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Twins sticking with Tsuyoshi Nishioka … for now

Aug 9, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

Tsuyoshi Nishioka Getty Images

Tsuyoshi Nishioka just completed the worst three-game series I’ve ever seen from a major leaguer, going 0-for-12 at the plate, committing three errors in the field, and making several other obvious defensive miscues that weren’t officially ruled errors.

He also played horribly at Triple-A prior to being called up and was plenty awful in Minnesota last season, leading fans and media members to wonder if the Twins could stick with him for even one more game.

They can and they will, according to general manager Terry Ryan:

He had a very difficult game yesterday and we all saw it but the only way to find out how he’ll respond up here is to play him. It didn’t to go so well so now we’ll have a decision to make once [Trevor] Plouffe is healthy and ready to come off. So we’ll see how Plouffe responds in the next few days and go from there.

In other words, Nishioka is going to stick around until Trevor Plouffe comes off the disabled list and then the Twins will send him back to Triple-A. Or maybe just outright release him and eat the $3 million he’s owed next season.

  1. schrutebeetfarms - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Twins just need to give him time to develop. A gold glove batting champion doesn’t come around all that often.

    • ThatGuy - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      He’s 28 years old. Far more likely he is what he is at this point than he needs to develop.

    • mianfr - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      What does that even mean?

      • schrutebeetfarms - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        He’s a 3x gold glove winner in japan and won a batting title. He just has to acclimate to the American game and he’ll be a cornerstone of the Twins for years to come.

      • Bryz - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        ^ Oblivious Twins fan here.

        Seriously, he’s been awful. That one batting title he won in Japan was fluky, as his BA that year was significantly higher (like, 30-40 pts. higher) than his 2nd best batting average in a season. Kaz Matsui was also a Japanese Gold Glove winner and he didn’t look that great in the field in the US either.

        Even his numbers in Triple-A were uninspiring. Nishi is looking more and more like a sunk cost. I might even say that I’d want Matt Tolbert back, because at least he was replacement level. Nishi is below replacement.

      • e5again - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        This is obvious sarcasm, right?

    • Ben - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      You’re crazy if you think he’s even a competent AAA player. He’s not. He’s been stateside for a year and a half and he’s simply dreadful. There is no upside here.

    • wsnydes - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      I might tend to agree with you if he’d have shown ANYTHING that would classify as a sign that he can play here. This stretch of games isn’t a fluke, this is the guy that he is. He can’t even compete at AAA. I find it hard to believe that the Japanese leagues are worse than AAA.

    • spudatx - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      What? Time to develop? No one expected Nishi to be a gold glover or a batting title earner, but he was supposed to be a veteran who would acclimate to the MLB relatively quickly and contribute well within the confines of his 3-year contract. He was terrible in 2011 and the broken leg was no excuse. The off-season didn’t return a seasoned, prepared Nishi to the Twins to such a great extent that he was sent to the minors before the season broke. At this point, he does little more than provide “depth” (if you want to call it that) to the middle infield after Luke Hughes failed to do that. With Valencia gone and Plouffe on the DL, Carroll isn’t an option. If the Twins had the cash, Nishioka would be gone and a low-cost veteran would fill his shoes on the roster.

  2. meadowlark89 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Wonder what would’ve happened if Nick Swisher hadn’t run into his leg and broke it to screw up his and the Twins season.

    • spudatx - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      If Swisher hadn’t run into him, Nishioka would have just been benched sooner.

  3. twonis - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I propose that the Twins wait until the offseason, probably sometime around January/February, and take a little trip up to Duluth. Then they need to put Nishioka on an ice floe, push him out into Lake Superior and never speak of it ever again.

    • Bryz - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      A little harsh, dude.

      • twonis - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Not nearly as harsh as what I ACTUALLY think they should do…but that’s not appropriate for this public forum.

  4. packhawk04 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    The twins and their fans need a serious therapy treatment.

    • Bryz - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Umm… where did this comment come from?

      • wlschneider09 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        Wisconsin. A lot of crap comes our way from there.

    • zzalapski - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Aversion therapy sounds about right.

  5. hansob - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    We need a sunken cost league, where guys like Nick Blackburn, Nishioka, Chone Figgins, and Vernon Wells can all prove whose contract is sunken deeper.

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