Reports surfaced online Saturday that the Mariners are in the process of signing Federal Way product Travis Ishikawa to a minor league contract. The Mariners have not confirmed the signing, but both of the newspapers covering the team felt confident enough to run the story.
Ishikawa, 32, was The News Tribune’s Area Player of the Year after his senior season at Federal Way High School in 2002. He was drafted and signed by the San Francisco Giants.
He’s played in the major leagues for all or parts of eight seasons, seeing a lot of action in a reserve and pinch-hitting role.
Ishikawa also has lots of Triple-A experience, which includes PCL time with Fresno, Nashville, and in 2015 with Sacramento. He’s a career .279 hitter in Triple-A, with a .367 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging mark.
San Francisco Giants fans will always remember Ishikawa: he hit a walk-off three-run homer to end Game Five of the 2014 National League Championship Series and send the Giants on to the World Series. Here’s the video.
We should find out in the next few days if this deal is confirmed – he presumably has to pass a physical before any official announcement.
Hopefully the deal will be confirmed by Wednesday – that’s the day I have scheduled to preview the Rainiers corner infielder situation heading into spring training. Ishikawa plays first base and left field.
- Here’s the report on the Travis Ishikawa signing from The News Tribune.
- Potential Rainiers catcher Jesus Sucre suffered a broken bone in his leg while playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, and his status moving toward spring training is murky. Ryan Divish has more.
- The Mariners held a “hitting summit” for a collection of younger players down in Arizona last week, Shannon Drayer reports. Chris Taylor had some interesting things to say about it.
- Baseball America has an interesting story on the original scouting of Ken Griffey Jr.
- Former Rainiers pitcher Scott Atchison has retired from his long playing career – but he’s jumped right into a coaching/scouting role with the Cleveland Indians.
- More ex-Rainiers on the move, from Baseball America’s Minor League Transactions: Alex Liddi signed with Baltimore, and Mike Kickham went back to his original team the Giants.
- Ex-Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi is restructuring the Major League Scouting Bureau.
- In the PCL, we’ve got a new manager for the El Paso club: former catcher Rod Barajas is the new Chief Chihuahua.