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BASEBALL: Baltimore Orioles promote Travis Ishikawa
Travis Ishikawa is back in Major League Baseball. The Federal Way High School graduate was called up by the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. The first baseman was having an impressive season for the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Orioles.
The promotion came after Ishikawa filed paperwork to exercise an opt-out clause in his minor league contract Sunday, according to his agent. The moved forced the Orioles to either add him to their 25-man big league roster within 48 hours or releasing him.
The 29-year-old Ishikawa was batting .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games for Norfolk this year.
It's still up in the air whether Ishikawa will stick around all season with the Orioles. Baltimore's starting first baseman, Chris Davis, is leading Major League Baseball with 26 home runs and is hitting .337 with 66 RBIs. Manager Buck Showalter has also been using several different players at designated hitter.
But, since his call-up, Ishikawa has started two games for the Orioles this week and is just 1 for 9 with five strikeouts.
Ishikawa signed the minor-league deal with Baltimore in the offseason after a solid year for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder didn't play a single Major League game in 2011 after a shoulder injury.
Ishikawa mostly served as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement at first base for the Brewers last season after spending nine seasons with the San Francisco Giants' organization. On the season, Ishikawa hit .257 with four home runs, 30 RBIs and 19 runs in 152 at bats.
Ishikawa was a San Francisco draft pick out of Federal Way in 2002 and played 281 games for the team since 2006. He has a lifetime batting average of .264 with 19 home runs, 110 RBIs, 40 doubles in 740 at-bats for San Francisco and Milwaukee.
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.