According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com, the Twins have shut down Tsuyoshi Nishioka for the rest of the season due to an oblique injury.
Nishioka hasn’t played since September 9, but the injury has lingered for a few weeks now.
“The last time he tried to play, he was hurting pretty bad,” Gardenhire said. “I said I’m not going to send him back out there like this, and the trainers started talking about it. They wanted to see how he did for a couple days, but he’s not going to play anymore. We’ve told Nishi just to relax.”
Nishioka, who signed a three-year, $9.25 million contract with the Twins last December, batted just .226/.278/.249 with a .527 OPS over 240 plate appearances in his first season stateside while rating below-average defensively. His rookie year appeared doomed from the start, after he fractured his left fibula on a takeout slide by Nick Swisher in early-April.
The Twins still owe Nishioka $3 million next season, $3 million in 2013 and either a $4 million club option or $250,000 buyout for 2014.