Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Two days of Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Tsuyoshi Nishioka started a double play on this
first-inning ground ball Tuesday night.
The best I can say about the return of Tsuyoshi Nishioka is that the Twins are undefeated with him in the lineup. This says more about the Cleveland Indians at this point in the season than it does about Nishioka.

Nishioka went 0-for-8 with a walk and a sac fly in the two games. He committed two errors in the first game, started a pair of double plays in the second. I don't believe he's had to turn a double play as the pivot man yet.

It's two games, but ... I don't see any real reason to believe that Nishioka belongs in the major leagues. If he does, it's not apparent in his Triple A stats, and it hasn't shown in these first two games.

And it certainly didn't show at any point last season, which is the real reason his call-up has sparked so much outrage on talk radio and the Internet.

The loudmouths of radio, blogs and Twitter are not necessarily representative of the people sitting in the seats, but I don't expect Nishioka to be warmly welcomed by the paying customers at Target Field when the Twins open their next homestand later this week.

I continue to believe that he's up because the organization is preparing to pull the plug on him. Call it a final piece of due diligence, or perhaps the vain hope that he'll do something well enough to entice somebody else to take his contract off the Twins hands. (Ain't gonna happen.)

Ron Gardenhire said when Nishi returned that he was going to play. The manager also said that this was no three-day call-up, that somebody else would be sent out when Trevor Plouffe is reactivated after the road trip.

Maybe so. But I don't know what else Gardy would say. And if somebody else is sent out so that Nishioka can remain in the lineup, I won't be happy about it.


  1. Really they're just evaluating players for next year and as you said this is likely more a sign of things coming to an end than getting a real look. For example, they've clearly given up on Casilla. They could bring him back as the 3rd infielder but they don't think he's a starter and they're not going to want to pay 1+ for that bench role. Carrol will have that next year. We need two starting MIF and we don't have a single one on the near term horizon

  2. Nishioka turned a double play as the pivot man in the 2nd inning Monday.

    Nishi has looked over matched, but he did okay Tuesday. 0 for 3, 1 walk, robbed of a hit, hit the ball hard enough for a sac fly (wouldn't have done that last year), and made all of his defensive plays.

    It's pretty obvious that if Nishi isn't sent down, Dozier will be. Dozier has committed almost the same number of errors as Nishi did last year--Nishi commited 12 in 66 games in 2011; Dozier has commited 15 in 79 games in 2012. Dozier has also been slumping at the plate as of late. It really wouldn't be that insane for him to be sent down.

    Personally, I really wish Alexi Casilla would get more playing time.

    1. Actually--maybe it's not so obvious Dozier will be sent down. Someone in the bullpen could go down (although I find it a bit silly to have both Alexi and Nishi sitting on the bench).