Called up from Triple-A Sunday for the first time this year, the Twins’ most expensive middle infielder, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, made his season debut Monday. And the only nice thing that can be said about it is that the Twins beat the Indians 14-3 anyway.
While his teammates were racking up four homers, 14 hits and five walks, Nishioka went 0-for-5 and committed two errors at second base.
Nishioka was hitting just .245/.309/.301 before being summoned from Rochester, so very little is expected at this point. He had one homer in 311 at-bats, and he was caught stealing in six of his 12 attempts.
With the 0-for-5 today, Nishioka is hitting .221/.273/.243 with no homers in 226 at-bats as a major leaguer, with metrics that suggest he might be even worse defensive than offensively. The Twins still owe him another $3.25 million after this season, but it’d be a surprise if he’s still in the organization next spring. A return to Japan might be for the best.
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.
It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.
If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.
Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.
Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.