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Ian Desmond set to take “paternity leave” from Nationals

Apr 20, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

desmond hitting

No one tell Richie Witt, but Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will soon join Rangers starter Colby Lewis is taking advantage of MLB’s new “paternity leave” roster rule.

Lewis missed one start, which has become a surprisingly big deal (or at least surprisingly frequent talking point), whereas Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Desmond plans to leave the Nationals for one or two games once his wife goes into labor with their first child any moment now.

According to Kilgore the Nationals are likely to call up Brian Bixler from Triple-A to fill Desmond’s roster spot, with Alex Cora or Jerry Hairston Jr. likely replacing him in the lineup.

  1. easports82 - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Witt requests Desmond’s wife holds off on going into labor until the All-Star break or, in the event that Desmond is selected, October. All ballplayers should follow suit.

  2. BC - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Wouldn’t this fall under FLMA? I find it hard to believe that this is “new” to MLB – I’d figure it would have to be part of the standard boilerplate contract or in the CBA somewhere.

    • jwbiii - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:28 PM

      A player can be on the paternity list for from 1 to 3 days. In the past, a player would have to be put on the “bereavement” (quoted because it has been used for childbirth, sick, although not dead relatives (Shaun Marcum is spending time with his father following heart surgery), etc.) list for from 3 to 7 days. If a player wants to return to work after 1 or 2 days, he can. I imagine if he needs more time, he can be transferred to the bereavement list.

    • jwbiii - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM

      As to why they didn’t just change the name of the “bereavement” list to “personal leave” list and change the duration to from 1 to 7 days, I dunno. I’ve been to relatives’ funerals which didn’t require 3 days. Some people like simple things and some people don’t, I guess.

  3. The Common Man/ - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Crucify him! Crucify him!

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