Happy New Year! Two More Minor Leaguers Signed
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The Blue Jays signed a couple more minor league pitchers in the past couple of weeks who we didn’t report on and now that we have some time, it’s time to report!
The two pitchers of note were Gabe Noyalis, a righty who hasn’t played competitively for three years and Brandon Bixler, a lefty who turned 24.
Noyalis’s story is one that will, I’m sure, be told in greater detail in the coming months (especially as spring training approaches). He walked away from the game after his sophomore year at Misericordia College in which he had a stellar 1.88 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 38 1/3 innings mostly as a reliever with 11 walks and 26 strikeouts. It looks like he transferred to Misericordia after a year at Bucknell, pitching just 8 1/3 innings there. A story on Noyalis by Jon Girardi in the Sun Gazette suggests that it wasn’t until after Noyalis left baseball in college that he hit the weights, adding size and strength and getting his fastball from the mid-to-high 80s into the low-to-mid 90s.
As for Brandon Bixler, the 24-year-old lefty was drafted in the 16th round of the 2013 draft by the Minnesota Twins and had parts of three years to pitch before he was released and caught on in the independent Atlantic League with the Bridgeport Bluefish last year.
With the limited resumes of both pitchers, I’d expect to see both of them in Lansing at some point in 2016 with Noyalis probably held back in extended spring training.
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