What is the DL and Why is it So Crowded?


May 25, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Nick Masset (40) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Reds 5-4 in 19 innings. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY SportsThe Disabled List in MLB is a virtual land where baseball players go if they are deemed unfit to continue playing in their present state (such as broken bones, not Ohio or New York).

I researched it and can’t tell you decisively when the DL was born. I can say that prior to 1990 there was a 10-day and a 21-day list. Back then there was no such thing as “rehabilitation games” for MLB players in the Minor Leagues.

When you got hurt you either rubbed some dirt on it, or went on the DL for the prescribed 10 or 21 days and were sent right back into the fray without testing the tepidity of the water.

Honest to God, I have no memory of players being placed on any kind of list in the sixties. Of course you didn’t have all the media whoring going on back then. You got good statistics in the Sunday Paper and that coupled with the Game of the Week, was basically your reference library. Of course you had Waite Hoyt on Reds’ radio getting drunker by the inning, regaling all the times of his playing days.

It may just be me but it sure seems like there are many more people being put on the shelf now than ever before. Some players are so familiar to the DL that they have their own wing assigned to them. Nick Johnson and Jim Thome (one of my favorite players of all time) frequented the place quite often, though neither of them are active in MLB at the moment. They have been replaced by Todd Helton and Nick Masset.

I wish to take you on a tour of the sick and afflicted in the Disabled List of MLB. Come along, wear this mask though – can’t be too careful.

First stop is the American League East Division. Ding.Dng.Ding. We have our American League winner here. The beloved New York Yankees headline the list in the junior circuit. They have eight (8) players who are not allowed to play right now. Those same eight men are currently being paid $85,963,790 per annum. Whew! Look at that list, topped off with Alex Rodriguez, or should I say A-PED? Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter are there as well. They are making the real money, the other guys are just getting by. Four of the eight, including A-PED and Jeter are on the 60-day list.

The National League winner also comes from the East Division. The recently-trimmed Miami Marlins lead this league with eight being shelved for safe-keeping. Their ‘walking dead’ is so full of nobodies that I only recognize about three of the eight names. Also three of them make no money (N/A) according to ESPN. Only two millionaires highlight this list which is headed by Adeiny Hechavarria.

I have built a table for you to compare the teams and divisions amongst each other. The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals have the fewest DL’ers in the AL while the Philadelphia Phillies have the least in the senior circuit. All three teams have only two men away on holiday.

The Cincinnati Reds, of whom I write about 95 percent of the time, only have five on the list. Heading it fiscally is Johnny Cueto at roughly $7.4M. Nick Masset (who I never expect to see in a Reds game again), is on the 60-day list. Ryan Ludwick who was injured on Opening Day is also on the long list. Ryan Hanigan and southpaw Manny Parra fill out the rest of the Reds wing in this fictional realm.

I didn’t even know Parra was hurt, I just thought he was failing. Oh well, perhaps that is just a transitional move that keeps him from going to Triple-A Louisville.

The information was obtained from ESPN.com

That MLB total of 142 is equivalent to nearly six teams (25-man rosters) being inactive now. :Shaking my head:
God bless America and God bless the DL.

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