When you’re at a baseball game, and you look up at the scoreboard, you will notice a lot of numbers and details, which can seem confusing.
You may instantly recognize some of the most common stats on a baseball scoreboard, like runs, hits, outs, LOB, and innings. However, you may have also noticed the new section called ‘MVR’ in recent seasons.
This may have left you wondering, what does MVR mean in a baseball game?
This new MVR column was introduced as part of the Major League Baseball (MLB) rule changes in 2018. MVR was added to scoreboards to show the number of mound visits remaining for each team.
Since 2018, the MVR rule has changed to suit the modern game and to speed up playing time.
In this article, we explain exactly what MVR means in baseball. Also, we provide history about why the mound visits remaining rule has been introduced in MLB games.
MVR in Baseball Explained
The MVR baseball stat on a scoreboard shows coaches, players, officials, and fans how many mound visits a team can take in the rest of the match.
To fully understand the baseball MVR meaning, you first need to know what a mound visit is and why teams use them.
A mound visit is when a coach or another player on the fielding team signals for a timeout to speak with the pitcher.
The designated player or coach will then go to the pitcher at the mound to discuss tactics or give instructions.
When the fielding team calls a timeout, the home plate umpire will signal that a mound visit is in play. After a mound visit is complete, the officials will reduce the number of MVRs on the scoreboard.
The official MLB rules have the following guidance for mound visits for fielding teams during a baseball match:
- Limited to 30 seconds.
- Mound visits begin when a coach leaves the dugout.
- It ends when the coach or player exits the 18-foot pitching circle.
- A pitcher is removed from the game if a player or coach calls two mound visits during an innings.
- Coaches can leave a mound visit to inform the umpire of substitutions and then return without the time being affected.
The Introduction of MVR
Before the 2016 MLB season, no time limits were in place for mound visits. As a result, coaches and players could spend as many seconds or minutes as they wanted to pass on instructions and talking tactics with the pitcher.
However, the waiting around wasn’t fun for fans and the batting team, and the momentum in matches slowed down after long mound visits.
The MLB first introduced a 30-second time restriction in the 2016 season to reduce mound visit time and speed up the play in baseball games.
Things changed again in the 2018 season when the MVR rule was introduced.
History of the MVR Rule
Since 2016, the MVR rule has changed and adapted to suit the speed of play in baseball matches. The rule has also gone through changes over time.
Here’s how the MVR baseball stat has changed in recent seasons.
- Before 2016, no restrictions on time or number of mound visits existed.
- 2016 season: The 30-second time limit was introduced to speed up mound visits.
- 2018 season: The MLB first introduced the MVR rule. Players and coaches were only allowed 6 mound visits per match.
- 2019 season: The number of mound visits changes from 6 to 5 to speed up playing time further.
Also, MLB made further tweaks to the rule. For instance, the fielding team can take their 5 given mound visits at any time during the 9 innings of a match.
Also, a coach or player will be suspended if they try to approach the pitcher at the mound after the 5 MVRs have been used.
This is why you will see the mound visits remaining column is included on the scoreboard. It shows teams, players, and umpires how many visits to the mound are left.
Like many baseball rules, exceptions are in place. For example, if the pitcher gets injured inside the pitching circle, the coach can join the medical team to check the player’s condition.
When the coach enters the field, in this case, the mound visits remaining will not change on the scoreboard. Also, if an injury occurs, no time limit begins for trainers and coaches to check on their players.
Why is MVR a Rule in Baseball?
This rule exists for two reasons. First, mound visits give the fielding team a chance to pass on instructions. Second, the rule makes the game quicker and more engaging for fans.
The mound visit rule is often used by players and coaches to discuss tactics and strategy with their pitchers.
Usually, coaches or teammates will approach their pitcher to give important details about an incoming batter. Alternatively, coaches use mound visits to give pitching feedback to the pitcher to improve their mechanics or technique.
Speed of Play
The MVR rule was also brought in to make the playing time quicker in MLB games. Because no previous limit was in place before the 2016 season, mound visits used to take up large amounts of time.
Coaches and players would spend several minutes passing on instructions and information. But the introduction of MVR has limited this in recent seasons.
The rule aims to make baseball more watchable for audiences, and the batting team does not have to wait for minutes while a mound visit takes place.
In baseball, MVR means mound visits remaining. The rule was introduced in 2018 to speed up MLB baseball games’ playing time.
Despite the changes to the mound visits remaining rule in recent years, it remains an important part of baseball games.
Coaches and players must be selective and careful about choosing their mound visits during matches. Being tactical can also impact the outcome of baseball matches as a well-time mound visit can help the fielding side change their strategy.
Now, when you head to a stadium to check out your favorite MLB team, you will know exactly what the MVR column means on a baseball scoreboard.