Players are placed on either the 15-day or the 60-day disabled list, usually depending on the severity and/or recovery time of the injury. A player may be shifted from the 15-day to the 60-day DL at any time, but not vice-versa. The player may not rejoin the team until 15 or 60 days has elapsed; however, a player's time on the DL may exceed the specified number of days, and further, if a player is transferred to the 60-day DL after August 1, he may not return to the active roster that season.
The 15-day DL does not count the player on the active roster (comprising the 25-man roster until September 1), whereas the 60-day DL does not require the player to be counted on either the team's active roster or its 40-man roster; however, a team's 40-man roster must be full in order for the option of a placement on the 60-day disabled list to be available.
Placing a player on the disabled list opens a spot on the active roster. Another player from the minor leagues, free agent pool, a traded player, or a recovered player coming off the disabled list may be used to fill this spot. This allows a team to avoid being penalized because it avoids the disadvantage of playing with a reduced roster.
Retroactive placement may be made at most 10 days after the time of injury. When a player is listed as day-to-day before being placed on the disabled list, it therefore may pinpoint the date of the injury.
Read more about this topic: Disabled List
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