Lou Trivino: When metrics and results refuse to match

Jun 4, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Lou Trivino (62) pitches the ball against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Lou Trivino (62) pitches the ball against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Another day, another Lou Trivino implosion. The Oakland A’s mercurial reliever turned Thursday’s winnable contest against the Guardians into yet another defeat, the second time he has taken the loss in as many appearances. And once again, A’s fans are demanding that he be thrown off the roster and into the bay.

It is easy to see why based on his overall numbers. Trivino has a 9.20 ERA and a 2.045 WHiP in his 14.2 innings, with the opposition producing a grotesque .333/.418/.515 batting line against in 75 plate appearances. Those are the numbers of someone who should be in Triple-A, not pitching in a high leverage role.

Merging reality and expectations with Lou Trivino

And yet, the metrics say that Trivino should not be nearly this bad. While his eight walks are not ideal, he has struck out 23 batters. His Statcast page is almost entirely in shades of red or pink as he is in the upper half of the league in the majority of those categories.

His success in those metrics reflects in other ways. Trivino has a 3.68 FIP, a mark that is lower than his career 3.94. His .488 batting average on balls in play against is astronomical as the league average is .294. In theory, he should be pitching much better than he is.

In theory. It is certainly all well and good for someone to look at those metrics and think that Trivino can help a major league bullpen. And maybe he can – somewhere else. For whatever reason, the intersection of the hypothetical and reality has not occurred.

Maybe a change of scenery is needed. Or maybe Trivino needs to spend some time in Las Vegas to clear his head and be able to be an effective reliever again. The only certainty is that, even as the A’s struggle to find anything approaching competence in the bullpen, Trivino is not a part of the answer right now.

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The metrics say that Lou Trivino should be a key part of the Oakland A’s bullpen. Reality shows that he should not be used at all.

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