Disability days in major league baseball

Am J Sports Med. 2001 Jul-Aug;29(4):431-6. doi: 10.1177/03635465010290040801.


We have examined the injury experience in Major League Baseball as reflected by the disabled list, based on data presented by American Specialty Companies in their publications, to examine any changes in injury rates over the past 11 years. It is reasonable to expect that improvements in training and conditioning, diagnostic methods, and surgical treatment over the last 11 years would have reduced injuries and resulted in fewer players on the disabled list. Yet, such does not appear to be the case. There is no evidence that the number of injuries in Major League Baseball has declined over the last decade; on the contrary, it appears that both the number of players and player days on the disabled list have increased. Team membership, injury location, and position do not appear to be related to the increase. Nor does it appear that the increase in injuries is a result of more sensitive diagnostic tests allowing the diagnoses of previously unrecognized injuries. Whatever the reason, it is significant that publicly available data, when viewed over an 11-year period, reveal a gradual and consistent increase in reported injuries--suggesting a problem that deserves attention.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Back Injuries / epidemiology
  • Baseball / injuries*
  • Baseball / statistics & numerical data*
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Humans
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology