Bixler returns to big leagues; Gonzalez on DL

Bixler returns to big leagues; Gonzalez on DL

Bixler returns to big leagues; Gonzalez on DL
CHICAGO -- Utility infielder Brian Bixler returned to the Astros from Triple-A Oklahoma City, after infielder Marwin Gonzalez went on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised right heel on Friday.

"I'm excited to be back up," Bixler said before Friday night's Interleague series opener against the White Sox. "It's definitely good news when you're coming back to the big leagues. I'm going to take each day as it's worth, and whatever my role is that day, I'll come in and be ready. Whether it's starting or off the bench, or whatever position it is."

Bixler, who's played with Pittsburgh, Washington and Houston since being drafted in 2004 by the Pirates, has made the move from the Majors to Triple-A and back multiple times.

"The best thing going down and coming back up is getting more at-bats and staying comfortable, instead of not getting as many appearances," Bixler said. "I've done it for a few years, so I'm kind of used to it."

Bixler was hitting .302 in 45 games at Oklahoma City, adding six stolen bases and three home runs. He's played in six games for the Astros this season, most recently on April 28 against the Reds, and provides the Astros a player with experience across the infield and in the outfield.

"Any time that you get a guy like that who can run, he can play every position on the field, he just adds a lot to us because of that," said manager Brad Mills.

Gonzalez didn't break a bone in his heel, but Mills described the heel as tender, swollen and bruised badly.

"The doctors told us that he would definitely be out a minimum of 10 days," Mills said. "Hopefully, he's able to at least play catch to keep his arm stronger, but it's going to be tough to have him ready to play."