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The Season That Was: Aaron Loup


Aaron Loup was called up to the Blue Jays on July 12, 2012, from Double-A New Hampshire. We were a bit surprised, Loup really wasn't on our radar, though he had stepped it up a bunch, putting up a 2.78 ERA in 37 games, after having a 4.66 ERA in Dunedin in 2011. We really couldn't understand why he was brought up, when we already had 7 guys in the pen.

Loup stayed up with the Jays the rest of the season and did a great job. With a 2.64 ERA, just 2 walks and 21 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. He earned himself a spot in the bullpen for 2013.

This year, not quite the same strikeout to walk ratio:

2013 25 4 6 2.47 64 12 2 69.1 66 23 19 5 13 4 53 7 2
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2013.

He had 8 holds and one blown save.

Fangraphs has him at a 0.8 WAR, giving him a value of $3.8 million to the Jays.

He had a 3.32 FIP and a 3.31 xFIP. BABIP was .299.

Aaron struck out a few more than last year (6.88/9 up from 6.16), walked more (1.69/9 up from 0.59), still very good. He gave up home runs at a 0.65/9 rate, after not giving one up in 2012.

He gave up the same amount of line drives as last year (17.4%), more ground balls (59.9%, up from 55.4) and fewer fly balls (22.7%, down from 27.2).

A left-handed pitcher, Aaron was much better vs. LHB (.200/.286/.220) than RHB (.295/.321/.455).

Batters hit him about the same at home (.250/.294/.371) as on the road (.266/.321/.355), though he had a higher ERA (3.03) at home than on the road (1.87).

By month:

April: 3.21 ERA, 1-2, 1 save, 12 games, 14 innings. Batters hit .273/.339/.400.

May: 1.69 ERA, 1-1, 11 games, 16 innings. Batters hit .232/.250/.357.

June: 0.00 ERA, 1-0, 1 save, 10 games, 10.1 innings. Batters hit .206/.250/.235.

July: 2.08 ERA, 1-0, 11 games, 13 innings. Batters hit .239/.294/.326.

August: 4.76 ERA, 0-3, 11 games, 11.1 innings. Batters hit .289/.347/.422.

September: 3.86, 0-0, 9 games, 4.2 innings. Batters hit .350/.409/.450.

Gibbons decided to use Loup as a LOOGY at the end of the season, to limit his innings some.

Loup looks like the sort that would just brought in to face a lefty or two, with that kind of funky delivery that should keep lefties off balance. That's not the way he was used, at least not until the end of the season when Gibby wanted to limit his innings. . Aaron was on of the ones that Gibby would use  mid-inning, often with runners on base, often the first guy out of the pen. Loup would go multiple innings too, 9 times he went 2 or more innings and more than an inning 21 times. He's become a very useful piece in a crowded bullpen.

In 2011 Loup was a rather nondescript lefty reliever throwing in A-ball. Things can happen fast in baseball. Two seasons later, he's pitched in almost 100 MLB games, has an ERA about 2.50 and a new baby. Life must be good.