It’s anyone’s guess as to whether fans will see designated hitters in the National League or three-batter minimum relief pitchers anytime soon, but there is one change that will be implemented in Major League Baseball this season.
ESPN reported Thursday that the league would change the name of its disabled list to the “injured list.” MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem told ESPN the name change was suggested by disability advocacy groups who wanted to make it clear that being disabled didn’t stop someone from competing in sports.
"In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the 'Disabled List,' " said Jeff Pfeifer, MLB's senior director of league economics and operations, in a memo to teams in December. "The principal concern is that using the term 'disabled' for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has agreed to change the name 'Disabled List' to be the 'Injured List' at both the major and minor league levels. All standards and requirements for placement, reinstatement, etc., shall remain unchanged. This change, which is only a rebranding of the name itself, is effective immediately.''
The name change falls in line with other professional sports leagues that typically use the word “injury” when designating athletes who are unable to play. The NFL has its weekly injury report and also uses “injured reserve” and “physically unable to perform” designations. The NBA has an inactive list and the NHL also uses the term “injured reserve.”
Although it has undergone a name change, no other modifications have been made to the baseball injured list for 2019.