Today, Major League Baseball announced it is giving teams the ability to put players on a 7-day disabled list, if they've suffered a concussion.
In the past, reports the AP, teams kept players with concussions off the disabled list because the shortest stint was 15 days and experts say minor concussions clear up in five to seven days.
According to the announcement the shorter DL option is intended "to allow concussions to clear, prevent players from returning prematurely, and give the clubs a full complement of players in one's absence."
Players on the seven-day DL will be transferred to the 15-day DL once they've been sidelined for more than seven days, but the abbreviated DL stint will hopefully make teams more willing to shut a player down once post-concussion symptoms surface. In the past some players have remained on the active roster following concussions because the team wasn't sure they'd need to miss the full 15 days.
The Los Angeles Times reports the new rule will be used on a trial basis starting opening day on Thursday and under the new policy players will be required to take "a baseline neurological examination each spring, and whenever they join a new team."
Concussions, reports the USA Today, have plagued many players in the past few years:
Eight major league players went on the disabled list with concussions last season — Twins first baseman Justin Morneau and Mets outfielder Jason Bay being the most prominent — and 30 in the last six years. Morneau was sidelined from July 7 to the end of the season, Jason Bay from July 25 on.
Morneau is hopeful to play opening day. Bay was symptom free before he developed a different injury.
Catcher Mike Matheny, a four-time Gold Glove winner, and nine-year major leaguer Corey Koskie retired when they didn't recover enough from 2006 concussions.