Loup helping to fill gap in Blue Jays' bullpen

Loup helping to fill gap in Blue Jays' bullpen

Loup helping to fill gap in Blue Jays' bullpen
TORONTO -- Rookie left-hander Aaron Loup has been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Blue Jays' ailing bullpen.

Toronto is currently without key relievers Sergio Santos, Jason Frasor and Luis Perez. While Frasor is expected back some time in August, both Santos and Perez are out for the season, which has left a gaping hole in middle relief.

Loup was one of several relievers to get promoted from the Minor Leagues for an audition. But unlike a lot of his fellow pitchers, the native of Louisiana has been able to seize the opportunity.

"He has gained some trust quickly," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "His mound presence is outstanding. Even when he gets behind in a 1-0 count, he has been able to locate down and away.

"I think more than anything, [it's] the air that he projects when he's on the mound -- in addition to quality stuff. We've thrown him right in, whether it was in New York or Boston, going up against [the Tigers] two days ago. He has done an outstanding job and he really has added a weapon for us."

Loup has allowed just three earned runs on five hits over 8 2/3 innings of work so far this season. He has also struck out four without issuing a walk while appearing in six games.

Those numbers compare favorably with what Loup was able to accomplish while pitching for Double-A New Hampshire. Loup posted a 2.78 ERA in 45 1/3 innings for the Fisher Cats this season en route to an appearance at the Double-A All-Star Game prior to his arrival in Toronto.

The most impressive aspect of Loup's tenure with the Blue Jays so far is that he hasn't been intimidated on the mound. While most rookies tend to arrive not fully trusting their stuff against Major League hitters, Loup has taken the opposite approach and has pitched aggressively.

"Every time our coordinators or our pro staff went through New Hampshire, each time they came back saying this guy shouldn't be overlooked," Farrell said.

"Sometimes the guys that don't receive all of the accolades are the ones that when they do get their opportunity [they take advantage of it] -- because they haven't been the high profile guy, they haven't received all of the accolades externally. He's unassuming, goes about his work. He has good stuff."