Aaron Loup: Blue Jays Year in Review


Continuing our look at Blue Jays players and their 2014 performance, we check in on Aaron Loup. I will start by saying that before the season started, I was very vocal that Aaron Loup would be a 2014 All Star. I was incorrect. In fairness, I really thought he had set himself up with a very strong 2013 and was ready to turn the corner. Of course, I never took into account the impact of a tired and ineffective bullpen group as we saw early on in the season. Despite his less than All Star performance, his manager, John Gibbons, still saw fit to put him in 71 games which is the most since he made his debut for the Blue Jays in 2012.

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The Good:

He is a lefty out of the bullpen that can come in and get outs. He clearly can be relied upon to enter the game in tough situations, especially against lefties who hit just .159. According to


, Loup was effective in high stress situations. With runners in scoring position and 2 outs, he limited opponents to a .143 average. With runners on, opponents hit just .195. Loup was worth 1.2 WAR. All of this suggests that the Blue Jays may have a long look at Aaron Loup as an internal option to solve their closer conundrum. We all know

Casey Janssen

is not returning, unless the Blue Jays completely lose their minds and offer him the $15.3M qualifying offer. Since that is not going to happen and barring some off season movement, it is conceivable that Loup could be called upon. Here’s a taste of what they’re looking for. You can guess why I chose this one:

The Bad:

Loup reached a career high in walks surrendered this season. In 68+ innings pitched, he walked 30! Yes, he struck out 56, but if he doesn’t walk so many, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to strike them out. Walks mean extra batters, which means extra chances to get strike outs. I’m sure Loup would tell you he’d take a dip in Ks for a dip in walks. He also gave up 6.6 hits per 9 innings. Considering how few innings he pitched, that number is too high, even though it is the lowest in his short career.

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  • If he’s going to be considered for the closer role, he needs to figure out how to cut way down on walks and hits because his 1.165 WHIP is far from that of a lock down closer. Just like  this: In 8 attempts at saving a ball game, Loup has been successful just 4 times. 50% is not good enough. Yes, it is a small sample size, but blown saves are blown saves.

    The Future:

    Considering the glaring question mark at the back end of the bullpen, and the Blue Jays mysterious cash flow situation, Aaron Loup could be the next closer. Alex Anthopoulos prefers to get relievers in free agency as they are relatively cheaper than position players and starters. So, it will be interesting to see if he finds another option via the open market. However, if the Blue Jays go all spend crazy and bring in a big fish, they may not have much more money to spend. Loup’s $500K+ salary may just suit them nicely.