On Saturday, the New York Mets announced that the team was demoting struggling outfielder Michael Conforto, optioning him to Triple-A Las Vegas. On the one hand, the Mets’ decision to send Conforto back to the minors wasn’t particularly surprising, as the second-year player had been in the midst of a deep slump, hitting just .148/.217/.303 since May 1st.
On the other hand, however, the timing of Conforto’s demotion was potentially a bit controversial in a different respect. As ESPN’s Keith Law noted on Saturday:
Conforto just had a cortisone shot for cartilage damage in his wrist. He may have a grievance over this option. https://t.co/cvxOrpHVWC
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 25, 2016
Indeed, Conforto reportedly was given a cortisone shot on Tuesday June 14th to treat strained cartilage in his ailing left wrist.
This is potentially significant because Article XIX(C)(1) of Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement forbids teams from sending injured major-league players to the minor leagues. As the provision clearly states, “Players who are injured and not able to play may not be assigned to a Minor League club.” Instead, the CBA requires clubs to place injured major-league players on the major-league disabled list.