Twins prospect Louie Varland is back in his hometown and one step away from the big leagues.

The Twins promoted the 24-year-old righthander to Class AAA St. Paul on Monday. In 20 games (19 starts) at Class AA Wichita, Varland went 7-4 with a 3.34 ERA, with 119 strikeouts and 39 walks in 105 innings. His ERA and strikeouts rank second in the Texas League.

Varland, twice named Twins minor league pitcher of the week this season, was a 15th-round draft pick out of Concordia (St. Paul) in 2019 after playing his high school ball at North St. Paul. Last year, he went 10-4 with a 2.10 ERA in 20 minor league games between Class A Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids and was the Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins' minor league pitcher of the year.

  • The Saints' Dereck Rodríguez was named International League pitcher of the week after the veteran righthander threw six shutout innings at Omaha on Thursday.

Belisle dead at 81

Wayne Belisle, a St. Paul attorney who became owner and president of the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA, died on July 29. He was 81.

Belisle was the lead investor for a group — he was 33 at the time — which purchased the Fighting Saints in 1974, near the end of their second season. The team ceased operations during the 1976-77 season.