Lou Trivino had been viewed as the Oakland A’s closer in waiting during his time in the minors. When he burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2018, becoming a dependable part of the A’s bullpen, he seemed to be the heir apparent to Blake Treinen to take over the ninth.
Then 2019 happened. Trivino was a disaster, which ended up costing him a chance to close. Treinen had faltered early that year, leaving the A’s to take a chance on Liam Hendriks. That move turned out to be exactly what Oakland needed, as Hendriks became one of the best closers in baseball. Trivino, meanwhile, was destined for middle relief obscurity.
Lou Trivino not giving up Oakland A’s closer role
Even with Hendriks’ departure in free agency, Trivino was not truly considered for the closer role. Jake Diekman was penciled in as the A’s closer early in the offseason. Then, in February, the A’s signed Sergio Romo and Trevor Rosenthal. While Rosenthal was tabbed as new closer, Romo was there as a backup option. Trivino, meanwhile, was slotted back into a middle reliever spot.
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But everything changed right before the season started. Rosenthal was placed on the Injured List with what was initially called a sore shoulder. It turned out that he needed surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which will sideline him until August. Suddenly, there was a hole in the ninth inning again.
Given the chance, Trivino has run with it. He has been utterly dominant this season, allowing just one run on three hits and four walks in his 9.2 innings while striking out nine batters. Trivino has been perfect thus far in his save opportunities, which had been few and far between at the start of the season.
This is the type of pitcher that the A’s had been hoping for. Although he is not going to post a sub-1.00 ERA over the course of the season, Trivino has the type of stuff that could dominate in such a role. He has shown that to be the case thus far, albeit in a small sample size. But at this point, it does not seem likely that he will relinquish the closer role.
Lou Trivino is getting his chance to be the Oakland A’s closer. Based on his performance, he will not be giving up that role any time soon.