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Tsuyoshi Nishioka shut down for season with oblique injury

Sep 17, 2011, 10:10 AM EST

nishioka getty throws Getty Images

According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com, the Twins have shut down Tsuyoshi Nishioka for the rest of the season due to an oblique injury.

Nishioka hasn’t played since September 9, but the injury has lingered for a few weeks now.

“The last time he tried to play, he was hurting pretty bad,” Gardenhire said. “I said I’m not going to send him back out there like this, and the trainers started talking about it. They wanted to see how he did for a couple days, but he’s not going to play anymore. We’ve told Nishi just to relax.”

Nishioka, who signed a three-year, $9.25 million contract with the Twins last December, batted just .226/.278/.249 with a .527 OPS over 240 plate appearances in his first season stateside while rating below-average defensively. His rookie year appeared doomed from the start, after he fractured his left fibula on a takeout slide by Nick Swisher in early-April.

The Twins still owe Nishioka $3 million next season, $3 million in 2013 and either a $4 million club option or $250,000 buyout for 2014.

  1. tbdevilrayfan - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    This demonstrates the biggest difference between the Yankees and Red Sox, and the rest of the AL.
    This contract (coupled with lack of on field production) will make the Twins a little bit less competitive while they absorb the cost of this awful contract.
    NY and Boston just sign another player, spend another $20 million, and write off this one as a ‘mistake’

    • trotnixonisbestnixon - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      I wouldn’t say this contract hampers the Twins that much. Their payroll is up to $113 million, and Nishi’s $3 mil/year on the DL doesn’t hurt them nearly as much as a lack of production from Mauer and his $21 mil/year or Morneau and the uncertainty of whether he’ll ever play at an elite level again. If those two can get clicking again next season it’ll make a lot of Twins territory forget how much of a sunken cost Nishioka was this year.

      Having said that, what a tough season for the kid. Translating to a new culture is difficult enough; having to deal with a broken leg and missing a good portion of the season on top of it is just bad news. Hopefully he can get healthy this offseason and make an impact next summer.

      • kopy - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        But it’s true the Twins did trade JJ Hardy away for rags because they didn’t have the money to both sign Nishioka and keep Hardy. The Twins having a slightly above-average payroll doesn’t change the fact that it’s firmly set, and any action will have a reaction, while some free-wheeling teams have no problem opening up the wallet a little further to compensate mistake contracts.

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