One important aspect of baseball is the communication between the pitcher and the catcher, especially during high-pressure situations.
To regulate and manage the number of visits to the pitcher’s mound, Major League Baseball (MLB) introduced a new rule in 2018 called Mound Visits Remaining (MVR).
Teams are limited to six non-pitching-change mound visits per nine-inning game, with one additional visit allowed for each extra inning played.
So teams have to use these visits strategically.
Below we’ll look more into what MVR is, how it works, and its implications on the game.
Understanding Mound Visits
Before diving into MVR, it is essential to understand the concept of mound visits in baseball.
A mound visit occurs when the catcher or any other player from the defensive team approaches the pitcher on the mound to discuss strategy, provide guidance, or simply offer encouragement.
These visits are critical for pitchers to regain focus, adjust their approach, or clarify signs with their catchers.
Prior to the implementation of MVR, there were no restrictions on the number of mound visits a team could make during a game.
This lack of regulation led to extended breaks in the game, slowing down the pace and potentially disrupting the flow of play.
To address this issue, MLB introduced MVR as a way to limit the number of mound visits per team.
What Is MVR?
Mound Visits Remaining (MVR) is a rule implemented by MLB to restrict the number of non-pitching-change mound visits a team can make during a game.
Each team is allowed a specific number of mound visits per game, including both manager and coach visits, as well as visits from position players.
The purpose of MVR is to speed up the game and maintain its flow while still allowing for the necessary communication between the pitcher and the catcher.
How Does MVR Work?
Under the MVR rule, each team is granted six mound visits per nine-inning game.
These visits can be used at the discretion of the team, but once they are exhausted, any additional visits will result in a penalty.
The penalty for exceeding the allotted number of mound visits is a mandatory pitching change.
It is important to note that not all visits to the mound count toward the MVR limit.
The following situations are exempt from the MVR rule:
- Visits made due to an injury to the pitcher or a position player
- Visits made during a pitching change
- Visits made after the umpire signals for an offensive substitution
These exemptions ensure that teams can still address critical situations without being penalized for necessary visits.
Implications of MVR
The introduction of MVR has had several implications on the game of baseball.
Let’s explore some of the key effects:
1. Increased Pace of Play
MVR has significantly contributed to speeding up the pace of play in baseball.
By limiting the number of mound visits, teams are encouraged to communicate more efficiently and effectively during the game.
This reduction in downtime keeps the game moving and enhances the overall viewing experience for fans.
2. Strategic Decision-Making
With only a limited number of mound visits available, teams must be strategic in their use.
Managers and coaches need to carefully consider when to utilize their visits, ensuring they are used in critical situations that can potentially impact the outcome of the game.
This strategic decision-making adds an additional layer of complexity to the game.
3. Improved Focus and Rhythm
By limiting the number of mound visits, pitchers are encouraged to maintain focus and rhythm throughout the game.
With fewer interruptions, pitchers can stay in the zone and execute their pitches more effectively.
This aspect of MVR has led to improved pitching performances and a more engaging game for both players and spectators.
MOUND VISITS, MOUND VISITS REMAINING – Baseball Basics
What’s Said During a Mound Visit in Baseball?
During a mound visit in baseball, various topics may be discussed, and the conversation can differ significantly based on the situation, the people involved, and the state of the game.
Here are some of the potential subjects:
- Strategy: A primary purpose of a mound visit is to discuss strategy. This could involve talking about how to pitch to the next batter, deciding on whether to intentionally walk a batter, setting up for a potential bunt, or planning for a specific defensive play.
- Pitcher Performance: If the pitcher is struggling, the coach or catcher might come out to the mound to give advice or encouragement. They might discuss mechanics (e.g., “You’re dropping your arm a bit”) or mindset (e.g., “Don’t worry about the last hit, just focus on the next pitch”).
- Rest: Sometimes, a mound visit can serve as a brief respite for a pitcher who’s thrown many pitches in an inning. The break can help the pitcher catch his breath and regroup before the next batter.
- Change of Pitcher: If the manager or coach is considering a pitching change, they might use a mound visit to evaluate the current pitcher’s condition and to give the bullpen more time to warm up a reliever.
- Signs and Signals: If there’s suspicion that the opposing team has figured out the signs being used between the pitcher and catcher, they may use a mound visit to change the signs.
- Injury Check: If there’s concern that the pitcher may be injured, the coach or team trainer may come out to the mound to check on the pitcher’s condition.
- Confidence Boost: Sometimes, a mound visit can just be a pep talk, an opportunity to reassure a struggling pitcher and boost his confidence.
FAQs – MVR in Baseball
1. How many mound visits are allowed per team?
Each team is allowed six mound visits per nine-inning game.
2. Do mound visits made due to injuries count towards the MVR limit?
No, mound visits made due to injuries to the pitcher or a position player are exempt from the MVR rule.
3. What happens if a team exceeds the allotted number of mound visits?
If a team exceeds the allotted number of mound visits, a mandatory pitching change is enforced.
4. Are mound visits made during a pitching change counted towards the MVR limit?
No, mound visits made during a pitching change do not count toward the MVR limit.
5. Can a team make additional mound visits after exhausting their MVR limit?
No, once a team has used all six mound visits, any additional visits will result in a penalty.
6. Are there any exemptions to the MVR rule?
Yes, visits made after the umpire signals for an offensive substitution are exempt from the MVR rule.
7. How has MVR impacted the pace of play in baseball?
MVR has significantly increased the pace of play by reducing downtime and keeping the game moving.
8. What is the purpose of MVR?
The purpose of MVR is to limit the number of non-pitching-change mound visits and maintain the flow of the game while still allowing necessary communication between the pitcher and the catcher.
9. How has MVR affected strategic decision-making in baseball?
MVR has forced teams to be more strategic in their use of mound visits, ensuring they are utilized in critical situations that can impact the outcome of the game.
10. Has MVR improved pitching performances?
Yes, by limiting interruptions and maintaining focus and rhythm, MVR has led to improved pitching performances.
11. Can a team request additional mound visits in case of an emergency?
No, once a team has exhausted their allotted mound visits, they cannot request additional visits, even in case of an emergency.
12. Are there any penalties for exceeding the MVR limit?
Yes, exceeding the MVR limit results in a mandatory pitching change.
13. Can a team carry over unused mound visits to the next game?
No, unused mound visits do not carry over to the next game.
Each game starts with a fresh allocation of six mound visits per team.
14. Can a manager or coach be ejected for excessive mound visits?
No, managers or coaches cannot be ejected solely for excessive mound visits.
However, repeated violations of the MVR rule may result in disciplinary action.
15. Does MVR apply to all levels of baseball?
MVR was initially implemented in Major League Baseball (MLB) in 2018.
However, its adoption in other levels of baseball may vary.
Mound Visits Remaining (MVR) is a rule introduced by Major League Baseball (MLB) to limit the number of non-pitching-change mound visits per team.
Each team is allowed six mound visits per nine-inning game, and exceeding this limit results in a mandatory pitching change.
MVR has had several implications on the game, including increased pace of play, strategic decision-making, and improved focus and rhythm for pitchers.
By understanding and adhering to the MVR rule, teams can effectively manage their mound visits while maintaining the flow and excitement of the game.