Baseball players get a handle on Twitter

Baker, Holland, Detwiler and Chen are among the MLB players with clever Twitter names. ESPN.com Illustration

Good nicknames in baseball seem to have gone the way of starters who regularly go all nine innings. They just don’t exist anymore.

What we're left with are just last names with a “y” or “o” tacked on at the end, like “Trouty” or “Gonzo.” Blah.

Most ballplayers on Twitter are just as uninspired, using some variation of their names and uniform numbers.

But there’s hope.

A small but growing group of big leaguers have come up with clever handles for themselves. Here are 10 of the best:

Player: Ross Detwiler, Washington Nationals

Twitter handle: @NationalDet

The right-hander joined the Twittersphere just this year, believe it or not. He may be a back-of-the-rotation starter for the Nats, but his handle already makes him a Twitter ace.

No. of followers: 2,935

Sample tweet:

Player: Derek Holland, Texas Rangers

Twitter handle: @Dutch_Oven45

Between the wispy ’stache and goofy Harry Caray impressions, Holland has shown he has an offbeat sense of humor. Add his handle to the list. Not sure what his Twitter moniker means? You’re on your own.

No. of followers: 97,867

Sample tweet:

Player: Bruce Chen, Kansas City Royals

Twitter handle: @ChenMusic

The left-hander’s play on words probably isn’t very funny to the eight batters he plunked last season. They may not admit it, but even Chen’s mid-80s fastball to the ribs can leave a mark.

No. of followers: 13,531

Sample tweet:

Player: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians

Twitter handle: @BauerOutage

Indians fans can be excited about Bauer on several levels. One, he has the potential to be the top-of-the-rotation starter they've been missing since Cliff Lee left town. And two, as his handle suggests, Bauer is thoughtful and creative -- and worth following on Twitter.

No. of followers: 16,835

Sample tweet:

Player: John Baker, San Diego Padres

Twitter handle: @manbearwolf

Baker has a back tattoo honoring his late grandfather, a man of Russian descent. The tat features a bear and wolf flanking the message “One Day Closer to God” etched in Russian Cyrillic. In Russian mythology, bears symbolize good and wolves symbolize evil. Deep stuff. (Baker hasn’t tweeted in over a year. Maybe this nod will get him to come back?)

No. of followers: 7,606

Sample tweet::

Player: Tim Byrdak, New York Mets

Twitter handle: @Givemethelefty

Byrdak’s handle won’t make a good nickname, but it’s hilarious nonetheless -- and appropriate. The Mets rode the 39-year-old lefty like a rented mule for the past two seasons, calling on him 128 times.

No. of followers: 10,221

Sample tweet:

Player: Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners

Twitter handle: @CarpusMaximus20

The Mariners outfielder could have gone with a fish-related handle. But that would’ve been too easy. And heck, any player who has had to shuttle between Triple-A and the big leagues for four straight seasons must have the will of a gladiator.

No. of followers: 5,948

Sample tweet:

Player: Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh Pirates

Twitter handle: @GrillCheese49

Grilli runs his own marketing company in addition to pitching middle relief for the Pirates, so he knows the value of a memorable Twitter handle. Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches?

No. of followers: 26,300

Sample tweet:

Player: Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres

Twitter handle: @spidermayb24

Seems the Padres outfielder can laugh at himself. Back in 2008, a spider bit him in the face, triggering an allergic reaction that forced him to sit for five games. The “Spider-Man” jokes began immediately.

No. of followers: 7,862

Sample tweet:

Player: Travis Snider, Pittsburgh Pirates

Twitter handle: @Lunchboxhero45

Snider makes no bones about his carnivorous culinary passions. No doubt he’s loving his new home in Pittsburgh, where fries are served on top of both sandwiches and salads.

No. of followers: 59,572

Sample tweet: