MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Sunday that he plans on using Michael Cuddyer as the club's regular second baseman moving forward until Tsuyoshi Nishioka returns from a broken fibula suffered on April 7.
Gardenhire said he's "absolutely" comfortable using Cuddyer at second base, and likes having him there because it gives the Twins the chance to get Jason Kubel in right field and use Jim Thome at designated hitter.
Luke Hughes is expected to shift into a utility role, and could see action at first base, third base and second base to give regulars some rest.
"Cuddy has been pretty good at second," Gardenhire said. "He looks pretty comfortable out there. He enjoys second base and actually has a lot of fun there. If he's comfortable, I'm comfortable."
Cuddyer made his sixth start of the season at second base on Sunday, and said he hasn't found the transition from outfield to second base too difficult, as he came up as an infielder in the Minors.
"A little smaller glove is probably the biggest difference," Cuddyer said with a laugh. "You just tell yourself to go out there and play the game. If a ball is hit to you, you just do your best to throw the guy out. When you switch positions, you just have to keep it as simple as you can."
Nishioka, who has started his rehab process by running on an underwater treadmill at Target Field, is still expected to be weeks away from returning.