Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The "Phony Fan" over at the STRIB apparently is arguing the Twins should give up on Tsuyoshi Nishioka (I read the lead, but never waste time reading the rest of his stuff). Does this really make sense, given the amount of money to the Twins have invested in him?

Clearly if what we have seen of Nishioka is what we get, then he is at best a mediocre utility infielder. But its far more likely that he is a young player struggling in his first year in the big leagues. In addition to the typical struggles of any young player, he has had to adapt to a new culture and differences in the game he has played all his life. All while relying on a translator to communicate with coaches and teammates.

Far from giving up on him, it makes a lot more sense to see who shows up in Spring Training. The young, uncertain player who struggles with the games basics. Or the guy who excelled with a couple gold gloves and a batting championship in his native Japan. It appears to me that, at minimum, Nishioka has the defensive tools to play second and shortstop in the big leagues. That would make him a very expensive utility player. On the other hand, his bat and speed could turn him into asset on offense.

Far from giving up on Nishioka, I am curious what he will do next year. I am not ready to hand him a job, but he certainly should be "in the mix".

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