The Minnesota Twins have outrighted pitcher Nick Blackburn and infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka off of the 40-man roster, as the team announced on Monday. Nishioka was already in Triple-A Rochester, and now Blackburn joins him there as the Twins free up a pair of roster spots.
Blackburn, 30, is under contract through 2013, but he's struggled badly in the first three years of his four-year contract. This season, he's posted a 7.39 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 26 walks over 98.2 innings with the Twins, although he was at least serviceable last season.
Nishioka is also under contract for 2013, but he's spent essentially the entire 2012 season in Triple-A. He struggled really badly in his rookie year with the Twins, and he hasn't been much better this year, posting a .252/.311/.313 line over 380 plate appearances with Rochester.