January 25, 2019


One of the reasons teams now go less on starting rotations to more workload on bullpens is the disabled list. Yahoo Sports:

One of the changes brought forth by the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement was the reduction of the minimum disabled list stay from 15 days to ten days. At the time this seemed like a win-win. If they only faced being out ten days rather than 15, players would be under less pressure to play through an injury. Likewise, teams would be less likely to play shorthanded while injuries were assessed.

Teams began to use the DL as a means of cycling pitchers on and off the roster, allowing them to bring in fresh arms with greater frequency. The result: a significant increase in the amount of players used, particularly relief pitchers. Bullpenning strategies that have developed over the past couple of years have been greatly aided by a shorter DL stay. Such strategies, in turn, have contributed to a reduction in offense.

The Associated Press reports Major League Baseball has proposed going back to a 15-day disabled list and increasing the time optioned players usually must spend in the minor leagues, a person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press, moves aimed at reducing the use of relief pitchers and reviving offense.

This bargained for operational rule does get more players on active major league rosters (with prorate MLB pay and benefits) so the union must like the 10 day DL. But perhaps the owners have found that adding players to payrolls (with benefits count toward the luxury cap) for the sole purpose of extending the 25 man roster to a turn style 30 man team is not worth the cost.  

MLB does want offense. The home run derby days during the Steroid Era helped keep baseball from having serious financial issues. If the game is deemed "boring" for lack of scoring, then casual fans will swipe their streaming device to find some other form of entertainment.