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MVR is a relatively new term in baseball, but it is an essential point to explore. MVR is the Mound Visits Remaining for a team during a game.
MVR is a measure of the number of mound visits a team can make during a game. Major League Baseball has a limit of five mound visits for each side in a nine-inning game.
MLB established this rule in 2018 to speed up the game. The move comes as people have been complaining about how MLB games are taking longer than necessary these days. The MVR helps speed up the game and reduce unnecessary mound visits.
The Concept of the Rule
MVR entails a measure of how many mound visits a team can conduct in nine innings. The coaching staff can meet a pitcher for a mound visit up to five times in nine innings.
The manager and other coaching staff members can time their planned mound visits. They will manage these over how many they have left and the pitcher’s needs. While a mound visit is necessary for discussing strategy, the goal is to keep teams from abusing the concept.
Teams are expected to review their mound visits with care. They must plan their visits surrounding what will happen during a game and when they need to meet with a pitcher.
What Is a Mound Visit?
A mound visit is an event where a manager or other coaches will visit the pitcher during a game. Major League Baseball has a few rules surrounding what works in a mound visit:
- A mound visit can last for up to thirty seconds. The umpire will have to break up the meeting if the visit lasts longer than thirty seconds.
- The visit starts when the manager or coach leaves the dugout. The person should have been given time by the umpire for a visit.
- The visit ends after the other people besides the pitcher have left the eighteen-foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber. The manager or coach can leave that circle for a moment to inform the umpire of any substitutions.
- The pitcher must be removed from the game if he is visited twice in the same inning.
What Happens During Extra Innings?
The MVR total of five during a game is reflective of a typical nine-inning game. But teams will be given additional mound visits when the game reaches extra innings.
A team will receive an additional visit for each extra inning played in a game. These visits are necessary for the high-pressure situations that can occur during extra innings.
How Can Teams Tell?
Major League Baseball requires all teams to have a clear listing of the MVR for each team at a ballpark. A team can review the main video board at a stadium to see what the MVR is for each side. The MVR can appear next to the main box score on the scoreboard.
Are There Exceptions?
There are a few cases where a mound visit does not count against a team’s MVR:
- A player’s cleats can be cleaned if the weather is rainy. Proper cleaning is necessary to prevent slipping or another possible injury if the mound is damp.
- A visit that does not count against the MVR can occur after an offensive substitution has been announced.
- A team will not lose their MVR total when there is a possible injury. The manager and coaches can review if a player is dealing with an injury. They will determine if the player needs to be removed or not, but it will not count against the MVR.
The Evolution of the Rule
Major League Baseball used to have no limits over when mound visits could occur during a game. The only prior rule was to remove a pitcher after two visits in one inning. But MLB started imposing some new terms beginning in 2016 to keep things under control.
In 2016, MLB established a thirty-second limit for how long a mound visit could last. The league went further in 2018, stating that a team can have as many as six visits per nine innings of play. The rule was cut to five visits for every nine innings in 2019.
The rule to remove a pitcher if he experiences two visits in one inning remains intact.
Why Does This Rule Exist?
The MVR rule was established in 2018 to keep games from lasting too long. MLB has been reviewing many pace-of-play rules to make games run a little faster. The work comes as people have been turned off by the games often taking a while.
While MLB has not resorted to a pitch clock like what appears in the minors, it has been trying to make it where there is more action in a game. The goal is to keep teams from trying to alter the pace. The rule also makes games more interesting for people to watch.
What About Suspensions During the Game?
There might be times when a game is suspended for any reason. The umpires might have to meet with each other to determine if a game should continue during inclement conditions. There might also be an animal on the field that needs to be chased off the diamond.
The players and coaches can meet on the mound while the game is suspended. But the meeting must end once the game is back in play.
What If a Team Is Out of Visits?
A team cannot conduct any mound visits if their MVR number is zero. The umpire can still grant a visit if the catcher asks in cases where there appears to be a mix-up of sorts between the catcher and pitcher over how the players are working together.
All teams must look at their MVR numbers during a game and ensure they plan their mound visits well. The right planning is necessary for ensuring a game can move forward and that teams don’t spend all day going back and forth from the mound.