Without much veteran leadership around the Los Angeles Angels bullpen, Aaron Loup has taken it upon himself to be a voice for young players who could benefit from some subtle guidance.
The Angels and manager Phil Nevin have struggled to find consistent bullpen production since the exodus of closer Raisel Iglesias and without Archie Bradley. Since the All-Star break, they rank 11th in ERA, but have the sixth-highest FIP in baseball since that mark.
They’ve mainly struggled to strike batters out since the break, and Loup has tried to instill some of his own philosophy that has held him turn his season around, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“I have been talking to the young guys, saying you’ve got to use your offspeed stuff but you have to use your fastball to set things up,” Loup said on Wednesday. “Use it up and down, in and out. It was my way of showing you don’t have to solely rely on your offspeed stuff when you get in trouble. You can use your fastball. It plays. You can get guys out by moving the ball around.”
The Angels have unfortunately suffered from a lack of strikeouts from their bullpen, registering a bottom-5 strikeout per-nine percentage since the break.
Loup has been a bright spot for Nevin since the beginning of August, posting a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings pitched. He’s turned his own season around after enduring what could be the worst stretch of his career during the team’s franchise-record losing streak earlier in the year.
Nevin praises Jose Suarez for Monday’s performance
Coming out of the Angels’ 10-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday, most of the talk is about the offensive onslaught led by Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. However, much less attention is being given to the impressive performance of Jose Suarez on the mound.
Suarez has been on a roll lately, and he continued that hot streak on Monday night. Suarez tossed 92 pitches in 7.0 innings, allowing zero runs on just three hits and one walk, all while striking out seven batters. It’s the fourth time in his last seven starts that he did not allow a single earned run.