Mauer, Nishioka ready to assume regular duties

Mauer, Nishioka ready to assume regular duties

Mauer, Nishioka ready to assume regular duties
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire expects Joe Mauer to catch at least one game in Detroit this weekend, while Tsuyoshi Nishioka is scheduled to start at shortstop on Friday.

Mauer, who hasn't caught since Aug. 20 after suffering a stiff neck and missing two games with an upper respiratory illness last weekend, started at DH on Wednesday, but is healthy enough to start behind the plate.

"Mauer can catch right now," Gardenhire said. "He already told me. He can catch, DH, do anything we need him to do. Right now, it's just a better fit over there [as DH]. So there's a good possibility he'll catch in Detroit in one or two [games]."

Nishioka, meanwhile, has been plagued by a sore back and oblique and hasn't started at shortstop since Sunday. Twins trainer Rick McWane said Nishioka's soreness isn't expected to go away this season, but that he's going to try to play through the injury.

So it'll be up to Nishioka to tell the training staff if he's ready to go against the Tigers on Friday.

"I think he wants to play," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully, once we get to Detroit and everything feels good, we can put him out there. Unless he feels terrible, he should be playing shortstop in Detroit in the first game, and we'll go from there."