If you have attended an MLB (Major League Baseball) game, you might have noticed the MVR column on the scoreboard.
So, what does MVR mean in baseball? MVR is short for ‘Mound Visits Remaining’; a new rule was devised in 2018 with the purpose of limiting the number of mound visits during a nine-inning game, and, consequently, improve the pace and fluidity of the game. Mound visits are crucial for teams, as they allow the pitcher and coaches to meet, and create, alter, or confirm their plans and strategies according to the current game situation or the batter currently on the field.
What are Mound Visits in Baseball?
Mound visits are when the baseball play is temporarily stopped so that the pitcher can interact with the coaches and managers, and go over or alter various strategies. Typically, it is the main manager or the pitching coach that participates in the mound visit. Occasionally, though, the catcher and even the entire on-field team might be a part of a mound visit. Some of the things that are discussed during a mound visit are:
- The way in which the ball should be pitched to a particular hitter
- Whether the pitcher is feeling comfortable and confident
- If the team should make a pitching change or not
A mound visit cannot take more than 30 seconds; if it does, an umpire will come up and disperse the meeting.
To get a fuller picture about the introduction of MVR, you can go through the official MVR guide.
What Does MVR Mean in Baseball?
Like we mentioned, MVR stands for ‘Mound Visits Remaining’. MLB is continuously looking for ideas to increase the speed and flow of the game, and one obvious way to achieve that is by restricting the number of stoppages during games. From 2018 onwards, either team has been restricted to a maximum of five mound visits during a typical game that consists of nine innings. Should the game go beyond the ninth innings, both teams will be awarded an additional mound visit.
The Criteria for Mount Visit in Baseball:
The MLB has identified a few ways through which it determines if a meeting qualifies as a mount visit. For instance, let us assume that the Chicago Cubs are taking on the Boston Red Sox. If, during the match, the Chicago Cubs coach steps out of their dugout and has a word with the team’s pitcher to discuss strategy, this will be considered one mount visit for the Cubs.
A second example would be if the Boston Red Sox’s shortstop walks out onto the mound to meet with the team’s pitcher. This meeting could occur if the pitcher seems rattled or nervous after conceding a home run, or if they are a rookie pitcher and the veteran wishes to have a few words with them to ease the nerves. Regardless of the purpose of the meeting or if it ends in less than 30 seconds, it would be considered as a mound visit for the Red Sox.
Lastly, if the coach comes out of the dugout to talk to the pitcher, the meeting would be considered a mound visit.
Are There Any Exceptions to the MVR Rule?
Just like any other baseball rule, there are a few exemptions to the recently-introduced MVR rule.
For example, if the pitcher has suffered an injury, and the trainer and the coach want to check on the player, this will not be considered a mound visit (regardless of whether the pitcher plays on or is taken out).
A second exception is if the pitcher and catcher are crossed-up when the ball reaches the home plate. Considering that teams often steal the signs during games, catchers and pitchers sometimes have complicated sequences and signals to communicate about the kind of pitch that the pitcher will throw next. If a cross-up is clear (for instance, if the catcher was expecting a fast ball but was surprised with a curveball or vice-versa), the two players will be allowed to meet, without the meeting being considered a mound visit.
A third example is if the current team’s at-bat is replaced by a pinch hitter. In this situation, the pitcher can have a quick meeting with the catcher, should the two players feel the need. Also, if an infield player decides to enter the mound and use a rubber scraper to clean their spikes, this will not be considered a mound visit. Even though both these exceptions are quite uncommon, it is important for both players and fans to remember that they do not qualify as mound visits, and will therefore not have an impact on the MVR number.
What Happens if a Coach and Players Tries to Meet After the Five Allowed Meetings Have Been Exhausted?
If a team’s player and coach try to meet after they have used up their five allowed visits, they could be suspended. In general, the umpires decide whether the act warrants a suspension and, if so, how long or severe.
Can Players Meet If the Play Has Been Suspended?
Any kind of suspension can lead to unaccounted mound visits. For instance, let us assume that a fan runs onto the field and brings the game to an abrupt halt. Now, between the time that the play is stopped and the security arrives to get the fan off the field, the players can meet and have a chat on the pitching mound. This meeting will not be considered as an official mound visit, and will therefore not lead to a reduction in the team’s MVR.
Our Final Thoughts:
To sum up, the MVR rule was created to restrict the number of mound visits, and, as a result, make the speedier, and more fluid and entertaining. Being restricted to five mound visits means that teams need to be smart and more strategic in how they utilize each allowed visit, and make the most of them.
To learn more about baseball rules and laws, please feel free to check out some of the other blogs on our website.