Aaron Loup was one of the few pleasant surprises that the 2012 season had to offer.

Due to various injuries and ineffectiveness in the Jays bullpen, Loup, who was not on the radar screen at the beginning of the season, was called up to the big club in mid-July and was effective right from the get-go. At double-A New Hampshire, from where he was plucked, Loup was 0-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 37 relief appearances.

Despite the fact that he made the big jump and was just a year removed from class-A, Loup appeared in 33 games with the Jays and sported a 2.64 ERA. His most impressive stat was that he walked just two batters in his 30.2 innings while striking out 21.

Despite those solid stats, Loup entered this camp as something of an outsider in the race to nail down one of the open spots. Now the left-hander is closer to doing just that.

Reflecting on what he accomplished last year, Loup admitted he was something of an overachiever.

“I definitely think I surprised myself a little cause I had never been up there before,” he said Tuesday. “I really didn’t expect to have the success I had right away. I knew if I went up and pitched to my capabilities, (eventually) I’d have success. Looking back I realize I pitched pretty well and hopefully I get a chance this year.”

Loup showed the capacity last year to elevate his game when he made the big jump.

“I think I had to,” he said. “You have to be a little more controlled on the mound and have a better idea of how to get hitters out. I definitely learned a lot and I’m going to take that into this season.”