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MLB announces seven-day disabled list for concussions to be used on “trial basis” this season

Mar 29, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

justin-morneau-concussion Reuters

MLB announced today that teams will be able to place players who suffer concussions on a seven-day disabled list this season in addition to the standard 15-day and 60-day disabled lists, with the new option being used on a “trial basis.”

According to the announcement the shorter DL option is intended “to allow concussions to clear, prevent players from returning prematurely, and give the clubs a full complement of players in one’s absence.”

Players on the seven-day DL will be transferred to the 15-day DL once they’ve been sidelined for more than seven days, but the abbreviated DL stint will hopefully make teams more willing to shut a player down once post-concussion symptoms surface. In the past some players have remained on the active roster following concussions because the team wasn’t sure they’d need to miss the full 15 days.

Also of note is that, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the new concussion policy “also requires players to take a baseline neurological examination each spring and whenever they join a new team” and “establishes protocols for evaluating players and umpires for possible concussions and for clearing affected players and umpires to return.”

All in all, a very nice step in the right direction after concussions unfortunately sidelined numerous players last year, including knocking Justin Morneau of the Twins and Jason Bay of the Mets out for months and ending Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue’s career.

  1. trevorb06 - Mar 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Wow! Good job MLB! This is a step in the right direction. I have a feeling more large scale changes will come in the next 5 years.

  2. dodger88 - Mar 29, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    As this is close to a return to the days with 10 & 21 day DL options, I hope they keep the 7 day DL after the trial period and open it up for any injury, not just concussions. That being said, I agree this is good move as far as handling concussions are concerned.

  3. BC - Mar 29, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    How many concussions are gone in 7 days? I mean, when an NFL player gets a concussion, you rarely see him in the next week’s game. This 7 day thing seems like a waste to me.

    • dodger88 - Mar 29, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      I think the point of the 7 day DL is to take a few extra days to determine whether a player has suffered a concussion. If yes, he can play again after 7 days; if no; he’ll be out much longer, thus the automatic transfer from 7 days to 15 days (likley more in reality). If there is a 7 day DL option, teams and players will hopefully be more willing to take the few days off instead of trying to play through a concussion.

      • nick5253 - Mar 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        Yeah, I think the 7day part is for the event where it’s more like a mild-concussion and not really that serious and the symptoms are there for a few days, but not a long time. Last year, a player may have gone out and played after 3 days since he was hamstringing the roster by being hurt but not on the DL. This gives a lot more flexibility and lets the team and player be cautious.

  4. stinkfingers - Mar 29, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Maybe they ought to have a “return when ready” DL exclusively for concussions. I get the feeling that some guys may try to rush their recovery in order to return after the 7 days.

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