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Paul has a career line of .233/.280/.329 in 160 major league plate appearances. His Triple-A totals (.320/.380/.502 in 885 plate appearances) are more impressive, however came within the Pacific Coast League, which is notorious for inflating offense. PECOTA is optimistic that some of Paul’s minor league success can translate over, with a weighted mean projection of .269/.321/.408. Paul can serve as a useful bench player should he produce up to that projection.
Paul’s role with the Pirates is difficult to decipher at this time. Pittsburgh already has Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen playing daily in left and center field with Matt Diaz and Garrett Jones locked in a right field timeshare. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates moved Olsen to the 60-day DL, but they still have to make a 25-man roster move, with signs pointing to John Bowker as the odd-man out.
Bowker, a left-handed bat himself, has yet to make a start this season and has the fewest plate appearances of active Pirates position players. Paul provides a defensive upgrade and the Pirates already have Lyle Overbay to play first base and bat lefty. Alternatively, the Pirates could part with Steve Pearce or roll with 11 pitchers—although the latter seems unlikely.