Tsuyoshi Nishioka came over from Japan to jumpstart the Minnesota offense. He struggled at the outset of the season, producing five hits in 24 at-bats with eight strikeouts. On Thursday, Nishioka’s ability to learn on the job and acclimate to big league pitching was abruptly halted when Nick Swisher broke up a double play in the Yankees’ 4-3 win over Minnesota. Nishioka left the game with a broken left fibula and will miss an extended period (anywhere from four weeks to three months).
Luke Hughes, who ripped six home runs during spring training, was recalled to take his place on the active roster. Matt Tolbert, a lifetime .246 hitter in 403 at-bats, will also receive at-bats in Nishioka’s absence.
He was a darkhorse candidate for AL Rookie of the Year to follow in the footsteps of his countryman, Ichiro Suzuki.