#MLBPlayers411 | Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers
Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers share more than just a clubhouse.
The Houston teammates are each known for their nasty curveballs.
So, it made sense when Players Weekend rolled around that they should choose matching nicknames.
“Lance and I have developed a reputation for throwing a lot of curveballs. It's kind of become our moniker that we've gone by,” McHugh told MLBPlayers.com. “We tried to come up with something that's kind of true to our curveball mentality and [snap dragon] is what we came up with.”
McCullers will wear Snap Dragon 1, while McHugh will don Snap Dragon 2 as a tribute to their breaking ball.
“I think it's fun,” McHugh said. “Being able to show a little bit of our off-the-field personality, on the field I think it helps a lot. I think it gives fans another perspective as who we are as people and what we are passionate about. It should be a lot of fun.”
McHugh will use the Players Weekend jersey patch to thank his college pitching coach from his days at Berry College in Rome, Ga.
“I wanted to give a shoutout to the first real pitching coach I had, and that was in college – Josh Hopper,” McHugh said. “He was one of the best pitching guys around. We have stayed really close as friends, and as my pitching mentor throughout the years. I wanted to give him a shoutout and let him know that I really appreciate everything he has done for me. There are too many people to try and fit on one little patch, but he's one of the ones that doesn't get as much credit as he deserves.”
As for McCullers, his curveball grip was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in May.
According to FanGraphs, a baseball statistical database, McCullers throws his curveball a major-league most 46.9 percent of the time with the second-fastest average curveball velocity at 86.8 mph, among all starters (min. 30 innings pitched).
So far this year, McCullers is 7-3 with a 3.92 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 105 ⅔ innings over 19 starts.
After being activated from the 60-day disabled list in mid-July, McHugh has gone 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA in six starts.
For Players Weekend, the Astros will travel to Anaheim, Calif., to face off against the Angels. McHugh's next scheduled turn in the rotation is Friday, so he will take the mound as “Snap Dragon 2.”
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