Even in his peak years, the changeup wasn’t an effective pitch for Loup. A -2.7 pVAL in 2018 suggests it may have been one of his problems
Like the changeup, the curve hasn’t really ever been of great help to Loup. Negative pVAL and high opponent WOBA (.311) in 2018 forecast the downslide of 2019
Equal parts fastball and sinker, this has been Loup’s bread-and-butter pitch throughout his career. With the exception of a stellar 2017 pVAL (8.6), the pitch has – like Loup himself – mostly been of middling value
Perhaps Loup’s best breaking ball, the pitch has developed into more of a cutter over the years – and in 2018 it had a 30.8% K Rate and respectable contact numbers
The sinker was Loup’s only pitch last season with a positive pVal, barely clearing the red at 0.7. With a solid horizontal movement, the sinker is good at finding the zone and inducing grounders, but otherwise was pretty average for a pitch thrown 65% of the time.
Loup’s cutter lost some movement and velocity in 2018, but it didn’t seem to hurt him. The lefty’s distant-second-favorite pitch found the zone on 40% of offerings and produced whiffs at a solid 18.8% rate. Batters hit just .235 against it, but it still resulted in tons of fly balls. Loup was fortunate to only surrender one homer off his cutter.
Loup’s curve didn’t really fool anybody last season. The third offering from the lefty reliever only found the zone about a third of the time, and a 22% O-swing rate shows batters weren’t biting on the other two-thirds of those pitches. The results weren’t atrocious, leading to a 25% K rate and no walks, but the reliever’s curve is probably best in small doses.
Loup only threw his changeup a handful of times in 2018, but even in a limited sample, it was ineffective. The pitch surrendered a .417 BAA and found the zone just 8.2% of the time. On the bright side, the changeup resulted in ground balls 62% of the time and didn’t surrender a home run. But still, look for the changeup to remain as the lefty’s fourth option, with good reason.