Ron Gardenhire confirms Luke Hughes will replace injured Tsuyoshi Nishioka in Twins’ lineup

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As expected, manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed this morning that the Twins will turn to Triple-A call-up Luke Hughes as their primary second baseman after Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffered a fractured fibula yesterday.

Hughes failed to crack the Opening Day roster because Gardenhire preferred Matt Tolbert as his utility man, but will now get the opportunity to play every day while Tolbert remains on the bench.

Hughes is old for a prospect at 26 and his defense draws mixed reviews, but he’s shown good power in the minors and should at the very least have some success against left-handed pitching.

I ranked Hughes as just the 33rd-best prospect in the Twins’ system coming into the season, but Minnesota’s infield depth is so limited following Nishioka’s injury that they don’t really have any other palatable options.