In the world of baseball, strategic communication during the game is critical, and one of the elements governed by the rules is the number of times a team can confer on the pitcher’s mound without a pitching change. Known as “Mound Visits Remaining” or MVR, this rule sets a limit on the number of times a team’s manager, coach, catcher, or other players can visit the pitcher during a game to discuss tactics or provide encouragement. The rule, which Major League Baseball introduced in 2018, aims to improve the pace of play by reducing game stoppages.

Initially, the number of mound visits per team was capped at six per nine innings. To further expedite the game, the number was reduced to five as of the 2020 season. Mound visits count against the team’s total regardless of the game’s duration and include visits by any player or coach, not just the manager, with few exceptions such as injury checks. MVR is now an important tactical consideration during baseball games, impacting the way teams manage their in-game strategies and communication.

Basics of MVR

In Major League Baseball, MVR is a critical aspect of the strategy employed during games. It denotes a resource that is limited and strategically important throughout the nine innings.

Definition of MVR

MVR stands for Mound Visits Remaining. It indicates the number of times a team can visit the pitcher’s mound during a game without making a pitching change. As established by MLB rules, each team begins the game with a set number of mound visits.

Significance in Baseball

The significance of MVR lies in its strategic value. Each visit is an opportunity for the team to discuss tactics, motivate the pitcher, or give the bullpen more time to warm up a reliever. Teams must manage their MVR judiciously, as exhausting them could limit late-game strategic options.

Calculating MVR

The Major League Baseball rules stipulate the exact number of mound visits allowed per game, a critical figure known as MVR (Mound Visits Remaining). Understanding MVR calculation is fundamental in developing game strategy and maintaining compliance with the rules.

Factors Affecting MVR

MVR begins as a fixed number at the start of each game. As of the 2020 season, teams are allowed five mound visits. Several factors can affect MVR:

  • Substitutions: If a pitcher is substituted, the MVR count does not reset.
  • Extra Innings: Additional mound visits are granted in extra innings. For each extra inning played, one visit is added to each team’s MVR.
  • Pitcher-Catcher Conferences: If the pitcher and the catcher meet to discuss strategy with no coach present, this also counts as a mound visit and reduces the MVR by one.
  • Injury Exceptions: In the case of a suspected injury, a visit may not count against the MVR, at the umpire’s discretion.

Common Uses in Game Strategy

Teams use their MVR strategically to influence the game’s outcome. Here are the most common uses:

  • Pitcher’s Performance: A visit may be used to give a struggling pitcher a break or to plan how to confront a high-caliber batter.
  • Changing Signals: To prevent the opposing team from stealing signs, a mound visit can be used to change the signal set.
  • Stalling for Time: Mound visits can be tactically used to stall the game, allowing a relief pitcher more time to warm up in the bullpen.

Understanding and tracking MVR is essential for coaches and players as they make real-time decisions that can have significant impacts on the game.