This past offseason, MLB implemented another round of tweaks designed to improve pace of play and whittle down game times. Notable among those tweaks is a first-of-its-kind limit on mound visits. Specifically, teams are now allowed just six mound visits throughout the course of a nine-inning game, plus one additional visit for each extra inning. 

What’s a mound visit for these purposes? This … 

A manager or coach trip to the mound to meet with the pitcher shall constitute a visit. A player leaving his position to confer with the pitcher, including a pitcher leaving the mound to confer with another player, shall also constitute a mound visit, regardless of where the visit occurs or the length of the visit.  

And these don’t count as one of the six permitted mound visits … 

  • A pitcher-catcher conference between batters.
  • An infielder goes to the mound to clean his spikes during rainy conditions.
  • Any visit involving a potential injury.
  • Any visit after a pinch-hitter is announced.

Anyhow, on Opening Day the first two contests — the Cubs at the Marlins and the Cardinals at the Mets — saw plenty of early scoring and some high pitch counts. Naturally enough, that raised the matter of the new rule on mound visits. As game-goers soon learned, mound visits are now tracked on scoreboards. Here’s a brief look in at the Marlins Park big board … 

Hey, they track mound visits with glove icons down in Miami. So that’s cool. Now let’s zoom up the East Coast to Citi Field … 

Ah, yes, the simplicity of numerals, which relieves the people of the Job-like burden of counting perhaps six whole gloves. You’ve done us all a solid, Mets. 

So, yeah, mound visit tallies are now part of the scoreboard landscape in MLB. Adjust your lives and assumptions accordingly. 

Source link