Former Concordia-St. Paul coach McKenzie pumped for pupil Varland’s MLB debut Wednesday

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Former North St. Paul high school and Concordia-St. Paul pitcher Louie Varland is set to make his major league debut Wednesday afternoon. He’ll start for the Twins at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

He will become the eighth Minnesota-born pitcher to make a start for the Twins, first since Cole De Vries in 2013.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins have designated right-handed pitcher Jake Jewell for release or assignment.

We spoke with Mark “Lunch” McKenzie, former head coach at Concordia-St. Paul, about his former player achieving his long-time goal.

***Click the video box above to watch our conversation with McKenzie***

After a great run early this season at AA-Wichita, Varland was promoted to AAA-St. Paul. In four starts there, he’s posted a 11.4 K/9 – 27 strikeouts, three walks – and a WHIP of 0.844. 

The 24-year-old was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year in 2021, and followed up that success with a stellar run at AA and AAA. In other words, he has earned this opportunity.

Varland is expected to have around 25 family and friends at this afternoon’s game.