Louie Varland had a perfect reaction to Rocco Baldelli pulling him after five innings

Not only did Louie Varland have the exact start he needed to, he said all the right things after.
Colorado Rockies v Minnesota Twins
Colorado Rockies v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

While the Minnesota Twins lost on Tuesday night, Louie Varland nevertheless emerged a big winner.

Varland was called up on Monday night to make a spot start against the Rockies on Tuesday, and it had all the makings of a last stand for the embattled pitcher. After a great Spring Training, Varland cratered hard in his first four starts of the season. He had a 9.81 ERA and didn't even last three innigs in his last start before getting demoted back in April.

He wasn't exactly lighting things up in St. Paul, but he's been working on fixing his changeup which is something Twins fans saw on Tuesday night.

That's not all they saw, as Varland bounced back in a badly needed way. He finished the night having allowed zero runs on just a single hit and lowered his ERA to 7.71 in the process. It wasn't a long start, but unlike last time the reason it ended had nothing to do with poor performance.

Louie Varland had exactly the start he needed to vs. Rockies

As if it wasn't already easy to root for Varland after his bounce back spot start, it's impossible to not pull for him after hearing his postgame comments.

"That worked out well," Varland said with a smile. "Nothing [was different from April] ... made some better pitches and had a better process."

He also heaped praise onto Rocco Baldelli when asked about being taken out of the game after seeing the order just two times. Varland was asked is he was surprised to have been pulled, and simply used it as a chance to say how much he and the rest of the clubhouse trust Rocco in those situations.

"I speak for myself and the rest of the team; everybody trusts Rocco," Varland said. "It's trial and error, that's been my whole career. I'm just trying new things and trying to stay positive even if the statline does not show is was a success."

This was merely a spot start for Varland, but it was a confidence booster that will go beyond just what happened on Tuesday night. He's going to head back to St. Paul, but if he can keep working on what we saw out of him against the Rockies, it might not be long before he's back with the Twins.

He doesn't figure to factor into the starting rotation -- unless there's another injury -- but like last year he might work his way into the bullpen. Caleb Thielbar is a player to keep an eye on in that situation, as he imploded in less than an inning of relief to spoil Varland's night.

If Thielbar ends up getting DFA'd in the near future, that could create a path back to the 26-man roster for Varland.

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