Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Promising Twins Pitcher Optioned After Rough Start to the Season

Louie Varland optioned after getting roughed up.

The Minnesota Twins found themselves atop the AL Central in the standings at the end of the 2023 season. This was, in large part, due to a pitching staff that was fifth in baseball and a starting rotation that was ranked second. The same can’t be said of this season, as the Twins are off to a very different start in the rotation. Unfortunately, right-hander Louie Varland was a large part of this due to a poor start to this season. He showed flashes of promise in 2023. However, in a series of moves, the Twins option Louie Varland to Triple-A to give the roster some flexibility.

Louie Varland Optioned in a Series of Roster Moves by the Twins

Varland, 25, finds himself back in Triple-A after a rough start. The Twins have selected the contract of Ronny Henriquez in his place. To create the 40-man roster spot, they transferred right-hander Daniel Duarte to the 60-day Injured List. Elsewhere, the Twins activated Max Kepler and optioned Jair Camargo with Varland.

With the roster shuffle, the Twins only have four big league-level starters. However, with some off days, they don’t need a replacement until at least Friday, with Chris Paddack, Pablo Lopez, Joe Ryan, and Bailey Ober throwing the next four games.

Twins Sent Louie Varland Down for Performance

The Twins have had a rough start to the season, and the pitching woes are a large part of that. They’re currently 7-13, a far cry from the 87-win team that was on the field in 2023. The starting staff has an ERA of 5.98, which is better than only that of the Colorado Rockies. That’s a large part of the reason for Louie Varland being optioned.

Varland showed some flashes in 2023 that he could be a viable rotation option, especially at the backend. He threw 68 innings in 2023 with a 4.63 ERA, but the underlying numbers indicate a slightly better performance. The right-hander only walked 6% of batters while striking out 25.1% of them. He was 83rd percentile in walks, and kept the ball on the ground with a 45.4% groundball rate.

That hasn’t been the case, which led to Varland being optioned. His K% is down to 20.7% while walking 4.3% more batters this season. What’s particularly troubling is the home runs. Of starters who have thrown at least 10 innings this young season, he has a crazy 35.3% flyball to home-run ratio. He’s also given up six home runs, which is tied for third in MLB while throwing fewer innings than the pitchers he’s tied with.

Time will tell if Varland will get right and make it back to the Twins, but for now, they will get the most out of their bullpen while finding another arm for his turn in the rotation next.


More Posts

Send Us A Message