Lou Trivino of Green Lane had a terrific spring training and was named a starter for the Beloit Snappers in Wisconsin. As of last week, he made 21 starts and had a 5-8 record with a 5.16 ERA.
Imagine it is the year 2020. Imagine the Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland A's are playing. Imagine the starters on the mound: former Upper Perk pitcher Tim Mayza and former Pennridge hurler Lou Trivino.
Could it happen?
Not long ago, Mayza and Trivino were dominating opponents in local high school and American Legion baseball. The two then went on to stellar college careers, Mayza at Millersville, Trivino at Slippery Rock.
Now both are working their way toward their dreams, careers in the majors, and both are off to promising beginnings.
Trivino, who went in the 11th round of the 2013 draft to Oakland, is pitching for the Beloit (Wisconsin) Snappers in the Class A Midwest League. Mayza, a 12th round pick by Toronto in the same draft, spent time in extended spring training before being assigned to the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League in June. This past weekend, the Toronto organization moved Mayza to Bluefield in the Appalachian League.
Both players realize how lucky they are to be in the positions they are in, but both have also settled into the job aspects of their profession.
"The minor league experience is definitely a grind," Mayza said. "A typical day would be to show up to the ballpark around 1 p.m. and have a practice from 2 to 4/4:30, then play a game at 7, and do it all over again."
"Being able to play the game I enjoy so much as a profession makes everything worthwhile," said Mayza.
Trivino, from Green Lane, also appreciates being able to make a living playing baseball.
"It's a great experience. You meet some really good guys here. I really do like my team. I think we have a really good chemistry and a really good group of guys."
The 6'5, 225-pound Trivino had a terrific spring training and was named a starter for the Snappers. As of last week he had made 21 starts and had a 5-8 record with a 5.16 ERA.
"I hit a rough patch there in June which shot my stats way up," explained Trevino. "I've finally been getting back to what I was doing in spring training. I've had a little more success these last six starts."
Trivino has a large repertoire of pitches: four-seam and two-seam fastballs, a change-up, a curveball, and a cutter which can act like a slider, but he has narrowed his focus lately.
"Right now, for me, it's more commanding the fastball, the two-seamer, commanding that thing down in the zone and getting my groundouts."
The righthander has 75 strikeouts in 111 2/3 innings with his fastball hovering in the low 90's.
"[Velocity is] not where I want it. But it's a long season, so hopefully that has a little something to do with it. In spring training, I sat 93-96, and that's when everything was clicking for me."
Mayza has been handled differently in his development, pitching shorter stints in Vancouver. The lefty appeared in 12 games for a total of 20 innings, a 2-3 record and an ERA over six. The 6'3, 205 Mayza is unconcerned about numbers.
"This season has been going well," he said. "I have been pitching better than what my results have sometimes shown. I have been making a lot of quality pitches, and that's all I can ask for.
"As long as I am making quality pitches and locating my fastball and slider to both sides of the plate then the results will eventually take care of themselves."
Mayza, whose fastball has made it to 96, has been working on the slider as an out pitch and on making better pitches when ahead in the count.
He sees the move to Bluefield as a plus. The Vancouver squad had 19 pitchers and when some came back from injuries last week, mound time was going to be at even more of a premium. At Bluefield, Mayza expects to pitch more frequently.
Both Mayza and Trivino are optimistic and excited about their futures in baseball.
"I can be both a starter and a reliever which works in my favor, being flexible. Right now the focus is to continue to develop and get better every day. There is always something I can become better at," said Mayza, who will be 23 in January.
Trivino feels like he is getting top notch instruction in the Oakland system.
"I think the A's organization has a really good foundation of their core beliefs. They really do help out the pitchers and really do make them better."
According to Trivino, the A's appreciate what they have in their 22-year-old prospect.
"They like how I go about my business and how I pitch. They want to see a little more consistency out of me, as I do myself. I feel like I have good enough stuff to go far in baseball, and they agree with me.
"Once I get that consistency, then I feel like the sky's the limit."