Laurila: Just how important are mound visits?

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on June 27, 2017:

Mound visits have long been a part of the game. They happen for a variety of reasons, but with one constant: whether it’s the catcher or the pitching coach who jogs to the hill, the ensuing confab delays the action. And while the delay is typically short of duration — the home plate umpire does his best to ensure that — the idiom “straw that broke the camel’s back” exists for a reason. In the opinion of more and more people, enough is enough when it comes to repeated trips to the mound.

Pace of play is an increasingly important issue for MLB, and some — commissioner Rob Manfred among them — have suggested limiting, if not entirely eliminating, mound visits. Fans would certainly be on board with such a change, but what about the people who be directly affected?

With the help of colleague Eno Sarris, I asked a cross section of players — mostly pitchers and catchers — the following question: “Just how important are mound visits, and how much would limiting, or even doing away with them, impact the game?”

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Originally published: June 27, 2017. Last Updated: June 27, 2017.