Detroit Tigers: 1 Nickname for Each Member of the Starting Staff

Sean RinehartContributor IIIApril 2, 2012

Detroit Tigers: 1 Nickname for Each Member of the Starting Staff

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    With the regular season right around the corner, the Tigers are almost ready to head to Detroit to prepare for the arrival of the Boston Red Sox on April 5th. 

    As many fans are concerned with the injuries, statistics, and placements of certain players, Detroit Tiger fans can rest easy as this team seems poised to have a big 2012 campaign.

    With all of the stresses of daily life, not to mention the added stress of following the Tigers throughout the entire season, it seems appropriate to have some fun before the new season kicks off. 

    As a result, here is a list of nicknames for all five of the starting pitchers in the Tigers' rotation. 

Drew Smyly

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    Nicknames: The Chosen One, Smyly, Smiles

    There is no doubt that Drew Smyly is all smiles today, as he was chosen to be the Tigers' fifth starter.  While some may feel the Tigers made the wrong choice, Smyly definitely earned this opportunity.  In 12.2 innings, he boasted a 2.84 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.  Leyland stated early on that he wanted a pitcher who threw strikes, and he most certainly has that now.

    The search for a possible nickname for the new Tigers left-hander has been a difficult one.  First of all, "The Chosen One" fits incredibly well due to the amount of time and drama that went into this important decision.  Debates began early this year as to who would win the position, and Smyly's name was closer to the rear than to the front.  As spring training carried on and more pitchers were optioned to minor league teams, Smyly's name began to inch to the forefront of the conversation. 

    However, with such an uncommon last name, Drew Smyly may already have his nickname as his given name.  Smyly is not only a perfect name for an excited, talented, young pitcher, it also fits his persona well.  Smyly loves to play this game and enjoys every opportunity he is given. 

    Smyly (Smiles) may have a rough start, but look for him to impress throughout the 2012 season. 

Rick Porcello

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    Nickname: Kid Rick

    While it may be the nickname that many of us are familiar with, Kid Rick may stay with Porcello throughout his career. 

    Many of us don't realize how young Porcello truly is. Even though this will be his fourth full season with the Tigers, he is still only 23 years old.  In a recent article written by Tom Gage of the Detroit News, he stated that when Verlander was 23, he was only at the mid-point of his first full season with the Tigers.  When Fister and Scherzer were 23 years old, they hadn't even played in a major league game yet. 

    It seems so long ago that Porcello finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting (2009), but this could very well be a breakout season for the young right-hander.  This is a special Tigers team, and Kid Rick has an opportunity to make some important contributions during 2012. 

Max Scherzer

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    Nickname: Mad Max

    Once again, this may be a common nickname to Detroit's beloved Max Scherzer.  However, this nickname suits him perfectly for many reasons.

    First of all, Scherzer has the ability to make his team and his fans "mad" when they watch him pitch.  Sometimes Scherzer shows flashes of brilliance.  He is an incredible strikeout pitcher who is almost unhittable when he is focused.  At the same time, Scherzer has the potential to struggle mightily when he is on the mound.  His ERA in 2011 was almost a run higher than it was in 2010.

    Secondly, Scherzer has a well-documented case of heterochromia, which is when a person has two different colored eyes.  In Scherzer's case, he has one light blue eye and one that is dark brown.  This can give off a very intimidating look, which can come across as "mad." 

    No matter which definition you choose, Mad Max has the opportunity to do big things in Detroit this year.

Doug Fister

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    Nickname: The Sniper

    Doug Fister has the potential to have one of the best nicknames in all of baseball.  This is a nickname that has as much traditional meaning as it does performance-based meaning.

    First. it is a well-known fact that Fister has a familial background of law enforcement.  Because of this, Fister has spent a lot of time on the shooting range; he actually feels as though many of the important shooting techniques, such as controlling your emotions and breathing, have benefited him in his chosen profession.

    Secondly, Fister is known for his pinpoint accuracy.  While he will not blow anyone away with power or speed, Fister has the ability to a pitch anywhere he wants it to be, which can be incredibly deadly when he knows his opponent.  His ability to find a hitter's weakness and put the ball right where he knows the hitter can't touch it will suit him well on a Tiger's team that is designed to create a great amount of run support for the entire pitching staff.

    Look for the Sniper to put on quite show during the 2012 season.

Justin Verlander

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    Nickname: The Monarch

    Because of his high popularity after an incredible 2011 season, there is an exorbitant amount of people who are attempting to create a nickname for the Tigers' ace pitcher.  However, there is no better nickname for Justin Verlander than the Monarch.

    First of all, Verlander played his college ball at Old Dominion University, which is located in Virginia and uses the monarch as its mascot.  He put up stellar numbers during his three-year stint with ODU before being drafting by the Tigers with second overall pick in 2004. 

    Secondly, the dictionary defines a monarch as "a sole or absolute ruler of a state or nation" and "a person or thing that holds a dominant position."  In this case, Justin Verlander is the epitome of this definition.  While many may argue, there is no doubt that Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball and because of this, he holds a very dominant position.  When he steps on the mound, he is the absolute ruler of the game and imposes his will upon all opposing hitters.

    Even though many expect him to regress after an amazing 2011 campaign, look for the Monarch to continue his dominant ways in 2012.