the disabled list, after recovering enough to start training and practicing again, usually have to train differently than the rest of the team to prevent further injury. For example, if a player is recovering from a leg injury, the player may practice stationary catching or batting without running.

If a player is ejected from a game due to an injury, the coach will typically say if the player is being moved to the disabled list soon after the game finishes, and the player is assessed by a medic.

Furthermore, a player on the disabled list is still paid despite not actively playing for a team.

Disabled List Lengths

In Major League Baseball, there are three different disabled lists that a player can be placed on. They are each named for the minimum number of days the player must remain inactive on said disabled list.

The 10-day disabled list is in the middle of the three, lengthwise. This list is the most commonly used in the League. This list is usually for minor injuries, so the player maintains a spot on the Major League roster but is replaced on the team's active roster while on the disabled list.

The shortest length is the 7-day disabled list. This list is reserved for players who have received concussions before and is the newest of the three lists. Each team must have a designated specialist in mild brain trauma to assess a player before placing them on this list. After the player is examined, the specialist sends their reports to the MLB's medical director before the player is officially put on the 7-day disabled list.

The longest is the 60-day list. A player is replaced both on the Major League roster as well as the team's active roster. This disabled list is for players with serious injuries that will take weeks to heal. A player can be on this disabled list during the regular season into the postseason. However, a player needs to get back on the Major League roster if said player wishes to play next season.

Disabled List Name Change

In February of 2019, the MLB announced that they would be changing the "disabled list" to the "injured list." The League decided on the name change as referring to injured players as "disabled" was exclusionary as it seemed to imply that people with disabilities are not able to participate in sports. The rules and conditions of the injured list will remain the same as the disabled list.