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Pirates get quick look at Paul, hope to use his speed

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Pirates get quick look at Paul, hope to use his speed · Notes, Quotes

Xavier Paul, freshly claimed on waivers from the Dodgers, was in uniform for the Pirates' 5-2 loss to San Francisco on Thursday at PNC Park, and he pronounced it a new start.

"I'm looking forward to it," Paul said. "I have a feeling of excitement now. I played behind a lot of great players in L.A. I picked those guys' brains a lot.

"Maybe I can bring a little positive attitude. Whatever role they want me to play that helps a team win, that's what I'm here to do."

Paul, 26, had a .290 career average in the minors, but is at .230 in 138 at-bats in the majors.

The Pirates have seen things on video in Paul's approach at the plate they believe they will be able to address, and they sound confident that he could be not only productive but also show some power over time.

But Paul's greatest attribute, and the one the Pirates found most attractive,

is his speed.

Manager Clint Hurdle has wanted from the outset to have an aggressive, running-type offense, but only Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata offer him realistic chances to take extra bases.

For now, Paul will be on the bench, which is where he was in Los Angeles pretty much from the time he was promoted.

"I was a younger guy who broke into the big leagues in a bench role," Paul said. "It was tough, but I think it did teach me is that I would rather break in here with that role because I already know how to do it.

"I think coming off the bench, if you do it the right way, you can learn a lot more watching than you can being out there on the field."

Paul's only appearance Thursday was as a pinch-hitter, and he struck out swinging through Brian Wilson's 94-mph fastball. Hurdle hinted that Paul could be used more on the coming trip to Colorado and San Diego, both of which have spacious outfields.

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2017 Team Leaders
AVGAndrew McCutchen , CF.273
HRAndrew McCutchen , CF26
RBIJosh Bell , 1B83
OBPDavid Freese , 3B.368
SLGAndrew McCutchen , CF.472
RAndrew McCutchen , CF88
SBStarling Marte , LF19
WGerrit Cole , SP12
ERAIvan Nova , SP4.14
WHIPGerrit Cole , SP1.24
KGerrit Cole , SP189
SVFelipe Rivero , RP18

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