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Minnesota Twins Tsuyoshi Nishioka fielded baseballs during infield drills Friday at Hammond Stadium.

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

Nishioka might get some time at third base

  • February 25, 2012 - 12:42 AM

Nishioka might get time at third

Tsuyoshi Nishioka struggled in the middle infield. Would the Twins really try him at third?

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hinted that he might look at Nishioka at third base during camp to see if he could be used there in a utility role.

''I have to talk to Nishi about those things,'' Gardenhire said. ''I just want him to get going here in camp right now. As I said about Nishi, the year started off crazy for him, coming here for the first time, he was learning all kinds of things, a lot was thrown at him, he got hurt, which really set him back, and then he was hurt at the end of the year.

''He understands a lot more now about what we do and what we're trying to do; let's give him a chance to get back out there and play some baseball, and I told him that again today -- 'You're a really good baseball player. You can play.'''

This came on the same day that Nishioka told more than a dozen Japanese media members that he wants to win the starting shortstop job. That's unlikely, given that Jamey Carroll was signed to start at short.

And then there were 67

The Twins added another player to camp. Catcher Danny Rams, who was invited to camp last season, reported for duty Friday.

Rams was brought into camp because the club felt it was a little light on catching with 33 pitchers in camp.

The Twins now have 67 players in camp. Rams took the final unoccupied stall in the clubhouse, the one between Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

Camp focus

Matt Maloney

Age: 28

Position: Lefthander

2011 stats: 0-3, 9.16 ERA in eight games (two starts) with the Reds.

Some tidbits: Third-round pick of the Phillies in 2005. ... Traded to Cincinnati for former Twin Kyle Lohse in 2007. ... According to Fangraphs.com, his fastball last year averaged 87 miles per hour and his changeup 78.9. ... Landed on the 60-day DL last season because of a broken rib.

LA VELLE E. NEAL III

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