According to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN in the Twin Cities, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire named Tsuyoshi Nishioka as his second baseman this morning.
This isn’t completely unexpected. Many scouts believed that his game was better suited to playing second base in the majors rather than shortstop, where he spent the majority of his career in Japan.
Nishioka played shortstop yesterday against the Rays and made a throwing error on the first play of the game. According to Mackey, Nishioka told Gardenhire that he simply feels more comfortable at second base right now.
So that’s that. Now that Gardenhire has settled on Nishioka as his second baseman, that means Alexi Casilla will be the primary shortstop.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”