The Washington Times - April 23, 2011, 03:10PM

PITTSBURGH — Making official the purchase of Brian Bixler’s contract from Triple-A Syracuse, the Nationals cleared space on their 40-man roster today by designating left-hander Lee Hyde for assignment.

Bixler, who was with the team in Pittsburgh before the rainout Friday, has played in 68 major league games, all with the Pirates, but was one of the best hitters this season at Triple-A Syracuse and can play a litany of positions, including third, short and second, along with outfield.

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Hyde was 1-0 with an 11.05 ERA in six relief appearances with Syracuse. Hyde spent the first four years of his career in the Braves organization, pitching well at the Double-A level in parts of three of those seasons, but struggling when he made the jump to Triple-A. 

Right-hander Garrett Mock appeared to be under consideration for removal from the 40-man after an abysmal start to the season at Triple-A, following a difficult year that included surgery for a cervical disc issue. Mock was 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA in three starts this season and allowed eight earned runs in his most recent appearance — a two-plus inning outing where he gave up four hits and walked seven, including issuing three with the bases loaded.

However, Mock was put on the 7-day minor league disabled list this morning with what is reportedly a groin issue.