Blue Jays expect Loup to return for ALCS

Blue Jays expect Loup to return for ALCS

KANSAS CITY -- The Blue Jays are expecting to have left-hander Aaron Loup available out of the bullpen when the American League Championship Series against the Royals gets underway on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Loup missed Games 4 and 5 of the AL Division Series vs. Texas because of a personal family issue. He temporarily left the team and wasn't able to attend the club's workout on Thursday afternoon in Kansas City, but he's expected to return soon.

Dress for ALCS: Celebrate Blue Jays' postseason run

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 16 KC 5, TOR 0
Gm 2 Oct. 17 KC 6, TOR 3
Gm 3 Oct. 19 TOR 11, KC 8
Gm 4 Oct. 20 KC 14, TOR 2
Gm 5 Oct. 21 TOR 7, KC 1
Gm 6 Oct. 23 KC 4, TOR 3

"Yeah, we do expect Loupy back," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday.

Loup's return is rather crucial to a bullpen that is currently without the services of Brett Cecil. The veteran lefty was one of the elite setup men in the American League during the second half of the season but he is unavailable for the ALCS because of a torn left calf muscle. Cecil said he hopes to be back by the World Series if Toronto advances.

The 27-year-old Loup appeared in two games vs. Texas in the ALDS and retired all three batters he faced. During the regular season, he posted a 4.46 ERA over 42 1/3 innings and he likely would be used exclusively against Kansas City's lefties.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.