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The Age of Pitching

Seeking nicknames for the league's hottest pitchers.

It should come as no surprise that in the Age of Pitching (I'm copyrighting that, by the way), the two top rookies of 2011 have been pitchers. Seattle Mariners starter Michael Pineda and Baltimore Orioles starter Zach Britton have almost identical stats through the first two months of the season. Both have won five games and lost two. Both have ERA's under 2.50, with Britton (2.42) checking in just a bit lower lower than Pineda (2.45). Both have made eight starts so far, with Britton having pitched only two thirds of an inning more (52 IP to 51.1 IP) than Pineda. Basically, they have identical stats on the back of their baseball cards.

What's interesting is that these guys couldn't be more dissimilar in style. Pineda is a fireballer who strikes out a ton of hitters (he's near the league lead in K's) while Britton is a control specialist and sinkerball pitcher who relies on batters making (usually bad) contact. Though, in fairness, I should mention that Britton touches 96 with his fastball, so he's not exactly lobbing it up there.

These guys have already separated themselves as the front runners for the American League Rookie of the Year Award race, and it will be fun to see who emerges at season's end. Interestingly, both play on teams which will probably struggle to win games, so finding enough wins to remain in the race might be tricky. Thus far, both have received decent run support. Hopefully that will continue, though a low wins total didn't hurt Pineda's teammate Felix Hernandez in last year's Cy Young race and shouldn't affect either pitcher's chances if they keep dominating.

One more thing. I think these guys are going to be stars, and as such, they need nicknames. I was thinking something dealing with the sinker for Britton. Maybe "Groundout" or "Sinky." For Pineda, how about "The Phenom" or "Deadliest Catch" (Mariners fish, right?)? Tweet me a nickname for each, and we'll narrow it down.

It should come as no surprise that in the Age of Pitching (I'm copyrighting that, by the way), the two top rookies of 2011 have been pitchers. Seattle Mariners starter Michael Pineda and Baltimore Orioles starter Zach Britton have almost identical stats through the first two months of the season. Both have won five games and lost two. Both have ERA's under 2.50, with Britton (2.42) checking in just a bit lower lower than Pineda (2.45). Both have made eight starts so far, with Britton having pitched only two thirds of an inning more (52 IP to 51.1 IP) than Pineda. Basically, they have identical stats on the back of their baseball cards.

What's interesting is that these guys couldn't be more dissimilar in style. Pineda is a fireballer who strikes out a ton of hitters (he's near the league lead in K's) while Britton is a control specialist and sinkerball pitcher who relies on batters making (usually bad) contact. Though, in fairness, I should mention that Britton touches 96 with his fastball, so he's not exactly lobbing it up there.

These guys have already separated themselves as the front runners for the American League Rookie of the Year Award race, and it will be fun to see who emerges at season's end. Interestingly, both play on teams which will probably struggle to win games, so finding enough wins to remain in the race might be tricky. Thus far, both have received decent run support. Hopefully that will continue, though a low wins total didn't hurt Pineda's teammate Felix Hernandez in last year's Cy Young race and shouldn't affect either pitcher's chances if they keep dominating.

One more thing. I think these guys are going to be stars, and as such, they need nicknames. I was thinking something dealing with the sinker for Britton. Maybe "Groundout" or "Sinky." For Pineda, how about "The Phenom" or "Deadliest Catch" (Mariners fish, right?)? Tweet me a nickname for each, and we'll narrow it down.