On Sunday, the same day the New York Yankees lost a 2-1 stunner to the Baltimore Orioles, the Bronx Bombers announced, via Twitter that they have claimed left-handed batter Travis Ishikawa off waivers from the O’s. Ishikawa, who was designated for assignment on June 29th, will serve as the backup for Lyle Overbay at first base.
Kevin Youkilis was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Ishikawa on the 40-man roster. When Ishikawa reports to New York on Monday, the Yankees will make a corresponding move to add him to the 25-man roster. David Adams was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
After Mark Teixeira was placed on the disabled list with a wrist injury that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season, Overbay has been the only true first baseman on the roster. Vernon Wells has been fielding ground balls at first, but is yet to ever play the position in his major league career.
Before being called up by the Orioles on June 18th, Ishikawa had a batting average of .316, to go along with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 49 games for Triple-A Norfolk.
Throughout his six-year big league career, Ishikawa has played for the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles. While he went just 2-for-17 this season in Baltimore, he is a career .260 hitter.
Ishikawa will most likely not be a game-changer, but the Yankees need as much offensive help as they can get with many of their stars still sidelined with injuries.