Tsuyoshi Nishioka rejoins Twins 10 weeks after breaking leg

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He’s not in the starting lineup tonight, but the Twins have officially activated Tsuyoshi Nishioka from the disabled list after placing Justin Morneau on the shelf with a bum wrist last night.

Nishioka suffered a fractured fibula on April 7 when Nick Swisher of the Yankees slid into him breaking up a double play and in returning he’s expected to shift from second base to shortstop. Opening Day shortstop Alexi Casilla will move to second base, where he’s played for most of his career.

Nishioka was initially said to be out 4-6 weeks, but as has been the case with the Twins’ numerous injuries and their various recovery timetables all season he ended up missing nearly 10 weeks. Joe Mauer, who’s also been out far longer than anticipated, may be in the lineup alongside Nishioka on Friday.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.