Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tsuyoshi Nishioka

There were a few surprising bits of information to come out yesterday about Japanese players looking to play in the US:

1) The Twins bid on one. I don't remember every hearing that before. Joe Christensen reported that they bid on Hisashi Iwakuma, a right-handed starting pitcher who is considered to be one of the top pitchers in Japan. They didn't get him - the A's did, which is interesting because they could now trade a starting pitcher. But it's interesting that the Twins would be willing to target a starting pitcher, that the starting pitcher was right-handed, and that they were willing to pay the posting fee. That last point is an especially good sign considering how cash-strapped we think they are. It also makes me wonder if they wouldn't be happy to pay Pavano to come back, meaning they would be more likely to offer him arbitration.

2) Another Japanese player may be posted, and this one is a shortstop. Tsuyoshi Nishioka is a switch-hitting shortstop who hit .346 last year and is known as for stealing bases. He is also known as being injury prone, which is one of the reasons he's playing shortstop, to protect his health. But the most interesting thing about him is that he's just 26 years old, much younger than most Japanese players that are allowed to come to the majors. Or at least that's the most interesting thing to me. My anime-obsessed daughter and his friends are likely going to be more interested in his hair and running their fingers through it.

I don't know that the Twins would have any interest in Nishioka. 24 hours ago I would've thought there was no chance. I still doubt they would. But today, just because they already had one bid for a Japanese posted player, I'm not as sure.

1 comment:

JimCrikket said...

I'm as surprised as anyone, but if they were willing to pony up money for a 30 yr old RH pitcher, I wonder why they wouldn't for a younger middle infielder... when they could certainly use one who could lead off. I suppose it's arguable that they already have that skill set in Casilla, but if (as has been reported) they're looking to improve their team speed, why wouldn't they at least roll the dice? Of course, we have no idea what the posting fee and contract demands would be yet.