MLB Injured List: A Complete Guide

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HomeBlogsChris Sloan's blogMLB Injured List: A Complete Guide
MLB Injured List: A Complete Guide
Chris Sloan

A Friendly Introduction to the MLB Injured List

Hey there, baseball buddies! It’s Coach Chris here and today we're going to tackle a lesser-known aspect of our favourite sport – the MLB Injured List.

Sure, we all love the center field home runs and the batter's box heroics, but what happens when our favored stars find themselves sidelined? Well, that's when the MLB Injured List comes into play.

Think of it as the "time-out" chair of the baseball world. Players find themselves on the injured list when they're healing from an injury and can't play. Healing is an essential part of the game, folks!

We've all heard terms like "10-day IL" or "60-day IL" thrown around during games or news updates. But what do these terms really mean for our beloved players and their teams?

Stick with me, as we dive into the nitty-gritty of the MLB Injured List. We'll cover everything from the different types of lists to how they affect your favourite player's return to the diamond. So get your baseball caps on, tighten those laces, and let's slide into this topic together!

Decoding the MLB Injured List

What does that mean? Well, let's break it down. Major League Baseball designed the injured list as a way to temporarily remove an injured player from a team's active roster. This means the player is 'benched' without affecting the team's overall player count. This ensures the game goes on, even when some players are resting and nursing their injuries.

There are different types of ILs, the most common being the 10-day injured list and the 60-day injured list. Players with minor injuries who are expected to recover quickly are placed on the 10-day IL. Those with more serious injures, or who may require surgery like Tommy John surgery (a procedure to fix a torn elbow ligament), get placed on the 60-day IL.

Then, there's the 15-day IL and the 7-day IL. The 15-day IL, while not as common today, was used more frequently in the past. It's like the 10-day list but with a longer rest period. The 7-day IL is special; it's specifically reserved for players with concussions.

Now, here's another question I get asked often

Digging Deeper: Exploring the Types of Injured Lists in MLB

As I mentioned earlier, in the bustling world of Major League Baseball, we encounter several different injured lists: the 10-day IL, the 15-day IL, the 60-day IL, and the less frequent but still significant 7-day IL.

The 10-day injured list is sort of a short-term solution for minor injuries. This allows a bit of breathing room for players dealing with minor muscle strains, brief illnesses, or other short-term issues to heal and bounce back onto the field. Trivia for you: This was formerly a 15-day list but was changed to a 10-day format in 2017.

Next up is the 60-day injured list. Now, folks, this one is for the biggies. We're talking injuries that require a significant healing period, possibly even surgeries, like Tommy John surgery. Here's an interesting fact, I've seen pitchers get side-tracked to this list more frequently due to the intense stress their role puts on their arms and shoulders - quite intriguing, huh?

Now, let's get back on track - the 15-day injured list. It’s kind of an old friend. MLB used it for a long time before swapping it for the 10-day list. But, in today's game, it's used specifically for players who are diagnosed with a concussion.

Finally, meet the 7-day IL. This one's specialty is caring for players with concussions. It's a much-needed consideration seeing the severity and individual variability of concussion recovery times.

And there you have it, friends! The rundown of the MLB injured lists, each designed for a specific purpose, helping our baseball heroes get the rest they need and return even stronger. Now, isn't that a testament to Major League Baseball's commitment to player wellbeing? Stay with me as we charge into the next base on our MLB injured list journey. Until then, keep those baseball caps on - game's still on!

The Nuts and Bolts: Criteria and Process for IL Inclusion

Now that we've stepped into the field of injured lists in MLB, it's time we explore the what, why, and how of this game component. Let's dig into the criteria that warrant a player's inclusion on the injured list and the process involved. Ready? Let's play ball!

Here's the thing, folks - a player doesn't just swiftly swish onto an MLB injured list. Certain conditions must be met. A player is deemed eligible for the injured list if they're unable to play due to injury, illness, or personal circumstances. The type of injury can vary widely, from right elbow inflammation to knee inflammation, or even a severe condition requiring Tommy John surgery. But remember, it's not the type of injury that dictates the list; it's the estimated recovery time.

So how does the process work? Well, every player's health is critical in Major League Baseball. If a player gets hurt or falls sick, the team's medical staff springs into action, evaluating the player's condition. Post-evaluation, if the medical and team personnel deem that a player can't be in playing condition within 10-days, the player is placed on the IL.

Interestingly, this decision isn't unidirectional. The team management, player, and often their personal doctors, are all part of this discussion. If a player is undergoing surgery, like shoulder surgery or something more intricate like a rotator cuff reconstruction, the timeline extends, and the player may be placed on a longer list, like the 60-day IL.

We must not forget the special lists too. For instance, if a player has a concussion, some different rules apply, and they're placed on the 7-day IL. There are also the Paternity and Bereavement Lists, for players who need to temporarily step away from the field for personal reasons.

Another thing to remember is position players and pitchers are treated differently when it comes to the injured list. This is based on the distinct physical stresses of these roles within the team.

Alright, that's a wrap for this inning, friends! Keep those baseball caps snug. No dashing to the snack stalls, as we're just getting

Stepping Off The Field: Player Rights and Benefits on the IL

Does the batter's box blues start playing when a player lands on the injured list? Not exactly, baseball gang! Being on the IL doesn't mean the player is a forgotten relic of seasons past. Fear not, for Major League Baseball has measures in place to protect and sustain the players both financially and professionally during their healing haul. Let's unravel these provisions, shall we?

See, the beauty of the IL is that it gives the injured player a healing hiatus while ensuring the team isn't left shorthanded. During this period, players continue to receive their full salaries and accrue Major League service time, regardless of whether they're lounging on the 10-day, 60-day, 7-day, or even the 15-day IL. Sounds fair, right?

Now, let's turn our gaze to the rehabilitation journey. Once the medical staff gives the green signal, the player can embark on a rehab assignment before returning to the big games. Perfect time to work off the rust and get back in the groove!

The rehab assignment timelines are precisely defined. For position players, it's 20 days max, while pitchers get a 30-day window as their return often involves a more complex recovery. If the player's on full-throttle, they can't be kept on a rehab assignment beyond these periods. However, in some cases, like after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the recovery time can even extend past a season.

But what if a player’s healing takes on a pitstop en route? That's also accounted for. If the player isn't fit to return post the rehab assignment, the medical staff can put them back on the IL and chart out a new recovery path.

And here you're thinking baseball management is all about scouring scouting reports and conjuring winning line-ups! Remember folks, the real MVPs are often off the field, working round the clock to get our star players back in action. Touch gloves, everyone! We’ve got another inning coming up!

On the Mend: Rehabilitation and Return to Play After IL

When a player finds themselves on the MLB injured list due to anything from elbow inflammation to knee injuries, or even something as significant as undergoing Tommy John surgery, their journey to recovery kicks off. It isn't just about rest and relaxation. It involves dedicated and extensive rehabilitation. Are they sidelined from action? Absolutely. Out of the game? Never!

During this time, the medical staff, physical therapists, and trainers of the team work in tandem with the player to nurse them back to fitness. Say, for instance, we have a pitcher with a right shoulder surgery due. In such cases, their rehab program will focus on improving shoulder and hand strength, enhancing mobility, and steadily progressing towards pitching-specific exercises.

Post-rehabilitation and medical clearance, the player steps onto the field for a rehab assignment. This acts as a warm-up stage, enabling the player to slowly regain their old form and competitiveness, and it's particularly helpful for both position players and pitchers. Now, here's some vital trivia: position players can stay on rehab assignments for a maximum of 20 days, whereas pitchers can stay for 30 days.

Remember, folks, a rehab assignment is not an extension of the injured list—it's the golden bridge separating the IL and active roster. It gives players the chance to shake off the rust, adjust their game, and effectively transition back into the rosters without the pressure of immediately performing at peak levels.

Of course, some hiccups may occur on this journey. A player might have right elbow inflammation that doesn’t heal

A Curveball: Impact of Injured List on Roster and Team Performance

You've surely heard the old adage, "there is no 'I' in 'team'", right? Well, when it comes to baseball, this saying couldn't be more accurate. Any disruption in the team, especially on their roster—such as a key player landing on the MLB injured list—affects not only the individual player but the entire squad's performance and morale. Let's examine how and why.

From the moment a player is placed on any version of the MLB injured list, be it the 10-day IL, 60-day IL or the less common 7-day IL, it causes a ripple effect throughout the team. Strategically, it throws a wrench into the team’s game plan. Teams have to quickly think on their feet, adjusting their lineup, defensive formation, and strategy to compensate for the loss of that player.

Position players and pitchers are equally crucial to the team's dynamic. A hard-hitting first baseman or a power pitcher's transition to the IL requires adept adjustments to the roster and game plan. It can also affect team chemistry—players establish working rhythms with their teammates—disrupting this can pose a challenge.

Now, onto roster management. A player landing on any of the ILs' triggers a couple of strategic moves. A team may choose to call up a minor league player, reshuffle their current roster, or in some cases, seek a suitable replacement via trade. Remember, folks, baseball's a game of intellect just as much as skill!

But not everything leans towards the negative end. Sometimes, this newfound gap in the lineup leads to an exciting discovery of fresh talent. A younger player from the minor league might grasp this opportunity to shine, contributing significantly to the team's performance. Silver linings do exist, even in injury clouds!

Finally, the psychological aspect takes the stage. The team must manage their morale when a key player is on the IL, supporting their injured teammate, while stepping up their game to fill that void.

And that's baseball for you—a harmonious balance of team dynamics and individual vitality! It's not always home runs and celebration. It's also about maneuvering the curveballs that the IL inevitably throws. Moving on, let's tackle the following innings of our discussion. Stow away your popcorn, folks – this game is just heating up!

FAQs About the MLB Injured List

After diving into deep innings and delving into the nitty-gritty of mlb injured lists, it’s time we discussed some of the burning questions, you, our esteemed readers, have about the subject. From the basics of an MLB injured list to how it influences players' financial situation, we'll try to erase the clouds of doubt.

What is the MLB injured list?

The MLB injured list, formerly known as the disabled list, is a list where MLB teams can place a player who is injured, sick, or otherwise unable to play. The player isn't released from the team; instead, the roster spot is vacated for a healthy substitute until the player recovers.

What is the 10-day injured list in MLB?

The 10-day injured list in MLB is where teams place a player with minor injuries, those that'd most likely not exceed a 10-day recovery period. This allows the team to supplement the roster space temporarily with another player.

What is the 15-day disabled list?

The 15-day disabled list, now referred to as the 15-day IL, is one where teams shelved players with injuries requiring more than 10 days of recovery. This list was actually replaced by the 10-day injured list in 2017 to give teams more flexibility.

What is the 7-day injured list?

The 7-day injured list, an addition to the Major League Baseball ILs, is specifically for players who have sustained a concussion. The shorter period reflects the unpredictable nature of such injuries.

What does 10-day IL mean in MLB?

The 10-day IL in MLB means that a player with an injury or illness will be off the active roster for a minimum of 10 days, granting the team the freedom to temporarily substitute another player without losing the injured player altogether.

Do MLB players get paid on the IL?

Yes, players on the injured list continue to receive their full salary and accrue Major League service time as if they were on the active


It has indeed been a power-packed game doling out insights into the MLB injured list, the player's rehabilitation process, and the impact of injuries on the Roster and Team Performance. Now, let's step up to the plate for our final pitch – the future of the Injured List.

Proactive player health management is the way forward. Major League Baseball is already leveraging technology and access to real-time health data in minimizing player injuries. Wearable tech, sports science, and predictive analytics are stepping into the dugout to offer early intervention for players at risk and help formulate tailored recovery plans.

Going forward, we expect an increased emphasis on injury prevention, early detection, and comprehensive rehab programs. Player-centric policies, increased investments in medical and training staff, health monitoring systems, and continued advancements in sports medicine have the potential to drive the conversation.

But at the core, the MLB injured list will continue to serve its purpose – a safety net for players wherein their health can be handled with the utmost care and priority without burdening the team dynamics. It's the balancing of this welfare with maintaining the competitive integrity of the game that remains the test of time. But as we've seen over the years, baseball is no stranger to evolving and adapting to new realities.

In the end, the wonderful resilience of our baseball fraternity, players, and management will continue to weather any curveball thrown their way, ensuring that we all enjoy the crackle of a bat meeting a pitch, the adrenaline of a tight game, and the shared joy of our beloved baseball.

As we close this deep dive into the MLB injured list, we hope that it has broadened your understanding and appreciation of the backstage scenes in this grand theater of baseball. Play Ball, everyone!

And remember, the love of baseball will always remain, whether our favorite players are hitting home runs on the field or coaching from the dugout. We're all just part of this fascinating, never-ending game. So, let’s cheer for a healthier and injury-free season. After all, aren't we all just fans rooting for the love of the game?

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About Chris Sloan

Chris Sloan is a former baseball league commissioner and travel baseball coach who has made significant contributions to the sport. In 2018, he founded selectbaseballteams.com, a website that helps parents find youth and travel baseball teams in their local areas. Since its launch, the website has experienced impressive growth, offering a wealth of resources including teams, news, tournaments, and organizations. Chris's unwavering passion for baseball and his innovative approach to connecting parents with quality baseball programs have earned him a respected reputation in the baseball community, solidifying his legacy as a leading figure in the world of youth and travel baseball.

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