The disabled list is going on the permanent DL.
Major League Baseball will rename the disabled list as the “injured list,” the league confirmed Thursday after ESPN broke the news.
The league will make the change out of concern that the term “disabled” for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports. Deputy commissioner Dan Halem said the change was made at the suggestion of advocacy groups for the disabled, including the Link 20 Network.
Jeff Pfeifer, MLB’s senior director of league economics and operations, notified clubs of the name change in a memo written in December.
“In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the ‘Disabled List,'” Pfeifer wrote. “The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has agreed to change the name ‘Disabled List’ to be the ‘Injured List’ at both the major and minor league levels. All standards and requirements for placement, reinstatement, etc., shall remain unchanged. This change, which is only a rebranding of the name itself, is effective immediately.”
The rules of the DL will remain the same. The list has gone through different incarnations since its institution in 1966 and today includes a 10-day version for short-term injuries and a 60-day version for more severe ailments.
MLB and the players’ association continue to discuss possible amendments to the usage of the list itself, as a number of teams have been accused of using a shorter DL — it was changed from 15 days to 10 days in 2017 — to manipulate their rosters, sources told ESPN.
During recent negotiations with the union, MLB asked to re-establish the 15-day version of the list. The union has expressed interest in 15 days for pitchers — who are typically the subject of roster manipulation — and 10 days for position players.
The NBA places injured players on the inactive list, while the NHL and NFL both have injured reserve lists. The NFL also has a physically unable to perform list.