All-Star 'La Makina' ready for Players' Weekend

August 20th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- Major League Baseball is set to host Players' Weekend for a second straight year from Friday to Sunday, allowing players to use nicknames on the back of their specially-designed jerseys and customize their cleats, bats, gloves, catching equipment and more.

Right-hander , an All-Star for the first time this season, has one of the more colorful nicknames on the Twins, as he'll wear 'La Makina' on the back of his jersey this weekend and is tentatively scheduled to start against the A's on Sunday.

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"That [name] came about from my trainer in 2011, which is the one I train with in the offseason," Berrios said through an interpreter. "He started calling me that because I work a lot. The way I prepare myself. The way I go about my physical activities away from the field to get ready to pitch. That's why I became 'La Makina,' which means the machine."

Last year, Berrios used 'Orlandito' as his nickname, which means little Orlando, as that's Berrios' dad's name and his middle name. Berrios is still often referred to as J.O. and is also called 'Orlandito' by some back home in Puerto Rico.

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But Berrios is proud of his 'La Makina' nickname, using it as part of his Twitter handle (@JOLaMakina), and feels like it suits him.

"I compete and work hard off the field to be able to do the things I do on the field," Berrios said. "I think it connects with who I am and my work ethic."

Berrios, 24, is 11-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 25 starts this season. He has struck out 157, walked 44 and allowed 19 homers in 153 2/3 innings. But he said it's his offseason work that helps him put up those numbers, and that's why he likes sharing his workouts via social media.

"I know the fans enjoy what we do on the field," Berrios said. "But I want people to see what it costs and what happens off the field in the offseason to be able to grind through an entire season."

Berrios said he's excited for the weekend, as it'll be the first time Players' Weekend will be at Target Field. The Twins were in Toronto during the three-day event last year.

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"Throughout the season we respect the game and don't get to do those things, so for three days this upcoming week, we'll be able to wear whatever cleats we want, use different bats, different shirts and different names on our backs -- that means something for us," Berrios said. "Just going out there and having fun is important for us. A weekend to do something different will be fun for all of us."