Orioles designate Ishikawa, recall Jurrjens
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles designated infielder Travis Ishikawa for assignment prior to Saturday's game against the Yankees and recalled right-hander Jair Jurrjens from Triple-A Norfolk to take Ishikawa's roster spot and add length in the bullpen.
Baltimore now has 10 days to trade or release Ishikawa, and it will try to deal him, since the division-rival the Yankees have heavy interest. If Ishikawa clears waivers, he could opt to become a free agent.
"He's a better hitter than he's shown here. I think we know that," manager Buck Showalter said of Ishikawa, who went 2-for-17 and spelled first baseman Chris Davis this season.
"I can't fault [the decision] for them," said Ishikawa, who wishes he had performed better in his short stint. "I understand it's a business. They've got to make the move that's going to best benefit them. Would I rather have been here longer? Yeah. This is a great group of guys. The coaching staff is awesome. Everything about this place is a lot of fun.
"Nothing I can really do about it except wait and see what happens."
The 29-year-old Ishikawa was added to the roster on June 18, avoiding an opt-out clause in his contract that would have allowed him to become a free agent. Ishikawa, who signed a Minor League deal with the Orioles over the offseason, had an impressive season at Triple-A Norfolk, hitting .316/.413/.525 with seven homers and 31 RBIs. He reached base safely in 32 straight games and 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.
Jurrjens will serve as a long man behind lefty Zach Britton, Saturday's starter. With rookies T.J. McFarland and Kevin Gausman both going multiple innings on Friday night, the Orioles need coverage in the event of a short start. But with second baseman Brian Roberts in Baltimore and scheduled to be activated from the disabled list on Sunday, Jurrjens' stay could be very brief.
"He had a short outing, he's had two days off," Showalter said of Jurrjens, who pitched on Wednesday night. "He's ready to go. He was the most ready. [There were a few] other guys we considered. This worked the best."
Jurrjens has pitched in one game for the Orioles this season, starting versus Tampa Bay on May 18 and allowing four runs on six hits over five innings.
"It's still the same," Jurrjens said of his job out of the bullpen versus starting. "Get people out. Whether you are starting or relieving, you still have to get the job done. And whenever the phone rings and it's my name, I'll try to get ready as quick as possible and try to get the job done."