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Lou Trivino named AL Reliever of the Month for June 2021

Third A’s closer to win the award in four years

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
Always Be Closing
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Reliever of the Month award has existed in its current form since 2017, and the Oakland A’s are already making a habit of putting their names on it.

The A’s announced Friday that Lou Trivino was named AL Reliever of the Month for June. It’s Trivino’s first time winning the award, but he’s the third Oakland closer to do so in the last four years.

The bullpen wasn’t perfect in June despite the team’s 17-9 record, as three different relievers combined to blow five leads in four different games. But when Trivino entered the game it was lights out, as the right-hander didn’t allow a run to score until the final day of the month and also stranded all four of his inherited runners.

  • Trivino, June: 0.71 ERA, 12⅔ ip, 1 run, 11 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HR, 3.16 FIP, .233 xwOBA

He appeared 13 times, and the only game the A’s lost was when he held a tie in the 9th inning and then the next reliever got tagged in the 10th. The one run Trivino did allow, on last day of June, didn’t affect the outcome of the Oakland victory. He finished with six saves and a hold, and he also recorded a win after one of his teammates’ blown saves.

The 29-year-old is in the closer role this summer after the departure of All-Star Liam Hendriks over the winter, who in turn had taken over for All-Star Blake Treinen. Both of them won Reliever of the Month multiple times for the A’s, most recently Hendriks last August. Hendriks was also the AL Reliever of the Year for 2020, and he won the monthly award again this May for his new team the Chicago White Sox.

  • 5/2018: Blake Treinen
  • 9/2018: Blake Treinen
  • 6/2019: Liam Hendriks
  • 8/2020: Liam Hendriks
  • 6/2021: Lou Trivino

Oakland expected to have expensive free agent Trevor Rosenthal as their closer this year, but he went on the injured list before Opening Day and hasn’t yet returned. In his place, Trivino has protected the lead 18 out of 20 times, including 13 saves and five holds, while 2020 All-MLB Team finalist Jake Diekman (6 saves, 8 holds, 4 blown) and the ageless Yusmeiro Petit (2 saves, 13 holds, 3 blown) have rounded out the primary late-inning trio.

  • Trivino, 2020: 2.11 ERA, 38⅓ ip, 35 Ks, 17 BB, 3 HR, 28 hits, 3.76 FIP, .302 xwOBA

The stat line isn’t eye-popping like those we saw from Treinen and Hendriks, but it’s plenty strong and Trivino has gotten the job done all the same. After bursting on the scene as a star setup man behind Treinen in 2018, he’s on the way to taking his place among the long, nearly uninterrupted list of star A’s closers over the last three decades.

And with this June honor in hand, the next question is whether Trivino might get his first All-Star bid in July, especially considering he ranks sixth in the AL in saves despite sharing the 9th-inning duties.

Congrats to Sweet Lou! And also to Sean Manaea, who today was named AL Pitcher of the Month for June.