DETROIT – Travis Ishikawa didn’t know whether he was going to get a shot at the major leagues in 2013. The Orioles have given that chance.
Ishikawa, who was signed late last year to a minor league contract, had an opt-out clause that he invoked this weekend, and the Orioles purchased his contract from Norfolk on Tuesday
To make room for Ishikawa, the Orioles placed Miguel Gonzalez on the paternity list, as expected. Gonzalez and his wife Lucia, had a daughter on Monday night, Leah. He’s expected back for the weekend series in Toronto.
Yamaico Navarro was designated for assignment to make room for Ishikawa on the 40-man roster. Zach Britton was also officially called up to start Tuesday’s game.
Ishikawa was batting .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games at Norfolk. He’s a .264 lifetime hitter in five major league seasons with San Francisco and Norfolk.
He’s in the lineup as a designated hitter for the first time in the major leagues, batting eighth.
“This team is playing such great ball, I wasn’t sure I was going to find a way to get up here. It’s like they found a way and I’m more than excited to be here,” Ishikawa said.
Ishikawa’s path was blocked by Chris Davis, and that’s something the first baseman understood.
“He already had, what 10 home runs before we even started a game,” Ishikawa said.
“You look at what Chris has done this year. I can’t be upset. We play the same position. He’s the MVP of the league right now. When you’re behind a guy like that, you can’t expect to be getting a call sooner rather than later.”
There were rumors that other major league teams were interested in Ishikawa, and the team would have had to release him from his contract by midnight Tuesday.
“In the end, I’m just glad that they were able to find a way to get up here,” Ishikawa said.
“Down in Triple-A, I DH’d a couple of times, but this is a whole new league to me. It’s like my first callup way back when because everything seems so new, new ballparks, pitchers I’ve never really seen before, so it will be a new experience.”