Norfolk shuttle puts Ishikawa in Orioles lineup


The most perplexing thing to me and possibly many others about Jake Arrieta has always been that, after a game, he knows what he did wrong, but he still did it. It seems as though, by age 27, certainly he would have gotten tired of analyzing a negative, or at least taken less than this long to get it right, or a little more right than it is.

It might be entirely beside the point, but one wonders how much better Jason Hammel might have done against the Tigers last night if he hadn’t come down with a stomach virus.

Miguel Gonzalez and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the Orioles’ family last night. Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles optioned Arrieta back to Norfolk after the game, recalled Zach Britton to start tonight against Detroit, and late today promoted Travis Ishikawa to fill the spot vacated by Miguel Gonzalez, who left the team last night for the birth of his daughter.

Sending Arrieta back to Norfolk was a no-brainer if you saw Monday night’s performance or know his track record. Selecting Ishikawa’s contract caused some indecision for Executive Vice-President Dan Duquette. The Orioles brought Ishikawa in for Spring Training, having signed him as a minor league free agent on December 19, as a back-up first baseman whose forte was his defense. That was before anyone ever knew how good a year Chris Davis was going to have, and that they wouldn’t need to stash a backup on the roster. 

Ishikawa was tearing it up at Norfolk, hitting .316/.413/.525 with 16 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBIs in 49 games. He was batting .331/.434/.568 against right-handed pitching, and all seven home runs have come off righties.  He was named the organization’s minor league player of the month for May after hitting .413 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in the month.

But the opt-out date in his contract was Sunday. He filed paperwork, and the Orioles had 48 hours in which to decide to bring him up, trade him, or release him.

The problem is a nice problem: Offense is not where the team needs the help. Offense at the DH position might be. Do you DH him? Do you DH him against righties, Wilson Betemit‘s normal role (or more accurately, his only productive role)? Do you play him at first on Sundays to rest Davis?

Those would appear to be the choices, and let’s reasonably say his numbers forced Duquette and Buck Showalter to find a spot for him. Duquette had until a midnight deadline to decide, and did late this afternoon by selecting Ishikawa’s contract from Norfolk. Showalter has him in the DH spot tonight. The team faces righthanders tonight (Justin Verlander) and Wednesday afternoon (Rick Porcello).

Let’s end the suspense about the new addition to Miguel Gonzalez’s family. Miguel and his wife, Lucia, are the proud parents of a baby girl, Leah, born Monday night at 9:20 p.m.

Now, about that Boston series. Taking three out of four was an above average result that anyone would have been glad to take coming into the series, even after one of the most disappointing losses of the season Saturday night.

The series gave the Orioles a net gain of one game on the Red Sox, 1 1/2 back, only to lose a half game with last night’s loss, heading into tonight’s action. The Red Sox are hosting Tampa Bay in a doubleheader today, and at this writing, rain was holding up the first game with the Sox leading, 4-1, in the 5th inning.