By Eric Nelson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Luke Hughes is trying to plug a hole in the Minnesota Twins infield. When second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka went down with a leg injury, the Twins called up Hughes from Triple A.

Hughes is hoping to cash in on his chance.

“I’m just trying to do what I can do, you know what I mean. He’s a great player. He’s a little bit of a different player than what I am so you know, it’s going to be tough,” he said. “But hopefully I’m up to it.”

Hughes has been in the Twins organization for nine years, and is well aware of the team’s M.O.

“Good defense is the main thing for the Twins. That’s what Gardy always preaches and that’s what the Twins always preach. So I’m just going out there, hopefully play some good defense, pick up some knocks and see what happens,” Hughes said.

Hughes’ journey to the top of the Major League food chain began down under, where baseball is not exactly the national pasttime.

Baseball is barely a blip on the radar screen in Australia. It gets lost in the shadow of other sports and is often ignored.

“We’re trying to compete with sports like cricket and Australian-rules football and rugby, which we’ll never be able to,” he said.

However, Hughes does believe that someday baseball might carve a niche in Australia. It’s just going to take some time.

“If we can get a good fanbase back there. They’re playing a lot more games on TV,” he said. “Hopefully we can see what happens in the next couple years. Get a few more Australians up in the big leagues. You never know  what’s going to happen.”


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