Now that the busy 2013 offseason is over and the New York Mets have started spring training, a number of new players have joined the team. Over the next several weeks, the Mets 101 staff will introduce a "new" Met every day and break down what role they could play for the 2013 Mets as well as what their odds of making the trip north are. Today, we will introduce you to shortstop Brian Bixler.
Meet a "New" Met: Shortstop Brian Bixler
Previous Big League Stops: Pittsburgh Pirates (2004-2010), Cleveland Indians (2010), Pittsburgh Pirates (2010), Washington Nationals (2010-2011), Houston Astros (2011-2012).
Story: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2004, Brian Bixler spent the better part of his career in their farm system. While he did see some action in the majors, his stints were primarily short lived. In this time he played several positions for the Pirates and their minor league affiliates. Bixler would be traded by Pittsburgh to the Cleveland Indians for Jesus Brito and eventually be designated for assignment on March 17, 2010. Bixler was eventually traded back to the Pirates organization on July 11, 2010. While on his second stint with the Pirates he was once again apart of the minor league affiliates until being sold to the Washington Nationals on August 7, 2010. In 2011, he would get his most consistent action as a major league player, as he posted a .532 on-base plus slugging percentage (the top players in the game tend to hit in .900's), in 79 games. On November 3, 2011, the Houston Astros would claim Bixler off waivers. Bixler would go on to elect minor league free agency on October 2012 and on November 16, 2012, he would be signed by the New York Mets to a minor league contract including an invitation to Spring Training.
Status: Competing for spot on infield or outfield.
Odds of Heading North: 100%…on him.
What I mean by 100% of it being on him is it's completely up to his performance. He's already in Spring Training with the team and as a player who is not just a shortstop and can play multiple positions on the field, the Mets need a utility player. Since Scott Hairston is gone, the only player I can see taking time on the majors away from him, aside from Bixler himself, is outfielder Collin Cowgill. Even then, Bixler can play both the infield and the outfield. The only person that can keep Brian Bixler from getting time in the majors with the Mets is Bixler, as he will have every chance from now until the end of spring training to show he belongs.
Tags: Baseball, Brian Bixler, Cleveland Indians, Collin Cowgill, Houston Astros, Minor League, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Scott Hairston, Spring Training, Washington Nationals