Fisher Filling the Void

BUFFALO, NY - The job of a minor league utility player is to be ready at any time to play where and when needed. For Buffalo infielder Michael Fisher, that sentiment has never been truer than in the last few weeks. Fisher, who has played at every long-season level since joining the organization in 2010, is now in Buffalo, filling the void of those called up to New York.

It was a night just like any other for Michael Fisher on May 11. His Binghamton Mets just came out on the wrong end of a 10-8 marathon game in which he went 1-for-4 with two runs scored. Fisher started getting ready for the B-Mets trip to New Jersey to take on Trenton when he got the news.

He'd been called up to Buffalo and the very next day he would play his first ever game at the Triple-A level, at 26 years old.

When he finally arrived to the ballpark it wasn't shocking that he was dealing with some jitters.

"I got here right before batting practice started and I was a little anxious," Fisher said. "Obviously it's the same game wherever you go but with a promotion there's always the nerves that go along with it."

Fisher used his first game in Triple-A as a launching point for one of the most surprising stories in the Mets organization in recent years. He went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his debut for the Bisons.

Buffalo manager Tim Teufel wasn't surprised to see Fisher have a strong game.

"I had Fisher last year in Double-A and he's a quiet kid that goes about his business," Teufel said. "He's a switch hitter and he's good from the left side. Today he had a nice day."

The ups and downs of a minor leaguers career is one of the reasons baseball is such a unique game. The journey most guys take to make it tends to make the milestones all the more significant for guys who have put in the time.

"It was a little tough to sleep last night, even though we had a long game last night [in Binghamton]," Fisher said. "I found out right when I got here that I'd be starting. I was excited and ready to go. It was fun to be out there."

There's no doubt that Fisher was a nice story on his first night in Buffalo, but the way he's sustained the success is what should interest Mets fans.

In just 10 games with the Bisons, Fisher is hitting .378, has 14 hits, and has six RBI. He recorded four consecutive multi-hit games last week as well, before his six-game hit streak was snapped on Sunday.

"Fish has been swinging the bat well," Teufel said. "He's hitting … outstanding for a guy coming up from Double-A… As long as he keeps swinging it well, he'll find himself in the lineup."

Teufel thinks his great performance in Buffalo is a direct result of his strong play with the B-Mets to start the season. In 23 games with Binghamton, Fisher hit .281 with eight doubles, three home runs, and 12 RBI.

Fisher has taken advantage of the opportunity to play every day in Buffalo. He's had to pinch himself at times over the course of the past 10 games, but he continues to believe in his abilities.

"This has been just a great opportunity and that's how I've looked at it," Fisher said. "I said I was going to give it my best and that's all I can do…It's been surprising but you just have to trust yourself out there. I guess just stay within yourself. That's all I've been trying to do since I started with the Mets [organization]."

Fisher's ability to adapt is never more impressive than watching how he plays in the field. He has played first, second and third base this season and takes an interesting approach to the utility role.

"It's kind of fun [not knowing where you're going to play from day to day]," Fisher said. "You have to be ready every day because you don't know which position you're going to play. Once you see what position you're going to play in the lineup you get the mindset to get out there, take ground balls, and go at it."

Part of what makes Fisher successful is his attitude. He never gets too high or too low. He is aware that he's only one call away from the big leagues now, and he is taking notice of all the resources he has in Buffalo while he waits for that call and continues his assault on the International League.

"Every guy in that locker room is one call away and it settled in [mentally] right when I got here," Fisher said. "You're in there with guys that have been in the big leagues and you see how they go about their business. It's a great thing to watch and to be around."

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