SoSH Glossary: Disabled List

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

Disabled List

The disabled list, or DL, is a mechanism that allows MLB teams to replace injured players on their 25-man rosters with healthy players from their 40-man roster. There are three different disabled lists currently used in MLB: the 7-day DL available solely for concussions, 15-day DL, and the 60-DL, also known as the Emergency DL. When a team decides to place a player on the DL, the league, player and MLBPA must be notified with a Standard Form of Diagnosis filled out by the team physician along with an estimated time of recovery. Players on disabled lists accrue service time as if they were on the active roster.

7-day Disabled List

The 7-day disabled list is reserved for players that have suffered concussions and in lieu of the Standard Form of Diagnosis, a Concussion-Specific Diagnosis Form must be filed by the team physician and a certified athletic trainer. Before the player can play in a game, the team must file a return-to-play form with the league. If a player is on the 7-day DL for 15 days, then he is transferred to the 15-day DL.

15-day Disabled List

The 15-day disabled list is the most commonly used designation. If the player has not returned to play once the 15 day period is over, then the team physician must submit another Standard Form of Diagnosis with an expected recovery period every 15 days until the player has returned or is placed on the 60-day DL.

60-day Disabled List

The 60-day DL, or emergency list, is used for players with long-term injuries. When a player is placed on the 60-day DL, his team gains an extra slot on their 40-man roster. This allows the team more flexibility while he recovers from the injury. A player may be placed on the 60-day DL at any time. If a player is on the 60-day disabled list after August 1, then he must remain there until the end of the season – meaning he is ineligible for the playoffs. After the final game of the World Series, all players must be removed from the 60-day DL and either placed back on the 40-man roster or designated for assignment.

Backdating DL Stints

Sometimes an injury occurs and a team may be unsure if a player will need to be placed on a disabled list, so they take a wait-and-see approach. For these instances, the MLB allows teams to backdate DL stints. The 15-day DL can be backdated up to ten days and the 7-day DL can be backdated up to four days. The only exception is before Opening Day, when 15-day DL stints can be backdated only nine days while 7-day DL stints cannot be backdated.

Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.

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