Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo was recently placed on the DL due to what has been labeled as an anxiety disorder. While Kuo's history of elbow problems was likely a factor, his mental health seems to be more of an issue than his physical ability.
Kuo is just one of several Major League Baseball players that have been placed on the DL due to mental reasons, particularly over the last 20 years.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 26.2 percent of Americans 18 or older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. However, between 1972-1991, zero major-league players were placed on the DL for mental health reasons.
Emotional problems around the game of baseball were typically hidden from the media and ignored by general managers over the years. But recently, for really the first time in major-league history, players have been openly admitting to mental health disorders and seeking treatment.
Baseball, after all, can be psychologically draining at times. Between the slow pace of the game, the emphasis on statistics and the tiny margin for error, it is no wonder that the mental health of players is vulnerable.
The following 10 players have been placed on the disabled list at one time or another due to mental health reasons, the vast majority of them over the past five years.