DETROIT -- Up against a midnight deadline, the Orioles selected the contract of Travis Ishikawa prior to Tuesday's game against the Tigers and inserted him in the starting lineup as the designated hitter.
Ishikawa had exercised his opt-out clause and would have become a free agent if he wasn't promoted or traded before Wednesday. Placing Miguel Gonzalez on the paternity list for up to three days cleared a spot on the active roster. The Orioles designated Yamaico Navarro for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
"I've never dealt with the DH [in the Majors]," said Ishikawa, who is a career .257/.329/.428 hitter in five Major League seasons with San Francisco and Milwaukee.
"Down in Triple-A, I DH'd a couple of times, but this is a whole new league to me. It's like my first callup way back when, because everything seems so new -- new ballparks, pitchers I've never really seen before, so it will be a new experience."
Ishikawa was hitting .316/.413/.525 with 16 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBIs in 49 games with Triple-A Norfolk and was the International League Player of the Month in May. But given how well first baseman Chris Davis has performed, it has been tough to find Ishikawa a roster spot.
"I can't be upset," Ishikawa said. "We play the same position. He's the MVP of the league right now. When you're behind a guy like that, you can't expect to be getting a call sooner rather than later.
"In the end, I'm just glad that they were able to find a way to get up here. I really enjoyed being with these guys in Spring Training. It seems like a really good group of guys. Buck [Showalter] seems like a great manager. The coaches are just fantastic to be with. I'm just excited to work with all of them."
How long will Ishikawa stay? Gonzalez, who joined his wife, Lucia, for the birth of the couple's first child -- a daughter named Leah -- will meet the team in Toronto on Thursday night and will come off paternity leave on Friday. Ishikawa could be the corresponding move, or the team could decide to option another player since Ishikawa cannot be optioned to Triple-A and must be outrighted. Given his service time, he could refuse the outright assignment to the Minors and elect free agency.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.