The Oakland A’s bullpen is going to need someone to step up in 2021. Lou Trivino may end up being the key to the upcoming season.
Chances are, the bullpen for the 2021 Oakland A’s will look a lot different than the 2020 relief corps. Four members of the bullpen, including closer Liam Hendriks, are free agents. While the A’s may be able to retain one or two of those arms, they are going to need to find a new closer while working out a bridge to the ninth inning.
As it currently stands, Jake Diekman is expected to be the A’s closer in the coming year. Although that is a bit of a gamble due to his walk rate, his dominant 2020 puts him atop that list. But the question remains – who will get the ball to Diekman?
The key to that bridge may be Lou Trivino. A potential option at closer should Diekman not work out, Trivino had a strong 2020 campaign in his own right. He posted a 3.86 ERA and a 1.114 WHiP in his 23.1 innings, striking out 26 batters with ten walks.
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That performance was in stark contrast to his 2019 campaign. Trivino struggled in his second season in the majors, posting a 5.25 ERA and a 1.533 WHiP in 60 innings. Although he still struck out nearly a batter per inning with his 57 strikeouts, he issued 31 walks and allowed 61 hits. His command made him a gamble for the A’s whenever he was called upon.
At this point, Trivino has had two solid seasons and that one difficult campaign in 2019. Considering the unique nature of the 2020 season, it is difficult to regard that as part of an answer as to whether or not he can be part of the A’s bullpen solution.
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Lou Trivino is going to be a key part of the Oakland A’s bullpen in 2021. However, there is no guarantee that he will be the pitcher the A’s need him to be.