After Major League Baseball announced rule changes to limit mound visits per game, per USA Today, Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. explained that the real problem was players stealing signals.
Lance McCullers Jr. @LMcCullers43
@espn Everyone wants to blame pace of play on mound visits or time in between pitches... well MAYBE address the real issue at hand instead of trying to cover it up and forceably insert rules that may affect the integrity of the game and alter the fairness of the game.
"You think I want to break rhythm and tempo during a game to talk about signs behind my glove?" McCullers added in a since-deleted tweet (via Charles Curtis of For The Win). "No, it's a necessary reaction to an issue we, as pitchers and catchers, are facing. I guess enforcing the integrity by hitting batters is better than an extra four minutes to exchange signs."
McCullers also had a problem with ESPN showing the extensive mound visits in Game 7 of the World Series. The 24-year-old started that game and allowed zero runs in 2.1 innings en route to an Astros victory, securing the first championship in franchise history.
The rule changes, which limits mound visits to just six per game, were among the recent rule changes made to improve the game's pace of play. The average game in 2017 lasted three hours and five minutes, the highest mark in the history of the sport.
However, McCullers explains that it is only due to stealing signals that is forcing the pitchers and catchers to change up signs throughout the game.
He suggested throwing at a player would be an alternative to enforce one of the "unwritten rules" of the game. This clearly wouldn't be an ideal alternative for the league, especially if it becomes widespread.
An ideal scenario could be creating rules to limit the ability for base-runners to steal the opposing team's signs.