Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 9/28/12
MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota Twins and infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka are parting ways. Nishioka approached the team about his release, and the Twins granted the request by letting him go unconditionally. That means Minnesota is not responsible for the 3 million remaining on Nishioka's contract next season or its 250,000 buyout provision. The Twins signed Nishioka from Japan prior to the 2011 season, giving him a three-year, 9.25 million contract. While playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, Nishioka was a batting champion and a Gold Glove infielder. But that success never translated to the American game. It was a rough go from the start for Nishioka in Minnesota; he broke his leg during the first week of the 2011 season on a play at second base. He was expected to be the team's starting shortstop but played in just 68 games last season, hitting .226 with 19 RBI and five extra-base hits in 221 at-bats. He also struggled in the field, committing 12 errors (including 10 at shortstop). Nishioka began this season with Triple-A Rochester and barely played in the majors. He was promoted to the Twins in early August but played in just three games before being optioned back to Rochester. In those three games, Nishioka committed two errors at second base and went 0-for-12 at the plate. "I would like to thank the Twins organization for helping me fulfill my dream of playing in Major League Baseball," Nishioka said in a statement. "I take full responsibility for my performance, which was below my own expectations. At this time, I have made the decision that it is time to part ways. I have no regrets and know that only through struggle can a person grow stronger. I appreciate all the support the team and the fans in Minnesota and Rochester have shown me." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
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