What Does MVR Mean In Baseball? (Origin & Purpose)

In the center of America’s favorite pastime, an addition to the rulebook has caused some serious debates. MVR or Mound Visits Remaining stands in the heart of the heated conversations. The reason was to ensure that the fans enjoyed the game and it wasn’t boring for them, as multiple visits were elongating the game hence loss of interest for the fans. So, let’s explore what does MVR mean in baseball, the origin, intended purpose as well as how it impacted the game itself. 

What does MVR mean in baseball? 

Before we look at the technicalities of the reason and cause of MVR to be implemented in the game, we need to understand what does MVR mean in baseball. 

Simply put, MVR is when a player other than the pitcher calls time to go talk to the pitcher for whatever the reason might be, in this scenario the umpire signals to change the scoreboard which changes the Mound Visits remaining on the scoreboard. 

These Occasional visits can take place for several reasons, let’s see a few reasons why the player calls for mounds. 

  • The pitcher is in trouble: 

This is one of the most common reasons for the pitching coach or the player to visit the pitcher. It is to reason with the pitcher when they can not agree on a sign. 

  • Issue with pitcher’s tactics:

Occasionally if an infielder finds a problem or wants the pitcher to change their strategy, they will call time for MVR. It can be to discuss defensive positions, strategic problems, or any tactical issues. 

  • To stall at the end of the game:

The pitching coach may call for an MVR to stall the game and go to the pitcher. It is mainly so that the relievers warming up in the bullpen can get some extra throws in when the time is called. 

  • Calm down the pitcher: 

At the end of the game or during a rough patch, an MVR can be called by the pitching coach to calm the nerves of the struggling pitcher and to ensure a win from him. 

  • If there’s a pinch hitter late in the game: 

If there’s a substitute hitter by the end of the game, an MVR can be called to discuss the tactics or change of strategy that might be needed for the player. 

History of the MVR Rule: 

Now that we know what does MVR means in baseball, let’s look into why and when the rule was made. 

The rule was added to the rulebook in 2018. Major League Baseball (MLB) was facing a growing problem. 

The game lasted three hours if not more, this long game was making the fans bored, restless, and left in the middle of the game. Because of this, there were fewer followers, television rates were dropping and there was less “buzz” about baseball than there used to be. 

When Major League Baseball looked into this problem, the number one cause of dragging games was taking multiple mounds by the player every few minutes. Taking mound visits was slowing the game, making the fans less interested in the game. 

The reason for MVR was to briefly consult the pitchers and for coaches to talk to pitchers was gradually changing into multiple stops and contributing to disrupting the flow of the game.

To put a stop to this problem, they added a rule in the baseball rulebook, that limited the number of mound visits allowed. They limited them to 6 mound visits to regroup, ask for advice, and discuss strategies per nine-inning game. This rule added the pace and fun back into baseball.

The rule changed in 2019, and the mound visits per game allowed changed to 5, if the team uses all 5 before the ninth inning then an extra would be granted. Also if there are extra innings then the team will be allowed an extra mound visit. 

Consequences and exceptions for MVR rule: 

There are certain consequences one will face if they do not follow the rule, five MVRs per nine-inning game. Let’s talk about the consequences one will face if they exceed the number of mounds visits allowed. 

Mandatory removal from the game 

If you take more mound visits than allowed, the player will be removed and a substitute player will be called in. If the team or coach or multiple players do it, then the entire team will be called for immediate removal. Though it rarely ever happens but is a possibility. 

Certain exceptions are going to be discussed below when it is allowed for an excess of Mounds visits or where it is not applicable. 

If the pitcher faces injury

If the pitcher is injured, the team and the players can go up to the mound and check on the safety and health of the pitcher. This is allowed and wouldn’t count as a mound visit on the scoreboard. 

Cross up between the catcher and the pitcher: 

If there’s miscommunication between the catcher and pitcher about signs they can be discussed and a mound visit is allowed without any penalty to clear out the communication problem. 

Infielder visit to mound: 

The infielder can visit the mound solely to use the scraper to take off the mud from the shoes. During this time he is not allowed to talk to the pitcher about anything. 

Pinch hitter situation:

If there is a substitute batter, and being called by the offensive team only when the ball is dead, the team can have mound visits which would not be included in MVR. 

The intended impact of MVR in the game:

We have discussed in detail what MVR means in baseball, its purpose, consequences as well as exceptions that are allowed. Now let’s look into the intended impact of MVR in the game. 

As mentioned above, the goal for adding MVR was to make it more fun, engaging, and quick for the fans as well as the players. The rule ensures certain things like: 

  1. It enhanced the viewing experience. 
  2. It improved the game flow. 
  3. Helped raise the fans’ interest. 
  4. It restored the inherent rhythm of the game.  
  5. Helped bring back the true essence of baseball. 

It has done all of this by limiting mound visits so there are no back-and-forth conversations between the unnecessary players, it prompted quicker decisions and quicker judgment calls, as there were no pauses, and the game was fast-paced which was attention-grabbing for the fans, captivating especially the young generation as they are more accustomed to quick entertainment. 

Debates on MVR: 

Although MVR intended to ensure that everybody stays connected throughout the game and to remove unnecessary pauses throughout the game. However, some lively debates sparked after the addition of the new rule. 

The opposition to the MVR rule stated that by limiting the communication there will be various problems faced by the players. As there will be reduced communication they wouldn’t be able to discuss the ever-changing strategy required to deal with different players, which would limit the decision-making process. The traditionalists argued that it would give sole responsibility and autonomy to the manager. 

Whereas, those who were in favor of this rule argued that it helps conserve time, and make it fast-paced and more interesting for the fan following to watch. 

Conclusion for What Does MVR Mean in Baseball?

MVR or Mound Visit Remaining was founded in 2018. It was a rule made to limit the elongated game of baseball caused by unlimited mound visits. It limits all the team members from visiting the mound during the game to 5 times baseline and an extra MVR in extra innings. 

Although the rule has sparked some debate about whether it is benefiting the players or not, the sole purpose of the rule was to make the game fun and fast-paced for the fans to enjoy. 


Who is allowed for the mound visit? 

All team members including the manager, coach, staff, and players are allowed and included in mound visits. 

Does the MVR rule affect the overall winning percentage of the teams?

No, there are no effects on the overall performance or the winning percentage of the team because of MVR. 

What happens on a mound visit?

During a mound visit, the coach, staff, and player go to the pitcher’s mound to discuss strategies, batters, or positions.

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