Nishioka activated from the DL (Game 66 vs White Sox)
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins activated infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka from the 60-day disabled list before today’s game against the White Sox, but he was held out of the starting lineup with the plan to start him at shortstop tomorrow.
Nishioka missed 59 games with a fractured left fibula suffered on April 7 when Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher slid into him at second base while trying to break up a double play. He replaced first baseman Justin Morneau on the 25-man roster after he was placed on the 15-day DL with a left wrist strain on Tuesday. Left-hander Dusty Hughes was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester roster to make room for Nishioka on the 40-man roster.
“He’s active for the game and I can use him, so I told him I might pinch-hit him late in the game or whatever,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow.”
As part of his rehab process, Nishioka played in extended Spring Training before playing four games with Single-A Fort Myers and three games with Triple-A Rochester. He batted a combined .333 with a .448 on-base percentage in the Minors, while playing shortstop in all seven games.
But Nishioka, who began the year as the Twins’ starting second baseman before his injury, worked out at both second and short during his rehab stint. Gardenhire said he expects him to be the club’s starting shortstop moving forward with Alexi Casilla shifting to second base.
“I felt really comfortable playing shortstop so I told Gardy that I’m comfortable at any position — second or shortstop,” Nishioka said through translator Ryo Shinkawa. “Whatever he decides, I’ll be comfortable playing it.”
Nishioka will also be playing in his first game at Target Field, as he was injured before the Twins’ first home game of the season on April 8.
“I was looking forward to playing in front of the fans at Target Field so it will be special for me,” Nishioka said.
Here are the lineups for both teams for Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. CT start at Target Field.
WHITE SOX (33-35)
1. Juan Pierre, CF
2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
3. Carlos Quentin, RF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. A.J. Pierzynski, C
6. Alex Rios, CF
7. Adam Dunn, DH
8. Gordon Beckham, 2B
9. Brent Morel, 3B
RHP Gavin Floyd (6-5, 3.89 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 3.00 K/BB)
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Delmon Young, DH
5. Luke Hughes, 1B
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Brian Dinkelman, LF
8. Matt Tolbert, 2B
9. Drew Butera, C
RHP Carl Pavano (3-5, 4.54 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 1.83 K/BB)