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Disabled List Usage

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This past offseason, MLB negotiated with the Players Association over a new collective bargaining agreement. Although it was one of the more minor changes from the new agreement, one issue included shortening the 15-day disabled list to 10 days. Despite being minor, this change has proven to transform how teams are treating player injuries and the disabled list this season as compared to last.

With the offseason change, teams have taken to putting players on the disabled list more often this season than they did last season within the first month of play. Through April 2017, teams put 174 total players on the disabled list, which is an increase from the 148 total players that teams put on the disabled list through April 2016. This 26-player difference between the first month of play of each season suggests that teams are not hesitating to put players on the disabled list with the new rule change.

Players Put on 15-Day and 10-Day DL Through April 2016 and April 2017
Season Batters Pitchers Total
2016 57 91 148
2017 71 103 174

Leading up to Opening Day and over the first week of the season, the change in the DL period did not seem to impact the number of players teams put on the DL. However, starting in Week 2, every week of the 2017 season has seen a greater number of players added to the list as compared to the 2016 season.

Players Put on 15-Day and 10-Day DL
By Time Period in 2016 and 2017
2016 2017
Opening Day And Week Before 91 92
Week One 16 10
Week Two 10 20
Week Three 16 28
Week Four 18 24
Week Five 14 27

If the past four weeks are any indication, the world of baseball will have to adjust to seeing more players land on the disabled list. This shorter period is making things more interesting, adding some roster flexibility that every team can use to their advantage. 

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