Aaron Loup Q+A
Left-hander Aaron Loup is set to become the 26th different pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season when he eventually makes his debut. Here’s what the 24-year-old rookie left-hander had to say about being called up from Double-A New Hampshire:
Were you surprised by the call?
“Kind of surprised, but kind of not surprised, because unfortunately Luis (Perez) went down. Sso I just kind of thought I might have had a slight chance. Didn’t really know if I was going to get it for sure or not but I was pitching well so I thought I had a chance. Then, they called me in yesterday right when I got back from the All-Star Game and told me I was coming up. A little surprised, yeah shocked, excited, but overall ready to go.
So you obviously were paying attention to the injury woes up here…
“We pay close attention because if anybody goes down we get a shot. But it’s unfortunate that’s how we got to get it but we’ll take it, take our chance.”
Chance to talk to Farrell yet about role?
“I talked to him earlier today when I first got here. Basically, just come in, face left-handers for the most part and just contribute any way that I can.”
How would you describe yourself?
“Sidearm lefty, throw 90-93, big slider, changeup. That’s about it. Just try to go after guys and get people out however I can.”
Were you always sidearm?
“When I got drafted, I was kind of a mid three quarters and then they raised me up and that didn’t go so well. Then they just dropped me back down and ever since then that’s where it has been.”
Did you go down lower?
“Yeah, a little bit. I’m probably more sidearm now, lower three quarters sidearm, whereas before I was probably mid-to-high three quarters so a little bit lower than I was.”
Better command that way or better action that way?
“Just better stuff. The stuff on my ball got a lot more movement, a lot more life, better command too.”
How will you feel first time out?
“Probably a lot of nerves, lot of excitement, just probably real anxious. I actually got to experience it a little bit in Spring Training. They let me throw the night game against the Yankees. I got to close that game, and I was pretty nervous that day too. I had a little taste. Nothing like it’ll probably be tonight or the next night, whenever I get a chance to get in there. But I’m looking forward to it.”
What are your baseball roots?
“The people that influenced me were probably my grandpa and my dad. That’s ever been since I could walk, with a bat and ball in my hand. That’s basically all I ever did. Played a little football, but other than that, for the most part it was just all baseball all the time.”
Before the season, did you think this might be your year for callup?
“It was definitely a goal. I thought if I could pitch well consistently all season long that I could have a chance maybe for a September call-up or something. I wasn’t really expecting to be here this early. But I’ll definitely take it.”
In Reading, PA for Double-A All-Star Game when you found out?
“I found out yesterday right when we flew into Portland to meet the team, because we were playing the Sea Dogs. Sal called me in the office. I had just started unpacking my bag, and the pitching coach comes in and he says, ‘Don’t unpack. Come here for a second.’ I was like, ‘What’s going on? Hopefully it’s good.’ I was hoping it was good. Then they called me in and they told me, ‘You’re going up.’ I was like, ‘All right. It’s a good deal.’
“He has adjusted his slot a little bit lower. In Spring Training when we had him he was more of a three quarter arm slot. I can’t say that he’s fully a side armer but it’s added to the sweep to his breaking ball against a left-hander and he has pitched very effectively not only the times we saw him in Spring Training but through the first two and a half, three months in New Hampshire.”
Situational kind of reliever or someone you’re looking to get multiple innings out of?
“He has gone up to two innings but given the arm slot, he has weapons to attack right-handers. He has been pitching 91-93 and I know velocity is not everything but just the arm slot and talking to the Double-A staff, we’ll pick some spots where those matchups might be a little bit more favorable to him right now.”