When the Los Angeles Angels signed Aaron Loup to a two-year deal prior to the 2022 season, they expected to add one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball. He was coming off a dominant season with the Mets and had been a steady arm for many years prior.
Loup's debut season with the Angels had his ups and downs. His overall numbers weren't too bad, but he also blew several games in the middle of the Angels 14-game losing streak. There were months he looked good, and other months he looked off. He looked to be more consistent in a deeper Angels bullpen in 2023. Loup was more consistent, but he was consistently bad.
The southpaw's season got off to a brutal start when he blew the first game of the year in Oakland. From then on, Loup never really got it going. He had one of, if not the worst year of his MLB career in a year the Angels needed him the most.
Aaron Loup deserves a D- for his 2023 season
There really isn't any way Loup deserves anything more than a D-. In fact, most Angels fans would argue he deserves an F. He was that bad. In 55 appearances and 48.2 innings of work, Loup put up an ERA of 6.10. Yes, even worse than Tyler Anderson.
Getting through a clean inning was virtually impossible for Loup who had a 1.747 WHIP. Part of that was due to an incredibly high .373 BAbip, but Loup's stuff didn't look good at all and for the most part, he got hit fairly hard. His 4.37 FIP and very high BAbip suggests he did have some bad luck, but this is a results-oriented game. He simply did not have close to the results anyone had hoped for.
For most of the year Loup was used in low-leverage spots. He'd pitch late in games that were lopsided or saw the Angels trailing. When needed, he'd be used against lefties, but often came up small in any big spot. Left-handed hitters had a .342 batting average against him. For a left-handed specialist, that's laughably bad.
Loup wound up appearing in the second-most games for the Angels this season, trailing just Carlos Estevez in that category. He had 14 more appearances than Matt Moore who didn't even end the season with the organization and still had the third-most appearances for Angels pitchers. This absolutely contributed to the team having an inconsisten bullpen.
The contract aged incredibly poorly, and the Angels got virtually nothing out of Loup in his second year with the club. The Angels have a club option and the opportunity to bring him back for $7.5 million if they choose, but the chances of them picking that up are zero. Loup will either sign with another team or simply retire. Thankfully, Angels fans can stop freaking out every time they see him warming up.