Twins General Manager Terry Ryan was blunt Thursday in how he assessed Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s first three games back in the majors this week.
“He had one game where he played reasonably well, and the other two were a disaster,” Ryan said. “OK, so now it’s up to me and [Manager Ron Gardenhire]. We’ve got to decide what to do, and we’ll make that decision, and we’ve got to first figure out what’s going on with [Trevor] Plouffe, and then we’ll go from there.”
Ryan said Nishioka will remain on the major league roster for Friday’s game against Tampa Bay, in part because Plouffe won’t be ready to return from the disabled list.
Plouffe has made progress with his bruised right thumb, and the plan is to have him take batting practice with the team Friday. Ryan said there’s a good chance Plouffe might have to go on a minor-league rehab assignment.
At Class AAA Rochester, one potential replacement for Nishioka, Pedro Florimon, has an injured wrist, and another, Eduardo Escobar, is a 23-year-old starting infield prospect who needs regular playing time.
So for now, Nishioka is staying put, but Ryan made it clear that Gardenhire is under no obligation to keep him in the starting lineup.
“That’s up to Gardy,” Ryan said. “If he wants to play him, he plays him. If he wants to sit him, he sits him.”
I'll have more of Ryan's comments in tonight's first editions.