Loup threw an inning in relief Tuesday in a loss to Cleveland. He allowed three earned runs on three hits. It was a tough night for Loup, who was touched up for a three-run homer at the hands of Yan Gomes in the eighth inning. The bomb extended the Indians lead to six, and essentially put the game on ice for Cleveland. With one swing of the bat, his ERA skyrocketed from 0.71 to 2.63.
Loup picked up his first win of the season Friday, allowing a hit and striking out one over an inning of work against the Rays. Toronto's bullpen deployed five relievers Friday after starter Francisco Liriano failed to get out of the fourth inning. Loup was in the right place at the right time, as the Jays put up seven runs while he was the pitcher of record during the 8-4 comeback victory. Despite owning a career-worst 1.63 WHIP, Loup's managed to avoid damage to maintain a career-best 0.77 ERA.
Loup has managed to tiptoe around a 1.69 WHIP en route to an impressive 0.84 ERA through his first 10 appearances of 2017. The left-hander has played with fire this season, and his numbers suggest that it's only a matter of time before he gets burned. Loup's 6.8 BB/9 ranks 81st out of 84 qualified relief pitchers in the AL. He's managed to avoid a disaster by posting an unsustainable 94.4 percent strand rate. Now that fellow southpaw J.P. Howell (shoulder) has returned from the disabled list, Loup will no longer serve as the club's primary lefty out of the bullpen.
Loup will serve as the Jays' primary left-hander out of the bullpen until J.P. Howell (shoulder) returns from the 10-day DL, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports. Howell's placement on the DL was retroactive to his last appearance on April 7, meaning he'll be eligible to return on April 18. In the meantime, Loup should have a chance to pick up a couple holds in Howell's stead. Through three games (2.2 innings), Loup has allowed one run on five hits and one walk while notching six strikeouts.
Loup failed to record an out while allowing three runs on two hits and two walks in Monday's exhibition contest against Minnesota. The left-hander had run off a string of four scoreless -- and ultra-efficient -- outings before Monday's implosion. Loup's disaster couldn't have come at a worse time. He's among a handful of relievers fighting for one of the team's final bullpen vacancies. Coming off an injury-plagued campaign, Loup may need to log extra innings at the minor-league level before he's ready to contribute for the Jays.
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