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Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffers fractured fibula in collision with Nick Swisher

Apr 7, 2011, 4:46 PM EDT

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Nick Swisher AP

UPDATE: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Nishioka has a fractured fibula and (obviously) is headed for the disabled list. At minimum he’ll be out for a month and possibly much longer. As expected, Hughes is coming up from Triple-A to replace him.


Moments after botching a tailor-made double play ball by bouncing the throw to first base, Tsuyoshi Nishioka got another chance to turn two and instead got upended by Nick Swisher‘s takeout slide.

Nishioka did a remarkable job of not bailing on the play and made a strong throw to first base that almost nailed the runner, but then he went down in a heap and had to be helped off the field by his translator and the Twins’ trainer while not putting much weight on his leg.

Nishioka has struggled offensively and defensively so far, hitting just .208 with eight strikeouts and two errors at second base, but the Twins’ lack of infield depth means they can ill afford to lose him for an extended period.

Matt Tolbert replaced him at second base this afternoon and Luke Hughes, who lost the utility man competition to Tobert during spring training, would likely be called up to start at second base if Nishioka heads to the disabled list after the ugly collision.

  1. ThatGuy - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Gardy is on the phone to Punto as we speak…

    • Andrew - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

      “Hey Nicky, heal up faster ’cause we need you!”?

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Sorry, if you are an 11 pound second-baseman and a guy with 200 lbs on you is charging hard, give up on the play. Easy decision.

    • dluxxx - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:40 PM

      But a “True Yankee” would never give up on a play. By all accounts it was a clean play and Nishi was just unlucky. It happens. Hopefully he isn’t out for too long.

      • spudchukar - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Horse Hockey it was a clean play. I saw it this afternoon, and while I am not suggesting it was exceptionally dirty, it did include a roll block attempt at the end which should be an automatic ejection. I want to be clear it appeared to me the butt ugly slide with the half-hearted roll block was not an intentional attempt at injury, but ignorance (being the inability to slide like a major leaguer) caused an unnecessary busted leg. First Swisher hesitates going into his slide, which was probably because he recognized a slide into the proximity of the base was going to be ineffective, so he waited so that he would propel himself past the bag where he expected Nishioki to be and then went into his sorry attempt at a roll block. I don’t think the pathetic roll block actually caused the injury, but the slide past the base did. What pisses me off so much about this is nobody knows how to slide anymore, mainly because no one practices it. The proper way to do this is to drop down on your butt throw your hands in the air, create a figure four with your legs, aim your spikes for the fielders feet and then crash your shins into his. Yeah, it hurts you a little but it almost assuredly prevents injuries to either player, you just take the feet out of the other player. Either do it right, or get beaned in your next at bat. This is not an arguable position. The proper way is clean, effective and as void of injury risk as possible. I like Swisher, and granted I am getting in his head here a little, which in itself might be dangerous, but dammit his Dad played and he ought to know how to slide by now.

      • trevorb06 - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

        That definately looked like a dirty play. That looked more like a kick than a slide, or even a take-out slide; at least a take-out slide you aim for the base (or at least act/look like you are). Notice Swisher’s leg is fully extended and well off the ground? Like the commenter before me explained on a take out slide, this is nothing of the such; this looked like some crap you see in a damn arcade fighting game (slide gound kick to knock your drop the opponent). I certainly hope the MLB looks into this as this was an injury that did NOT need to happen. I generally like Swisher (for hating the Yankees) but this isn’t cool.

        MLB: Do the right thing, at least look into this some more.

      • trevorb06 - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        Holy horrid typos batman!

        I think you all get what I was trying to say at least.

  3. minnesconsin - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    anybody but little nicky punto :-/

    • isdtyrant - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      I hear Eckstein is available. And scrappy.

  4. nicosamuelson2 - Apr 7, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    It would be really nice to have Punto around right now.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    I smell a Luis Castillo reunion…

    • Andrew - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      I don’t. Luke Hughes all the way.

  6. minnesconsin - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    This will be interesting. A lot of reports had Hughes staying down in AAA because the Twins still felt like he needed to be playing everyday at this stage. So now that he’s up, are they going to push him past Tolbert on the depth chart so he plays everyday, or let him rot on the bench? Here’s hoping for the former.

  7. rgledz - Apr 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    just a quick update for all of you baseball experts. punto plays for the Cardinals……thank God

    • ThatGuy - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM

      Ha, I think everyone knows that. Just a joke about Gardy’s love for LNP…

  8. kmgannon - Apr 7, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    This sucks. Totally avoidable injury, as the commenter above noted, which could have been prevented by a competent/not dirty slide by Swisher. He won’t get called on it because he’s a Yankee and people tend to like him–but the play looked, at best, like a horribly-executed slide by Swisher, and at worst, a dirty, take-out play.

    • purdueman - Apr 7, 2011 at 6:59 PM

      kmgannon…I totally agree with you. Swisher is a loose cannon; had that been Jeter on the take out side, I’d NEVER question it as anything other than being an unfortunate accident, but Swisher’s an a-hole and that’s the kind of stunt that a-holes pull. There was absolutely no need to injure the player… none!

      I realize that this is a bit of a warped way to look at this incident Twins fans, but the White Sox finally got a return on their Swisher “get the hell out of here and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!!”, salary dump to New York (where the White Sox only received a used jock and a bucket of water logged batting practice balls in return).

      No, I certainly didn’t want Nishioka to suffer such a bad injury (nor any other Twins player for that matter), but if it had to happen, it helps the Tigers and White Sox out the most. Just the way it is. This is MUCH worse though than Morneau’s equally freakish injury last season because the Twins don’t have a Jim Thome to step right in and take up the slack.

      Twins fans, if you have the phone number in Japan of former Phillies and White Sox 2b’man (and double ring winner), Tad Iguchi available (he’s still playing over there and is just 34), please pass it along to your GM!

  9. Jeremiah Graves - Apr 7, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Can we have JJ Hardy back now?!

    …is that cool?!

  10. mplsjoe - Apr 7, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    I’m a hyper-pro-Twins partician and I hate the Yankees. But that was not a dirty slide. It was a take-out slide for sure. Swisher’s intent was to take Nish out of the play. But Swisher also made the pretence of reaching for the bag with his hand, and he could reach the bag, which in my mind saves the slide.

    That said, Swish should get beaned the next time the teams play. Isn’t there an unwritten rule on this?

    Luis Castillo on a ML-minimum contract actually makes some sense, given the alternatives.

  11. prionogenic - Apr 7, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    In case anyone wants to judge for themselves how sporting the Swisher “slide” was.

    To me it looked more like a Karate kick

    • purdueman - Apr 7, 2011 at 6:47 PM

      prion… I agree with you; it was a dirty slide from a guy who lacks character to being with.

      Something not being reported though is that upon getting hit by goofball Swisher, Nishioka reportedly yelled out (translated of course): “YOU ASS HOLE! YOU BROKE MY FUC&ING LEG!!!”.

  12. RickyB - Apr 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Swisher did what he is supposed to do, go in hard to break up the double play. Perfectly legal, not dirty. Dirty would be going spikes high into his leg. Nishioka is not comfortable at second yet having played SS in Japan, and doesn’t know how to protect himself very well when turning the DP yet. It’s unfortunate, but injuries happen. I hate to see anyone get hurt, but there was nothing dirty about the play. If Swisher gets plunked next time up against the Twins, I don’t think anyone will be surprised. But it would simply be out of anger that the injury happened, not that he was playing dirty.

    • ThatGuy - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:18 PM

      I dunno, it looked to me like it was a hair over the line of not even going to the bag. But that play happens in almost every game, so you can’t get too upset just because of an injury unless you get upset every time it happens.

  13. Kevin S. - Apr 7, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Hardly dirty – there was no intent to injure, and it was well within the rules. Perhaps MLB shouldn’t give the runner six feet to either side of the bag.

  14. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    A good clean hard slide is all that was. The 2nd baseman should have been behind or straddling second base thus protecting himself. But he was on the 3rd base side practically saying “come and take me out”. I don’t like swisher or anything yankers related but what’s fair is fair and that was a clean slide.

    • purdueman - Apr 7, 2011 at 9:27 PM

      It’s not the slide per se’ that’s in question Chris… it’s the total lack of character of the guy who made the slide which has led to so many questioning his motives. Who knows? Maybe Swisher doesn’t like people of Japanese decent? It’s not exactly out of the realm of possibilities you know.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:03 PM

        You are the only person here questioning Swisher’s character. Grow up.

      • purdueman - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:29 PM

        Kevin S.: Why don’t you check your facts before you starting running your pie-hole?

        Fact: When Swisher was with the White Sox, he set up an anatomically correct female blow up doll with a tasteless display of a baseball bat shoved up her vagina in the unsuspecting clubhouse.

        His teammates though it was a stunt done in poor taste by one of the club house boys, but no, it was Swisher (who eventually owned up to it). Sox GM Kenny William was incensed and many of the veteran players on the team were embarrassed to have their clubhouse disgraced this way. Even the usually affable Manager Ozzie Guillen called it: “An unprofessional act and embarrassment”.

        Fact: When Ozzie Guillen benched Swisher, he went into a full blown temper tantrum to the point where most of his veteran teammates wanted nothing to do with him.

        If you call that “good character”, it is YOU my friend who need to grow up!

      • Kevin S. - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:42 PM

        You’re the one who has his facts crossed up. The blow-up doll incident was a team-wide slump buster, and it only became an issue because a female reporter somehow thought that a bunch of jocks weren’t supposed to act like jocks in their own locker room. You’d think that with the frequency you cite the issue, you’d get the facts right.

        Ozzie jerked Swisher around from the moment he got there, mis-casting him both in the lineup and defensively. I was in Chicago most of the 2008 season, and I followed the Swisher situation closely because I’d always liked him as a player. I wanted the Yankees to buy low on him after that season. Shockingly to nobody except Ozzie Guillen and yourself, apparently, Swisher bounced back to form after the Yankees stole him for Wilson effing Betemit.

      • purdueman - Apr 7, 2011 at 10:53 PM

        So, Kevin… the truth comes out…. you apparently hate female reporters having access to major league lockerrooms, huh? Well that’s just too damned bad, because if the players don’t like it? They can wear towels instead of parading around in the nude (if they care).

        Don’t give me this “slumpbuster” nonsense either; it was ONLY Swisher who thought up and pulled the tasteless stunt, nobody else in that lockerroom (at least that I’ve ever heard of), would result to such a sophomoric act.

        And what exactly did you want Ozzie to do with a guy who hit mostly below the Mendoza line all season? It didn’t matter to Kenny Williams what, if anything, he received in return from the Yankees; he just wanted to rip the clubhouse cancer.

  15. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    funny Nishioka himself said after the game that the play was clean and nobody is complaining about it from the twins, oh well so much for the haters

    • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:51 AM

      I admittedly can’t stand goofball/loose cannon Nick Swisher, but Baseball Tonight did an excellent job at diagnosing the play in stop action tonight.

      Nishioka is a natural SS, being converted to a 2b’man. As baseball tonight clearly showed, instead of his feet facing IB (as they should have been on the pivot to throw to IB), they were facing the catcher and that left him exposed to the hit of the full impact.

      I’ll concede that my worst suspicions (due to Swisher’s past knucklehead behavior), were totally unfounded. In fact, I’ll now tip my cap to Swisher for making the gesture to go over to the Twins lockerroom after the game to apologize for the hit out of clear concern for Nishioka’s injury.

      Now the question becomes, when Nishioka come back from the injury, just how gun shy will he be on bang-bang double play balls?

    • marinersnate - Apr 8, 2011 at 1:08 AM

      Yes, it is funny how Nishi himself said it was a clean play. And also, Gardy when questioned after the game said (I am para-phrasing here) “Of course it was a clean play. Swisher is a clean player. The thought never crossed my mind that it was not a clean play.” As most know, Gardy is a pretty intense guy. He would never be shy to say so if he thought his starting 2B had been put on the DL by a cheap shot.

      I am not a Yankees’ fan. But I have watched that replay several times now. And I do not understand the hate for Swisher here. He was simply trying to break up a DP.

      Will Swisher be plunked by the Twins’ later this year? *Shrugs* Maybe. But if he is it will be because of the result of the play. Not the intent.

      • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 1:23 AM

        I’m not anti-Yankee, but I readily admit that I can’t stand Swisher for all the problems and little contributions and effort that he gave the White Sox the one year that he was there. He was a one man wrecking crew in that veteran clubhouse.

        That aside though, Baseball did an outstanding job of analyzing the play, and Swisher has been vindicated as being blameless. Nishi, who is still doing OJT at 2b, failed to execute the basic fundamentals of getting his feet square to IB on the pivot before making the throw to first, leaving him open to anyone sliding into him.

        Not much more to say.

      • marinersnate - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:20 AM

        “I’m not anti-Yankee”

        By your previous statements, I will let the rest of HBT judge that.

        “Swisher has been vindicated as being blameless”

        But earlier in this same post you said:

        “it was a dirty slide from a guy who lacks character to being with”

        So which one is it? Just so the rest of us can keep up?

      • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:14 PM

        mariner… I am NOT anti-Yankee, but I AM against all big spending teams who are willing to negotiate with super jerk agent Scott Bor-ass and play his little negotiating head games (i.e., there’s a mystery team hot after my guy… ya, right).

        When I made my original posts, I hadn’t yet seen the video breakdown of the play. Per my earlier posts, I hate Swisher for the way that he quit on the White Sox and became a pariah in the clubhouse, so I admittedly jumped to conclusions.

        Upon review of the video of the play though, I changed my mind, but I still don’t think that the MMA like kick at the end of Swisher’s slide was totally uncalled for.

  16. notdumb - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    i love the very smart people that dont realise baseball is a business and the yankees are the biggest money maker. if that was the mets it would be dirty and theres no place in baseball for that or god forbid that was derek jeter whose leg was broken the offender probably would have been executed by now . if by dirty you mean he intended to break his leg no im sure that wasnt the case but if by dirty you mean it was a pathetic excuse for a take out slide yeah it was dirty. he didnt even touch the ground before making impact and added a leg whip

    • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      I never have, and probably never will, understand fans like you who for God only knows what reason seem to take childish delight in the Yankees being “the biggest money maker”. I’ll bet the family farm that you have no stake in their ownership, so who cares other than you and the Steinbrenner boys?

      JMO, but you immediately lose your credibility with respect to baseball when that’s how you open your post.

      • notdumb - Apr 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        umm who cares . the entire sports media cares they have to take care of the image of the biggest cash cow they have . if you understood the sports media you would realise that if jeter played for the royals he wouldn’t be talked about as a first ballot hall of famer. if nishi broke jeters leg or cano for that matter the espn talking heads would be shouting that theres no place in baseball for a play like that

      • purdueman - Apr 9, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        “umm… who cares”… EXACTLY my point notdumb! None of us fans should care, but for some inexplicable reason many Yankee fans I think take more pride in having the team with the highest payroll than in winning; I just don’t get it.

        Your point though about had jeter played his entire career in Kansas City he wouldn’t have gotten nearly the media run that he has in New York is certainly valid, but on the other hand a lot of the reason for jeter being a household name has to do with the amount of exposure he’s benefited from by playing on a team that has been in the playoffs a lot during his career and had far more games televised nationally than any other team except for perhaps the Red Sox.

        George Brett played his entire career in Kansas City, Paul Molitor most of his games in Milwaukee and Ozzie Smith most of his games in St. Louis, and although none of these cities are of course are major media markets yet they still got their due.

        The Eastern Sports Programming Network though indeed does give a way disproportionate amount of coverage to both the Yankees and Red Sox; no question about that. In fairness to ESPN though, it doesn’t make much sense to give a lot of run to the previous nights Dodger game over games played that night in the Eastern time zone when 60% of your audience lives in the Eastern time zone and most of whom will have gone to bed long before games on the west coast the same day haven’t concluded yet.

  17. notdumb - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    if nishi or gardenhire said it was dirty they would be labeled whiners and nishi being a foreign import has to be especially sensitive to the image he portrays and the japanese arent known for whining anyway not trying to generalise but the average japanese person wont say sh t if they have a mouth full

  18. BC - Apr 8, 2011 at 9:57 AM


  19. jkay123 - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    By reading these posts, i would say 80% of you are clueless about baseball and have hardly played, I have played my whole life, including college ball and for anyone to say that slide is “dirty” and an attempt to injure him is on crack. The first thing I noticed, he was standing on the wrong side of the bag, who turns a double play like that? I know he is new to second base and learning the position, he is a SS and used to turning it a different way. It was unfortunate what happened, but in no way, shape or form was that a dirty slide. Youre supposed to be on the opposite side of the bag when turning two and making a pivot..

    • dluxxx - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      Seriously, can somebody tell these people that Nisi won a gold glove in Japan at 2B? I have seen over and over and over again that he is a SS, no he played SS last year. He’s played pelnty of 2B. Upon seeing the slide, I thought he went down late, and that the leg whip was totally uncalled for. Was it legal? Yes. Was it dirty? Definitly. And yes, I’ve flip flopped, but I had watched the game and only had the word of the announcers and the after game tidbits to go off of.

      • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        dkyxx… Post of the day! Excellent!

        I didn’t know that Nishi won a gold glove at second base in Japan, but that seriously begs the question, “are the Japanese players all pussies?”. A gold glove second baseman wouldn’t leave himself exposed to taking the full hit from an incoming baserunner by having his feet improperly turned towards home plate on a pivot.

        Yes, the leg whip was TOTALLY uncalled for and DIRTY, but it was Nishi’s fault for failing to properly make the pivot. If his feet are turned towards first base, he doesn’t break his leg.

  20. purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    “I … have played my whole life, including college ball …”

    WOW! jkay can we all get your autograph???

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