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Athletics' Trivino Will See if Steak and Eggs is a Winning Combination

Oakland Athletics reliever Lou Trivino spent five weeks during the Major League Baseball lockdown on a diet of steak and eggs. Mr. Protein is feeling better than ever and looks to rebound from a poor 2019 season.

Oakland reliever Lou Trivino is feeling pretty good about things these days. You can tell it from the way he talks about what he’s been eating lately.

Talking with the A’s media on a video conference call Thursday, Trivino said part of his time during baseball’s downtime after COVID-19 shut things down, was five weeks dedicated to the best diet he’d ever been on.

“I’m in good shape,” Trivino said. “I decided to do the reverse of what everyone’s doing. Instead of going vegetarian, I decided to eat nothing but steak and eggs for five weeks. It was the best diet I’ve ever had in my life.”

Really? This is a guy who once had an all-donuts diet. Well, this was the right diet for the moment, evidently.

“I feel like I’m in really good shape,” said Trivino, who is 230 pounds with just a week left before the 2020 season starts. “Honestly, (the donut diet) was best up until this time. This is gonna be my thing, and maybe I die at 35 from a heart attack because of high cholesterol. If that’s the case, then I’m a perfect case study.”

So, yes, Trivino is feeling good these days. That in itself is a good change after a 2019 season that was little short of a nightmare. As a rookie in 2018, he emerged as a huge force out of the Oakland bullpen, going 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA with four saves and 82 strikeouts in 74 innings.

Hoping for more of the same last year, he stumbled through 2019, his ERA blowing up to 5.25 with no saves. His strikeouts were down to 57 in 60 innings.

Then came spring training, and he looked at ways to get back to 2018. And during the lockdown, his workouts consisted of tweaking his delivery, getting back to the best of being Trivino.

“I feel like I made some tweaks,” he said. “This year’s spring training was like a trial run, and I’ll be able to see what I did well and what I didn’t do well.

“Now I’m just trying to stay back, trying to go back to what I was doing before in 2016, 17 and 18,” he said. “I was trying to get to what made me successful.”

The essential tweak was to get the rotation of his body back and spend less time, as Trivino describes it not getting “too linear.”

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“Sometimes I would throw a strike and in trying to throw more strikes, I got a little too linear,” he said. “That kind of took me away from what made me successful.

“I just feel like I’m in a really good spot, mentally, physically and mechanically, so I’m ready.”

The A’s are more than ready for him to be ready. Given that the 60-game season is following on three weeks of workout, the starting pitchers aren’t expected to be built up for more than four or five innings. That is going to mean many calls to the bullpen, and many innings for the relievers.

Manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Scott Emerson are planning on the relievers carrying a heavy load, particularly in the early going until the starters get stretched out.

Emerson talks about having starters ready for 75-80 pitches, which on a good day could get a starter through five or six innings.

“If not, then you put the bullpen into a zone where we need guys to be stretched out,” Emerson said. “And if one guy’s got to go three innings, then tomorrow you need to have a different option.”

And a prime option, if the A’s are going to do well, is a healthy and effective Trivino, circa 2018.

“I felt that I made a lot of strides in the months that we had off,” Trivino said. “I fee like I’m in a really good spot. I feel like I’m blessed. And I’ve already forgotten about 2018.

“I’m looking forward to helping this team go very deep into the playoffs. I know I’m going to have a good year. We are a very talented team. I’m excited to get the season started and to see how far we can go.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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