Orioles expected to add Ishikawa
The Orioles are leaning toward promoting Travis Ishikawa and have until midnight tonight to make a decision on the first baseman, who exercised his opt-out clause and would become a free agent if he isn’t promoted or traded to another club. With the astounding season from first baseman Chris Davis, the O’s haven’t had room for Ishikawa on the roster despite his success at Triple-A Norfolk this season.
But with Miguel Gonzalez leaving the team prior to yesterday’s game, for the birth of his daughter, the Orioles have a roster spot temporarily open. Gonzalez has not been on paternity leave yet, but that’s the plan and it will allow the team to have an extra player for 1-3 days depending on how long Gonzalez is gone. Gonzalez joined wife, Lucia, who gave birth to the couple’s first child, Leah, last night in Southern California. Given Thursday’s off day, he could not miss a start but the Orioles would still get the benefit of an extra player if Gonzalez is put on paternity.
Ishikawa is batting .316/.413/.525 with 16 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBIs in 49 games with Norfolk and was the International League Player of the Month in May. If he’s added, Ishikawa can’t be optioned back to Norfolk and has to be outrighted so he could refuse an assignment back to Triple-A. The Orioles had a similar situation with outfielder Nate McLouth last year, who they ended up adding to the roster right at the midnight deadline.
Speaking of Triple-A, Kevin Gausman will make his first start there tonight. To answer a question I’ve gotten a few times, Gausman was not an option to start yesterday because he has to stay in the Minor Leagues for a minimum of 10 days unless it’s an injury situation. He could have been used for tonight’s start if the team chose to have him as the extra player in place of Gonzalez, but the Orioles opted to go with Zach Britton instead. Britton has pitched well in Triple-A and had one start for the Orioles so far this season. I’d expect Gausman to be back up again very soon, you can bet manager Buck Showalter has the 10th day circled on his calendar, but right now he remains on track to start for Norfolk.