May was ‘miserable' as starter before transition to reliever

  • Trevor May's interview with Brodie Brazil will premiere on a special one-hour episode of "A's Pregame Live" airing at 5:30 p.m. for Opening Day on NBC Sports California.

Switching from a starter to a reliever is a big change for any pitcher. But Athletics newcomer Trevor May passed that test with flying colors long before he signed with Oakland this winter.

Speaking with NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil on the latest episode of "All A's," May described what the differences were from being a starter earlier in his career to now being a reliever for the A's. 

"I think there's like two sides to every coin when you're talking about those things," May explained. "As a starter, if I struggled waiting for four more days to pitch was just miserable."

May added that starters often have to sit and ponder ways to get better while waiting for their spot in the rotation to come up and jokingly told Brazil that impatience "runs" in his family. 

"And so, I had gravitated towards liking relieving a little bit more," May continued. "I don't think it's any secret that the pay is better as a starter and the value to the team generally is a little bit higher because of the number of innings you throw and how hard it is to stay healthy for a whole year."

As a former starter for the Minnesota Twins, May knows the grind of taking the mound every fifth day and the 33-year-old is aware of how that can affect a pitcher's body.

May explained that some of the "big things" for him when deciding to be a reliever were how he needed to conserve energy as a starter and how relievers have less room for error.

"So there's a place you have to go if you want to throw in spots that are big, big moments or leverage or important to get the win and hold the lead, there's a certain mentality you have to take that is unlike any other position on the field," May said. "So I've just loved that.

"I don't know, it was just so fun and exciting for the stakes to be so high every time you pitch."

Before signing with Oakland in the offseason, May proved to be one of the more effective relievers in MLB from 2018 to 2022 with the Twins and New York Mets. 

In 207 appearances (one start) with Minnesota and New York, May went 19-7 and compiled a 3.54 ERA with 12 saves. More importantly, the veteran right-hander held opposing batters to a .218/.287/.376 slash line with a .663 OPS. 

RELATED: Kotsay believes May is good fit on, off field for A's

As the A's embark on a new journey in 2023, all eyes will be on the additions general manager David Forst made during the offseason.

And A's fans are hopeful that May's veteran presence in the locker room as a reliever translates to on-field success as Oakland looks to rebound from its 2022 season.

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