The Orioles announced yesterday that their list of spring training invites expanded to include first baseman Travis Ishikawa and left-handers Daniel Schlereth and Zach Braddock.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette is really enthused about Ishikawa, 29, who batted .257/.329/.428 in 94 games with the Milwaukee Brewers this year and .265/.327/.400 with 15 homers and 80 RBIs in 281 games with the San Francisco Giants over four seasons.
"Ishikawa is a good first baseman," Duquette said. "He's got a good glove and he's a steady hitter. He's a good addition. He's a good complement to our club and a very good defensive first baseman."
The Orioles actually tried to sign Ishikawa last year before he joined the Brewers.
"There's probably a better opportunity for him this year," Duquette said.
Ishikawa, a left-handed batter, is a career .266/.333/.416 hitter with 18 of his 19 home runs against right-handers.
He's going to get a shot at winning a job in spring training.
"He's a qualified major leaguer," Duquette said. "This kid can help us. He's a good addition for us."
So what about Schlereth and Braddock?
"Both of them are effective at getting out left-handed hitters," Duquette said.
That's especially true of Braddock, who's held left-handers to a .185/.313/.296 line. They're hitting .213/.320/.368 against Schlereth.
"Braddock dominates lefties, and Schlereth does well against them, too," Duquette said. "Braddock's really tough on them. He's struck out 11 batters per nine innings.
"They're both still pretty young and have major league experience."
The warehouse will be closed between Christmas and New Year's, but Duquette will continue to seek a bat for the middle of the lineup.
Asked if anything is close, Duquette replied, "It's hard to say. We're working on a couple of things. You never know."
Duquette also said nothing is official regarding former Red Sox farm director Kent Qualls, who's expected to join the Orioles' minor league baseball operations department. Look for an announcement after the holidays.
One more item: Gary Allenson, who managed short-season Single-A Aberdeen in 2012, will manage Double-A New Hampshire next season. The Fisher Cats are a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate.
Richie Hebner, who managed Single-A Frederick and later served as Norfolk's hitting coach, has been hired as New Hampshire's hitting coach.