With Plouffe on DL, Twins sticking with Nishioka

With Plouffe on DL, Twins sticking with Nishioka

MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite his struggles in his first three games of the season against the Indians, second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be in uniform on Friday against the Rays, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said on Thursday.

Nishioka had a series to forget, making three errors in the infield -- while also letting a popup drop in front of him on Wednesday -- and going 0-for-12 at the plate. He flew back to Rochester, N.Y., to get his things after Wednesday's game, but he won't be optioned to Triple-A before Friday.

With Trevor Plouffe still on the disabled list with a bruised right thumb, Ryan said that the Twins will stick with Nishioka for now.

"He had a very difficult game yesterday and we all saw it, but the only way to find out how he'll respond up here is to play him," Ryan said. "It didn't go so well, so now we'll have a decision to make once Plouffe is healthy and ready to come off. So we'll see how Plouffe responds in the next few days and go from there."

Plouffe, on the disabled list retroactive to July 21 with a bruised right thumb, is set to take batting practice on Thursday and Friday. There's a chance he could rejoin the Twins this weekend, but Ryan indicated Plouffe could go on a rehab assignment.

"He'll swing the bat tomorrow, and we'll make the decision on whether he'll need a rehab assignment tomorrow or not," Ryan said. "I'm thinking he may have to go out, but I don't want to make that decision until we see him the next couple of days."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.