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Ron Gardenhire names Tsuyoshi Nishioka as his second baseman

Mar 5, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT

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According to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN in the Twin Cities, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire named Tsuyoshi Nishioka as his second baseman this morning.

This isn’t completely unexpected. Many scouts believed that his game was better suited to playing second base in the majors rather than shortstop, where he spent the majority of his career in Japan.

Nishioka played shortstop yesterday against the Rays and made a throwing error on the first play of the game. According to Mackey, Nishioka told Gardenhire that he simply feels more comfortable at second base right now.

So that’s that. Now that Gardenhire has settled on Nishioka as his second baseman, that means Alexi Casilla will be the primary shortstop.

  1. jontler - Mar 5, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Good thing they traded J.J. Hardy!

    • Jeremiah Graves - Mar 5, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      I know, I’d hate to have a defensive whiz who has actually proven he can hit at the big league level.

      I’m sure this Casilla thing will work out just fine.

      Worst-case scenario, we make a ridiculous mid-season trade for Jose Reyes and while he’s in the process of making a contract push, he leads the offense to a World Series title.

    • AK47 - Mar 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      most of the Twins bloggers I read could do a better job of GM than Bill Smith did this off-season

  2. jkulz - Mar 5, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Maybe you guys are misremembering JJ Hardy, he had one good year in Milwaukee! He hit .268 last year and missed more than 1/3 of the season. Guy was a one year rental.

    • jstrizzle - Mar 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM

      Yeah I agree. Why do people think he was an all star last year? Real worse case scenario is Casilla hits for the same average but steals a few more bags. Better arm and speed.

    • Davidw7 - Mar 6, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      Glad someone said it.

      J.J Hardy seems a nice enough guy and all, but we didn’t exactly get great production from him. I don’t think he should be on a playoff contending team. I don’t exactly agree with Casilla getting the starting job, but we’ll see how it plays out.

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