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After Norfolk first baseman Travis Ishikawa filed paperwork to exercise his opt-out clause over the weekend, it appeared he was on the verge of moving on from the Orioles.
Instead, he will be promoted for Tuesday night’s game in Detroit, according to MLB Daily Dish. The 29-year-old was batting .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games for the Tides this year. The Orioles had 48 hours to make a decision on Ishikawa after he declared his intention to opt out of the organization and become a free agent.
The Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Tuesday’s starter Zach Britton and are expected to place right-hander Miguel Gonzalez on the paternity list, which would clear a spot for Ishikawa on the 25-man roster. However, the Orioles would need to create room for the veteran first baseman on the 40-man roster.
A five-year veteran in the big leagues who’s spent time with the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers, Ishikawa has hit .264 with 19 home runs and 110 RBIs in 839 career plate appearances. He signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles last December.
As for Ishikawa’s long-term standing with the club, there wouldn’t appear to be much use for him as a backup to Chris Davis considering manager Buck Showalter is already using a combination of Chris Dickerson, Danny Valencia, and Steve Pearce at the designated hitter spot. A more likely scenario would be for the Orioles to continue to explore a trade possibility for Ishikawa as he’s shown to be one of the better hitters in the International League this season.