Nishioka will get his shot at redemption

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN
  • Star Tribune
  • August 6, 2012 - 2:23 PM

BOSTON - After trading Danny Valencia to the Red Sox on Sunday, the Twins used the open roster spot to give another player a second chance in the majors.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka got promoted from Class AAA Rochester, after batting .245 in 84 games, and will be in uniform for the Twins on Monday night, when they open a three-game series in Cleveland.

"He went down there and did everything we've asked," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's worked very hard at the game, and our staff down there says he's playing very good baseball. I've watched a little of it on TV, and it's time to see what we have here."

Nishioka, 28, was a batting champ in Japan two years ago, and the Twins gambled about $14.5 million that his skills would translate to the majors. That included a $5.3 million posting fee paid to the Chiba Lotte Marines, and a three-year, $9.25 million contract for Nishioka.

He broke his leg one week into the 2011 season and wound up batting just .226 with a .278 on-base percentage in 68 games. He looked no better this spring and was among the Twins' first cuts.

But after batting .204 for Rochester through May, Nishioka batted .255 in June and .298 in July. The Twins thought he was ready for a promotion even though he went 1-for-14 in his final three games for the Red Wings.

"If you want to find out something about this guy, now is the time to find out," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He had two hard-hit balls [Saturday] and made some nice defensive plays. So they're pleased with what he's done."

It sounds as if Nishioka will get regular playing time, at least until Trevor Plouffe returns from the disabled list, though Gardenhire wasn't ready to say what that will mean for the rest of the infielders.

"First I'll talk to my guys out here that have been playing," Gardenhire said. "We're going to bring him up here to play and see what he can do."

Revere dazzles again

Ben Revere extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a first-inning single, added a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning and turned in another defensive gem. Playing center field in the seventh inning, he raced back to the wall to make an over-the-shoulder catch of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's drive, and fired back to second base for a double play.

"Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. -- that's as good as it gets," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "That ball is not caught often here. Spectacular."

Walters update

P.J. Walters needed just 18 pitches to get through two perfect innings Saturday in a rehab start for Rochester. His right shoulder responded well, so the Twins will have him increase his innings count Thursday, when he faces the Yankees' Class AAA affiliate.

© 2018 Star Tribune