An additional opening on Washington’s 40-man roster has become available, as the Houston Astros announced early Thursday afternoon that they have claimed Brian Bixler off of waivers. Bixler will give the Astros depth and will likely get a shot at more playing time than had he stayed with the Nationals heading into 2012.
In 2011 the 29 year-old appeared in 79 games for the Nationals. He batted .205/.267/.265 in 94 plate appearances. He also has some brief Major League experience with the Pirates, batting .178/.238/.237 in 166 plate appearances between 2008 and 2009. His value is tied into his defensive versatility – appearing at all three outfield positions, third base, shortstop, and first base during the 2011 season.