From The Land Of The Rising Sun…
With JJ Hardy gone to Baltimore and O-Dawg recently signing with San Diego, the Twins needed to make a splash to shore up their middle infield. It doesn’t get a whole lot splashier than this.
For the first time in team history, the Twins organization reached into the Nippon Professional baseball league of Japan to nab Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
Last year, Nishioka hit .346 to lead the Pacific League of Japan, and is expected to either play shortstop or second base on the 2011 Twins.
Of course, as we all well know, transitioning from “east to west” is never a sure prospect. For every Ichiro Suzuki or Hideki Matsui, there are two Kaz Sasaki’s or Kaz Matsui’s.
I like this move, though, as (if this guy can hit even close to as good as he did in Japan), then he could be a great #2 hole hitter, or even light a little fire under Span for the leadoff spot battle.