The 15 day D.L. Rule – Why?

10 Aug

Thumbnail image for 6677460.jpgSo if you’re a Philadelphia local, and a fan of the Phillies you’ve
probably heard of Sports Radio 610 WIP.  I’m a pretty regular caller to the shows, usually late at night.  All the regular callers have a cool handle to go by but I’m just Mike from Doylestown. Originally I asked for Phanatic Mike, but
apparently that was taken. 

Thanks Mom and Dad for giving me the most popular name…

Actually I just checked.  Mohammad is now the most popular name in the world.  I take that back Mom and Dad, thank you for not naming me Mohammad.

Anyway… Last week after Ryan Howard was placed onto the 15 day disabled list the Late Night show hosted by Big Daddy Graham made their show’s topic of the night the 15 day disabled list.  The question that was raised by the host was “Why does it have to be 15 days?  Why can’t they just come back when they’re better?”

I usually will wait a while before I call up to these shows and voice my thoughts.  It’s a good idea to do this, as it can definitely prevent you from sounding like a real idiot. Yeah well, for some reason this time I just grabbed my phone and dialed up the show.  Usually you’ll get placed on hold for a good half hour or so, since these guys love to hear themselves talk and they’ll field a few calls before you’re up in the cue.  It allows you a few more minutes to prepare.  This night it just didn’t go that way.

I don’t think more then about 3 minutes went by before I was on the air, and my thoughts were so jumbled that Big Daddy told me straight out “I have no idea what you’re trying to say” and hung up on me.  I’m sure that many of the people listening that night got a good laugh at my dispense.

I think it’s a great topic for discussion at this point in the season as this is the time that teams are gearing up for that sprint to the finish in September. You hear all these people say that “Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.” Well I sorta agree with that I guess.  Though the season is really long, everyone who’s in contention is usually knotted up pretty tight come September.   I guess see it a little more like a triathlon.  Spring training, April and May are just the first event, they let everyone get a feel of the water, and weed out the kinks.  June, July and August is where everyone grabs a bike and shifts gears and the novices and the weak are usually left by the side of the road with flat tires or a stick stuck in the spokes (Carlos Zambrano).  Then come September it’s an all out sprint to the finish. It always ends really tight as all the teams that are contenders for a Division win or that are in a battle for the Wild Card finish so closely together.  Just look at how many tie breakers we’ve seen in the past few seasons, and how many playoff births have been won by just a single game.  It’s all about who’s hot in the end really.  

chasehurt.jpgI’ve looked into why a trip to the Disabled List requires you to book a two week reservation. As some of you may know the 15 day rule is really only about 20 years old.  In the 1980s, there were 10-day and 21-day disabled lists, but the rules were a little different.   The number of players who could be placed on each list was limited, and
there was much less flexibility about when they could return to action.
In addition, players with major league contracts were not allowed to go
to the minor leagues for rehabilitation (I’m glad that’s changed, I love going to see a rehabbing player, seriously).  One of the main reasons they changed the rule to the 15/60 day rule was that it was a constant argument that teams were basically just resting players on the 10 day list and that by changing the rule to 15 days it would be more likely that teams would take it more seriously, not wanting to bench a player for over 2 weeks.  They changed the 21 day to 60 because the 60-day D.L. does not require the player to be counted on either the team’s active roster or its 40 man roster. So if someone is going to need some surgery or something you don’t have to carry him all season.  Think fantasy league… How many times these past two months have you thought about dropping Dustin Pedroia, or Chase Utley for your their roster spot?  Plus allowing a pitcher more time on the D.L. is usually necessary and it would allow them more time to recover from an injury, rehab and make some Minor League starts with proper rest.  

By placing a player on the disabled list, a spot on the active roster is opened up. Another player from the Minor Leagues, Free Agent pool, a traded player, or a recovered player coming off the disabled
list may be used to fill this spot. This allows a team to avoid being
penalized because it avoids the disadvantage of playing with a reduced
roster.

howiehurt.jpgThe amount of days that a player is required to stay on the Disabled List has a lot to do with the thought that players with Major League talent might get stashed away in the Minor Leagues, not as players but as seconds, or back up roster.  If you shortened up the amount of days a player on your roster had to ride the D.L. to say 3, or 5 as the Radio Show host above suggested, in theory you could almost fit another starting pitcher into your rotation or have a few designated hitters ready to go at a moments notice.  It’s a little far out there, but it was my thought that with the July 31st trade deadline and now with August’s waiver period some of the “Super Powers” of the Majors could just grab all the “Rental Players” and stack up for an unbeatable September.  I know it’s a serious stretch, but I think a few teams would consider it.  It would throw the whole purpose of the 40 man roster out the window.  I’m pretty convinced that the rule that’s in place is a pretty good one as it stands. 

See… How the hell was i supposed jam that into a 30 second phone call.

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Nobody looks at it, but I also Twitter! 

 

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