Red Sox manager John Farrell is expecting MLB to pay more attention to the new 10-day disabled list, at least in part to prevent teams from stashing healthy players there as a way of managing their rosters.
"With it just being 10 days, I think the DL will be scrutinized even greater to try to control that," Farrell told the Providence Journal. "I think there's going to be doctor documentation required for every move that's made to the DL. On the surface, it looks like it could be manipulated. But I think the backup evidence is going to be much more in-depth."
The example the Journal gives for what it calls "the phantom DL" is a team with a depleted bullpen moving a healthy starting pitcher to the 10-day DL under the guise of an injury in order to add a reliever. Because the minimum stay on disabled list has been reduced from 15 to 10 days, the starter conceivably would miss only one start.
In theory, that's one way veteran teams with players out of options — like the Red Sox — could abuse the new shorter DL.
"For a starter, now you'd be missing one start," Farrell said. "With the 15-day DL, you're missing that guy — and it's likely that previously, with the 15-day DL you're probably looking at one rehab start, so it extends even further. Now,you drop it back to 10 days, if there's an off-day in those 10 days, you're missing one start."
Thus, Farrell suspects, MLB will be more focused on teams' roster moves relating to the disabled list.