MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins activated third baseman Trevor Plouffe from the 15-day disabled list on Monday, and optioned second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka to Triple-A Rochester to make room for him on the roster.
Plouffe was back in the lineup against the Tigers, starting at third base and batting seventh Monday night. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in Minnesota's 9-3 victory. He was on the DL, retroactive to July 21, with a bruised thumb after being jammed by a pitch against the Royals on July 20.
"It's good to be back," Plouffe said. "I missed a lot of time. It kind of snuck up on me. I didn't realize I missed three weeks, but watching those games when the team was on the road made me really miss being in there."
Plouffe went on a rehab assignment with Rochester over the weekend, going 0-for-8 with a walk in two games. But more importantly, he said his thumb held up just fine and shouldn't be an issue moving forward.
"Everything was good -- no problems," Plouffe said. "The biggest thing was testing the thumb out and getting the timing back. I didn't get any hits, but hit the ball hard yesterday and felt like I was having good at-bats and seeing the ball well."
Plouffe has been a pleasant surprise, as he's hitting .259/.330/.525 with 19 homers in 74 games entering Monday's game against the Tigers.
Nishioka, meanwhile, struggled in three games with the Twins after being recalled from Rochester on Aug. 5, when Minnesota traded third baseman Danny Valencia to Boston.
Nishioka went 0-for-12 while committing three errors over a three-game series in Cleveland.
"I think he just came up here, and whether it's trying too hard or getting too excited is anybody's guess, but I think we all saw the performance on the field wasn't very good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He didn't make the plays he was supposed to, missed the spots he was supposed to be on relays, and those are all the things that he needs to continue to work on and see what happens. But his three days out on the field weren't very good, and I think Nishi knows that more than anyone."