Twins put Kepler on IL, call up Forest Lake native Matt Wallner

The Minnesota Twins have called up a Minnesota native and one of the club’s top prospects.

Saturday, the team placed outfielder Max Kepler on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist sprain, retroactive to Wednesday.

To take his roster spot, Minnesota selected the contract of Forest Lake native Matt Wallner.

Wallner, rated the organization’s No. 5 prospect by, was picked 39th overall in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Twins. He’s split this season between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul, mashing 27 home runs while driving in 95 runs between the two levels. Over his last 30 games, he’s hitting .295/.428/.571 with four home runs, 21 RBI and 23 walks.

KSTP Sports’ Darren “Doogie” Wolfson hinted at the news on Friday.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Wallner, the Twins designated pitcher Drew Strotman for release or assignment. Strotman was acquired along with Joe Ryan from the Tampa Bay Rays in last year’s Nelson Cruz trade. This year, at Triple-A St. Paul, he’s thrown 50.1 innings with a 6.44 ERA.

Additionally, the Twins added pitcher Louie Varland as the club’s 29th man for Saturday’s doubleheader. Varland, a North St. Paul grad and Concordia-St. Paul alum, made his debut against the New York Yankees earlier this month. He’s expected to start the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.