Although MLB and its teams have consistently generated revenue at a healthy pace, including setting a record during the 2018 season, the league has entered into several discussions over recent years on how to improve the product.
The bulk of the focus has been tied to pace of play, which has brought about new changes. Just last year, MLB implemented a set number of non-pitching-change visits to the mound, and modifications to the replay review process.
Recent talks between MLB and the Players Association have centered around implementing a designated hitter in the National League, changing active rosters to 26 players, and other topics.
Meanwhile, one change being put into effect is renaming the disabled list to the ‘injured list,’ MLB’s senior director of league economics and operation Jeff Pfeifer explained, via ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
“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.”
Although the name is changing, rules and procedures for the ‘injured list’ will remain the same. Including teams still retaining the options of having a player go inactive for 10 or 60 days.
A DL has been in place since 1966, albeit with tweaks coming along the way. Most recently in 2017, when stints on the disabled list were reduced from 15 days to 10 days.
The change in language puts MLB closer to other professional sports leagues. The NBA has an inactive list, and NFL and NHL each have injured reserve lists. Additionally, the NFL has a physically unable to perform list, which comes with stringent guidelines for activating a player.