Ron Gardenhire names Tsuyoshi Nishioka as his second baseman

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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.

Justin Masterson is retired and doing missionary work

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that pitcher Justin Masterson is retired from baseball and currently doing missionary work, according to his agent Randy Rowley.

Masterson, 33, hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2015, though he had been trying to find work going into the past season but never latched on with a team. He spent 2016 in the Pirates’ minor league system and 2017 at the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Masterson spent parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Indians, and Cardinals. Across 258 appearances, 184 of which were starts, the right-hander compiled a 4.31 ERA with 1,004 strikeouts and 498 walks in 1,201 innings of work.