Tagged: Nishioka

Busy day in Fort Myers: Day 5 of ST

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

The last day of pitchers and catchers workouts for the Twins started out this morning with a large group of Japanese media gathered inside the home clubhouse awaiting Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

Nishioka did not work out on Tuesday, but he spent some time greeting his new teammates, shaking hands with them as he walked around the entire clubhouse. The infielder then met with the Japanese media and finally the American media before heading out as he awaits the first full squad workout on Wednesday.

It was far from the only thing that drew attention on Tuesday. First baseman Justin Morneau was greeted with a light smattering of applause from fans when he started taking swings with his teammates on one of the back fields at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Morneau hit in a group with Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome and wore a protective batting helmet while doing so. He then fielded ground balls, taking throws from third and practiced turning double plays. It’s some of the same activities that Morneau has been doing in Arizona but it was a big step to see him back on the field with his teammates for the first time in awhile.

Delmon Young has arrived in Fort Myers, meaning that all of the Twins players are now officially in camp and ready for Wednesday’s first full squad workout. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the club is healthy heading into the workout, although Scott Baker might be backed off a day or too before throwing live BP.

Francisco Liriano threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and all the reports are that everything went well.

Quick thoughts from Day 3 of camp

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

Jim Thome meet Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Twins veteran slugger arrived at camp on Sunday morning and got a chance to take batting practice with his new teammate on one of the back fields of the Lee County Sports Complex.

Hitting coach Joe Vavra greeted Nishioka shortly after he arrived on the Minor League side of the complex and told him he’d be hitting with Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Thome. As more than 15 Japanese reporters and many of the Twins beat writers gathered around the cage, Thome remarked that he’d never seen this much media around a cage for Day 1 of batting practice in his 22 Spring Trainings.

Other than Thome’s arrival and Nishioka joining some of his teammates to work out, there wasn’t much news of the day. Francisco Liriano did some long toss on Sunday and said his shoulder felt good. He’s expected to throw a bullpen session in a couple days.

I’ll have more stuff later on the website as well as a blog post with some photos from the first few days of camp.

Nishioka’s agent to meet with Twins today

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Twins were scheduled to meet today with Rick Thurman, the agent for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Twins have been in contact with Thurman since it was announced they had posted the winning bid for Nishioka’s exclusive negotiating rights on Nov. 26. Twins general manager Bill Smith said last week that the two sides would likely talk again this week as they try to make progress on a contract. The club has until Dec. 26 to work out a deal for the switch-hitting infielder or they will have their approximately $5 million posting fee given back to them.

Indications are that Nishioka is seeking a three-year deal. So far the expectation has been that the Twins will get a deal worked out with Nishioka before the Dec. 26 deadline. But the club could try to get something done well before that date if they are serious about trading shortstop J.J. Hardy in the near future. A number of teams are reportedly interested in Hardy, but it seems unlikely that the club would move the shortstop before they are certain that they’ll get a deal done with Nishioka.