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Inbox: Could A's consider starting Trivino?

Beat reporter Jane Lee answers questions from fans
MLB.com @JaneMLB

Given the excellent job Lou Trivino did at Yankee Stadium during the Wild Card Game, why not consider stretching him out as a starter?
--Greg P., Perth, Australia

Trivino actually began his career as a starter, but he found his niche as a reliever in 2015 and quickly rose through the system. His stuff plays better in this role, so there's really no reason to force yet another transition -- especially since the A's expect to find different ways to eat up innings again next season. Trivino could potentially be an option to start a game -- as an opener, throwing two or three innings -- and also be available in the later innings on other days. He's a valuable piece that could prove more versatile as a reliever than as a starter.

Given the excellent job Lou Trivino did at Yankee Stadium during the Wild Card Game, why not consider stretching him out as a starter?
--Greg P., Perth, Australia

Trivino actually began his career as a starter, but he found his niche as a reliever in 2015 and quickly rose through the system. His stuff plays better in this role, so there's really no reason to force yet another transition -- especially since the A's expect to find different ways to eat up innings again next season. Trivino could potentially be an option to start a game -- as an opener, throwing two or three innings -- and also be available in the later innings on other days. He's a valuable piece that could prove more versatile as a reliever than as a starter.

:: Submit a question to the A's Inbox ::

What is Andrew Triggs' status for next season?
--Randall P., Waco, Texas

Triggs was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and underwent the accompanying surgery less than three months ago, raising doubt about the pitcher's career. Many players never return from it, yet the A's delivered good news from the Winter Meetings, saying Triggs has been cleared to throw and is expected to be ready for Spring Training. The A's will be cautious, though, and dial back his innings following several injury-ridden seasons by using the right-hander strictly in a relief role. So long as health remains on his side, Triggs could potentially give the A's a swingman-like option; they're seeking several of them this winter after experimenting with the opener model last year.

Do you think that we can expect to see Sean Murphy with the A's at some point in 2019, or only as a September callup?
--Yves R., Montreal

Considering Murphy has played just three games at the Triple-A level and the A's have made it no secret that they're actively pursuing a catcher even after the addition of backup Chris Herrmann, it's safe to say we won't see Murphy for some time. A midseason injury at the big league level, of course, could change that, but the A's don't have any desire to rush the development of their top catching prospect and clearly aren't considering him within their plans for at least another year. A September promotion, though, would make sense, allowing Murphy the time to experience the Majors without the pressure of performing immediately.

How far away from the Majors is Jorge Mateo?
--Moises D., Las Vegas

Mateo could arrive in 2019 if the need for speed arises. That's his ticket to the big leagues, since he's yet to show enough with the bat. Once a Top 100 prospect and an integral piece to the Sonny Gray deal, Mateo's stock has dipped following a lackluster offensive campaign with Triple-A Nashville last season. He hit just .230, reaching base at a lowly .280 clip, and his strikeout rate was nearly 30 percent. His results were lacking in winter ball, too, but the A's can be patient with him since they already have a shortstop in Marcus Semien. Mateo can play second base and center field as well, so an uptick in production could make him a bench option at some point.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

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