According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com, the Twins have shut down Tsuyoshi Nishioka for the rest of the season due to an oblique injury.
Nishioka hasn’t played since September 9, but the injury has lingered for a few weeks now.
“The last time he tried to play, he was hurting pretty bad,” Gardenhire said. “I said I’m not going to send him back out there like this, and the trainers started talking about it. They wanted to see how he did for a couple days, but he’s not going to play anymore. We’ve told Nishi just to relax.”
Nishioka, who signed a three-year, $9.25 million contract with the Twins last December, batted just .226/.278/.249 with a .527 OPS over 240 plate appearances in his first season stateside while rating below-average defensively. His rookie year appeared doomed from the start, after he fractured his left fibula on a takeout slide by Nick Swisher in early-April.
The Twins still owe Nishioka $3 million next season, $3 million in 2013 and either a $4 million club option or $250,000 buyout for 2014.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.