Loup reliable relief source in Toronto bullpen

Loup reliable relief source in Toronto bullpen

TORONTO -- Blue Jays relievers have worked their fair share of innings this season, and none more than Aaron Loup.

Entering Friday's contest against the Royals, the 'pen had amassed the fifth-most innings among Major League clubs with 175 through 55 games.

And Loup, the side-armed-throwing lefty, led Toronto with 26 2/3 innings through 25 appearances.

"He's been carrying a pretty good workload, you know," manager John Gibbons said of Loup, who led Toronto relievers in total innings in 2013.

Loup had not allowed a run in his last 13 outings, and gave up seven hits and four walks over his last 10 games. Loup's durability has landed him the reputation as the "man with the rubber arm," though he insists he's all flesh and bone.

"Some guys are like, 'you've got a rubber arm,' but I don't know about that. I'm human," Loup said. "But for most part, I do rebound quick [in between games] and usually don't have too many issues."

Since breaking into the Majors with Toronto midway through the 2012 season, Loup has logged 200 2/3 innings and 2.56 ERA. After grinding it out in the Minors for more than three seasons, the 26-year-old changed his delivery to sidearm in 2012 with Double-A New Hampshire, and has been a Major League mainstay ever since.

Loup in part attributes his durability to the rest he gets during the offseason. While most pitchers might give themselves a month or a month and half off after the regular season is over, he doesn't pick up a ball until the new year.

"I don't really start working out until December and I won't touch a ball until January," he said. "I take a good two months off without doing anything to let my body recuperate ... I've always done that. It just worked for me and until it doesn't, I don't see a need to change it."

Sans a few bumps along the road this season, Loup has been as dependable as they come for the Blue Jays. Loup said with those hiccups now behind him, he's been able to string together enough solid outings to bring him back to where he was last season.

"I just told myself, mentally, I have to get back on course," he said. "Stay more consistent like I'd done last year. I strung together a couple of good outings, and I'm building on it as much as I can."

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.