At first glance, baseball does not appear to be a sport where a player is likely to get hurt that often.  No one is running into the players and tackling them to the ground and running around the bases does not look too dangerous.  But the sport of baseball, at all levels in which it is played, can be just as rough and tumble as any of the more vigorous sporting activities.

Players get injured all the time and the disabled list is one of the major items that team managers must deal with for every game.  MLB, like all sports, has rules regarding what constitutes an injury, how injuries are reported and what happens when a player is forced to be added to a team’s injury list.

Heading To The Injured List In MLB

It works like this, if a player is unable to perform because of some injury, weather incurred during the game, at practice or away from team activities, can be put on what is now called the “Injured List (IL) for 10 days, which allows the player time to recover from his injury and also frees up a space on the roster so that the team manager can bring in another player to fill in for the 10-day period.  Although he remains on the 40-man roster, the player on a 10 day is not allowed to participate in any games during that 10-day period.

If the injury to the player is serious enough to warrant it, said player can be placed on a 60-day IL during which he is removed from the 40-man roster and another player is substituted during his absence.  In this case the player is restricted from playing in any games until the 60-day period is up.

Concussions Not A Major Concern

Concussions are less likely to occur in MLB than in many other sports that involve more hard physical contact between players.  However, they do happen occasionally during baseball games.  A close play at home plate or a player contacting one of the outfield walls while going to catch a long fly ball.  However, concussions can still occur.

MLB has set the time limits on the Injured List for concussions at 7 days allowing players with a slight concussion to get back into the game as quickly as possible.  But, unfortunately, many concussions take considerably longer than 7 days to clear up and a player is then on a “wait and see” program of regular testing and proper care.  A bad concussion can be a seriously debilitating condition that could take many months get better to the point that the injured player is ready to get back into the game.

Any player who is on the 7- or 10-day IL may be moved to the 60-day IL.  However, players who are placed on the 60-day IL cannot be moved to the 7- or 10-day list.

Change From IL To DL

Before the 2019 MLB regular season, the IL was always called the DL, or Disabled List, but these days it has been officially changed to the Injured List.  Players can be placed on any IL list retroactively for a maximum of 5 days, during which the player’s status is said to be day to day, meaning that the trainers and coaching staff are in the process of evaluating the player’s condition and readiness to take to the field once more.

While a player is on the Injured List he cannot be traded without the express permission of the MLB Commissioner, currently Rob Manfred, nor may they be optioned to the minor leagues.  However, in some cases, a player may be assigned to the minor leagues for rehabilitation for a limited amount of time.  They give pitchers 30 days to get better in the minors, but all other players are limited to 20 days in the minors to get better and return to the team.