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Pauley is in the running to start at third base for the Padres while Manny Machado (elbow) is limited to designated hitter duty, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Machado will not be ready to play third for the team's March 20-21 series in South Korea against the Dodgers and perhaps for a bit longer than that. That opens up some playing time at the hot corner, with Pauley, Matthew Batten and Eguy Rosario in the mix, per Acee. Pauley is not on the 40-man roster, has yet to advance past Double-A San Antonio and is not a strong defender, factors which could work against him cracking the Opening Day roster. However, he's forced himself into the conversation this spring by putting up a 1.012 OPS with one home run in 12 games. The 23-year-old slashed an impressive .308/.393/.539 with 23 home runs and 22 stolen bases over three minor-league levels in 2023.

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