Just a few days ago, Travis Ishikawa was a player possibly headed out of the O’s organization. Tonight he will make his fifth start with the team and third at first base.
When you are a reserve, your roster spot is far from secure, but the veteran is here now after opting out of his minor league contract June 16 and forcing the O’s to either bring him to the major leagues or risk losing him to another club.
They added him to the 25-man roster and he is 2-for-13 with an RBI in his first five games with the club.
However, for a few days there last week Ishikawa was stuck in a holding pattern after he took his opt-out, not knowing whether he’d be an Oriole or a free agent.
He didn’t let himself get too worried or concerned during his 48 hours of baseball limbo, while the O’s decided if they’d add him to the roster.
“No, just couldn’t worry about something I could not control,” he said. “I took care of what I could and had a peace of mind about the decision I made. During that waiting period there was nothing I could do. It was weird not knowing exactly where I would be but when I got the call to come here I was very excited to join a great club.
“I felt like I had put up the numbers that would warrant an opportunity but nothing is for certain in this game.”
The 29-year-old who played parts of five big league seasons with the Giants and Brewers, signed with the Orioles as minor league free agent Dec. 19.
He said he could tell in March this was a team he really wanted to be a part of.
“Got to know a lot of these guys in spring training and I realized this is a team I wanted to be on,” he said. “A group of guys that love the game and all work hard and all have the same goal in common. The coaching staff is unbelievable in helping and encouraging you. I’m ecstatic to be here.”
With Triple-A Norfolk Ishikawa was batting .316/.413/.525 with 16 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBIs in 49 games.
What was the key to his impressive stats with the Tides?
“Just staying relaxed and not worrying about things I couldn’t control. Just focused each day on those one or two at-bats and having a good plan at the plate,” he said.