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.
Brewers outfielder Eric Thames made an early exit from Friday’s game against the Cardinals after colliding with Lorenzo Cain on an outfield catch in the first inning. According to an official report, he has been diagnosed with right knee soreness and is presumably day-to-day for the time being.
It was a brutal collision knocked both outfielders flat on their backs, but they were able to resume their positions and stick it out for the rest of the inning. Thames was up in the second, too, and struck out on five pitches from St. Louis right-hander Jack Flaherty before making an eventual exit in the top of the third. He was replaced on the field and in the lineup by Hernan Perez.
Entering Friday’s contest, the 31-year-old Thames carried a .230/.308/.516 batting line, 16 home runs and an .824 OPS in his second full season with the Brewers. He hasn’t replicated the career-high .247-average, 31-homer, 2.1-fWAR totals of his breakout performance in 2017, though that’s likely due to a combination of decreased playing time and lengthy recovery periods mandated by several significant injuries, including a torn UCL in his left thumb and a right hamstring strain. There’s no word yet on when he might return to the lineup this season.