At times Major League Baseball teams place an underperforming player on the DL (Disabled List). It seems the DL would be meant for players who are injured and or are returning from injury. Why aren't more stringent reviews (evaluations) of player health put in place by the MLB to ensure the player is actually injured prior to placement on the DL?

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    Not sure this is exactly true... do you have an example?
    – Matt
    May 16, 2012 at 20:38
  • @Matt Mark Reynolds Baltimore Orioles 3B.. The Orioles likely placed Reynolds on the DL because they could not afford the roster spot while waiting for him to come around. Reynolds should be able to make several minor league starts before rejoining the team on May 27 (According to ESPN)... Now it is reported that he has an oblique injury which seems more of a convenience as he is hitting just 196 with an unbelievable 36 Strikeouts in just 27 games. This happens every year with struggling players especially towards the first 3rd of the year, and of course it is reported as injuries.
    – E1Suave
    May 16, 2012 at 20:45
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    @Matt Perhaps I need to clarify my question and ask why more stringent reviews (evaluations) of player health aren't put in place by the MLB to ensure the player is actually injured. Another example was last season when Adam Dunn was struggling so badly and he was placed on the DL. hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/21/…
    – E1Suave
    May 16, 2012 at 20:46
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    Yes, please edit to add clarifications rather than using comments; it's more permanent and more easily visible that way. May 16, 2012 at 20:48
  • @Matt it happens all the time. The Red Sox did it with both Lackey and Mastuzaka before they got injured for real and needed TJ surgery. You see it a lot around the all-star break with young pitchers that are in the race for a playoff spot. Teams will come up with a phantom injury to replace them on the roster while limiting their innings.
    – MDMarra
    May 17, 2012 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


This happens so much that Grey at razzball even has a term for it. The "Disgraceful List."

The problem with regulating this is that the MLB is very concerned about protecting their players. If the office of the commissioner incorrectly rejected a DL stint for someone that was actually hurt and the Player's Union could prove that there was indeed an injury, there would be hell to pay.

There is no doubt that the disabled list is abused from time to time, but keep in mind that putting a player on the 15-day DL doesn't add an additional spot to the 40 man roster, it only allows for a player on the 40-man roster to be called up to the active 25-man roster. It adds to that player's arbitration/FA clock and uses an option year if they haven't been called up yet. Basically, it benefits both parties, the MLB and the MLBPA to turn a blind eye to players landing on the Disgraceful List.

tl;dr - It's not worth it for the Commissioner's Office to battle the MLBPA over it, especially when some of the "injuries" are things like "arm fatigue" or other conditions that can't be accurately measured by a doctor.

  • +1 Very well put. You made excellent points and really dove right in to the crux of the matter.
    – E1Suave
    May 17, 2012 at 0:41

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