Twins option Matt Wallner to Triple-A after early season struggles

It's been a brutal start to the season for Matt Wallner, but now he has a chance to get right.
Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game One
Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game One / Bob Levey/GettyImages

So much has gone wrong for the Minnesota Twins out of the gate that roster changes are already starting to get made. We're just a few weeks into the season but the team has already exercised an option and sent a starter down to the minors.

Just about everyone in the Twins lineup has struggled at the plate this year, but Matt Wallner is the first domino to fall. He was optioned to Triple-A St. Paul on Tuesday amid an absolutely brutal stretch in which he's hitting just 080/.273/.240.

It's hopefully just a temporary setback for Wallner, but it's a move that is badly needed for all involved.

Matt Wallner sent down to Triple-A, Trevor Larnach called up to replace him

With Wallner heading down to St. Paul, the Twins will be calling up Trevor Larnach to replace him on the 26-man roster. It marks Larnach's season debut with Minnesota and offers him a chance to try and prove his last stint in the minors helped him get things back on track.

Larnach is firmly in the Jose Miranda category where he looked to be in line for some meaingful work early in his career but things never came together for him. He didn't light things up like Miranda did at the plate, but there seemed to be a path for Larnach to become a key piece out in left field until his struggles combined with Wallner's rise threw things out of whack.

Now he has a chance to do what Miranda is now and prove his worth in the bigs.

Wallner is going to return to the MLB roster at some point, as this stint in St. Paul will be more about him shaking off whatever is holding him back right now. Larnach can use this window of opportunity to work his way into the mix and potentially secure a spot as part of an outfield platoon.

Larnach might have gotten called up sooner had it not been for an injury he's been dealing with. Both he and Brooks Lee were at the top of the list to replace guys like Royce Lewis and Max Kepler when they hit the IL but neither were healthy.

So this call up feels like a long time coming for Larnach.

Last year he hit .213/.311/.415 in 56 games with the Twins last season, but this move is less about what Larnach will add and more about making sure Wallner can fix whatever is going wrong. The silver lining is that the Twins could end up with two solid outfield options if all goes well with both players in their new assignments.

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