Report: Blue Jays getting Aaron Loup back for game six
The Toronto Blue Jays received some much-needed good news on the bullpen front following Wednesday’s win over the Royals. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Aaron Loup will return to the team in time for game six, giving the Blue Jays a left-handed relief option for the remainder of the series.
Loup was recently forced to leave the team for the second time to deal with a personal matter, so we can hope that his return signals some positive movement in the situation that he and his family are dealing with. For a Blue Jays bullpen that is struggling to produce without the dominant left-hander Brett Cecil, Loup’s return also fills a gaping hole.
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The 2015 season has been unkind to Loup, and while he hasn’t nearly lived up to his standards set from 2012 to 2014, luck has not been on his side. A .339 BABIP against is well above what it should be, and he’s been the victim of some real seeing-eye ground balls. His slider just hasn’t been right, however, and that’s caused him to struggle against left-handed batters, which have always been his specialty.
Toronto will need him to recapture that ability in time for games six and seven, as Loup’s ability to come in as a matchup specialist will allow manager John Gibbons to use Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna in their intended roles. Without Loup, the Jays have no lefty to speak of and may be forced to stretch their back end arms even further than they already are.
In four playoff appearances spanning 2.0 innings, Loup has allowed one hit, one run and walked two. With David Price a lefty himself, Loup’s role in game six would likely be in bridging the gap between right-handed power arms. If the Jays are able to force a game seven with Marcus Stroman on the mound, he could be the first man out to handle a lefty. This is far from ideal, of course, but as the only pitcher of his kind in the current bullpen, Aaron Loup simply needs to step up.
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