Louie Varland picked a terrible time to have his worst start of Spring Training

His rough day come after he moved into position to become Minnesota's fifth starter this season.

St. Louis Cardinals v Minnesota Twins
St. Louis Cardinals v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

It's been a very strange and unsettling week for the Minnesota Twins, one that continues to cause a fair amount of anxiety.

The week started with a Byron Buxton injury scare, but things got even worse when Derek Falvey announced that four pitchers would begin the year on the IL. Matt Canterino is the only non-MLB pitcher to hit the injured list, but given his recent history it wasn't exactly ideal news to receive.

Jhoan Duran headlines the list of big leaguers starting the year on the IL, with Anthony DeSclafani potentially already being out for the season. He's getting further testing done to determine how serious things are, but it's not looking good.

DeSclafani was always an injury risk, which is why the Twins had a contigency plan in place. Louie Varland got bumped up to the fifth starter role after the injury news, which was a well earned promotion after the spring he's had.

No less than 24 hours after he was seemingly locked into the 26-man roster, Varland was roughed up pretty bad in his start against the Detroit Tigers.

Louie Varland picked a terrible time to have his worst start of Spring Training

There's no delicate way to put it, Varland got cooked by the Tigers. He allowed eight runs on nine hits and lasted just four innings. It's still only Spring Training, but the optics of his afternoon aren't particuarly great given the context in which his bad day happened.

His performance on the mound was alarming, but it's not a cuase for panic -- yet.

For the most part, Varland has been lights out so far this spring. Coming into his start on Wedensday he had a 0.640 WHIP with 11 strikeouts and zero runs allowed across 11 innings of work. That's the sample size that should carry more weight, even in the wake of the Very Bad four innings he had against Detroit.

He's scheduled to make his first start of the season against Milwaukee on April 3rd, which means we might see him one more time before Spring Training is over. Even if we don't, that game against the Brewers will be what we can start judging Varland off of, although his troubles on Wednesday shouldn't be brushed off.

What fans should use to make themselves feel better is his impressive spring paired with how strongly he ended the season last year. We saw Varland get battered a bit when he joined the rotation in 2023 but he bounced back after some time in St. Paul and then moving to the bullpen.

The optics are terrible, but they might end up being worse than they seem in the end.

More Minnesota Twins news and rumors