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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Ishikawa gets shot as Brewers first baseman
Travis Ishikawa is back to being a starting first baseman in Major League Baseball.
The 2002 Federal Way High School graduate has taken over a portion of the everyday job with the Milwaukee Brewers after the team's previous starting first baseman, Mat Gamel, suffered a torn ACL in his knee May 2 while chasing down a foul ball.
“I was hoping to get a start, but not like this. I’d much rather have three pinch-hits or one inning of defense than see this,” Ishikawa told Brewers Today. “The guy was playing hard. That’s all he does is play hard. He was going after a foul ball aggressively, going 100 percent.”
On the season, Ishikawa is hitting .222 in 20 appearances for the Brewers with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.
"I'm going to approach that the same way I’ve been approaching it. Whatever my role is going to be in this time, I want to be as good as I can possibly be to help the club,” Ishikawa said.
It seems as if left-handed Ishikawa will platoon at first base with Brooks Conrad, a right-hander.
After spending nine seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Ishikawa signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in December after shoulder surgery in June on his non-throwing arm. He suffered the injury while playing for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Giants' AAA affiliate.
Ishikawa was hitting .251 with three home runs, 18 RBIs and 14 doubles in 56 games for the Grizzlies last season before the shoulder injury.
Ishikawa was a Giants' draft pick out of Federal Way in 2002 and played 281 games for the team since 2006. He had a lifetime batting average of .265 with 15 home runs, 80 RBIs, 30 doubles in 603 at-bats for San Francisco.
Ishikawa spent a bulk of the 2009 season as the Giants' everyday first baseman after an impressive spring training. During that season, Ishikawa hit .261 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 120 regular season games.