Minnesota Twins' Tsuyoshi Nishioka Breaks Fibula

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIApril 8, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees slides in to break up the double play injuring Tsuyoshi Nishioka #1 of the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on April 7, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When you see what happened to Minnesota Twins 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka on Thursday afternoon in the Bronx, it kind of makes you think about how it doesn’t happen more often.

Nishioka fractured his left fibula when New York Yankees’ OF Nick Swisher slid into him at second attempting to break up a double play. It’s not known yet how much time Nishioka will miss, but the Twins have already put him on the disabled list.

A couple of thoughts on this:

First and foremost, it was a clean play. Swisher didn’t do anything dirty and Nishioka got caught in no man’s land. Swisher thought Nishioka would jump and when he didn’t, snap-crackle-pop.

For those of you who missed the play, here it is courtesy of Deadspin.com:

Nick Swisher slide into second

Secondly, the Twins are in trouble up the middle. To say their organizational depth is scarce at second and short is an understatement.

The only backup middle infielder they currently have on the Major League roster is Matt Tolbert. Yes, the lifetime .246 hitter, Matt Tolbert.

Their minor league depth is just as poor. The only middle infield prospect ranked in the top 20 by Baseball Prospectus is Niko Goodrum (16th), and he hit .161 in 128 plate appearances in rookie ball. He is not ready for Double-A, let alone a spot on the Twins roster.

The Twins also have SS Trevor Plouffe on the 40-man roster. He was their first-round pick in the 2004 draft and really hasn’t done much during his minor league career. He had a cup of Sanka with the Twins last season and hit .146/.143/.317 in 44 plate appearances.

Unless something changes, it looks like the Twins will continue to roll with Alexi Casilla at short and Tolbert at second. Yuck.

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