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Paul adds speed to Pirates' bench

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Friday, April 29, 2011

• The Pirates wanted to add speed to their bench and figured outfielder Xavier Paul, whom they claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers, is an upgrade over Alex Presley, who's at Triple-A Indianapolis. "We're giving a player with some major league time and a longer Triple-A pedigree the first shot at it," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It'll probably heighten Alex's awareness that, 'I could be that guy. I need to keep doing what I'm doing.' "

• Utilityman John Bowker was designated for assignment to clear space on the roster for Paul. Bowker got caught in a logjam on the depth chart. "He was my third left fielder, my third right fielder, my third first baseman," Hurdle said.

• Paul, 26, broke into the majors as a bench player. "I played behind a lot of great players — Juan Pierre, Garret Anderson, Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake," Paul said. "A lot of times, you learn more sitting on the bench than you do out on the field. I picked those guys' brains a lot. Maybe I can bring a little positive attitude, baserunning, defense, hit a little bit. Whatever role they want me to play, that's what I'm here to do."

• The Dodgers' ownership situation seems chaotic from afar, but Paul said it is not affecting the players. "Being in that clubhouse, from a player's perspective, you'd never know that ownership stuff is going on," he said. "Of course, you hear about it all the time, but I don't think it's affecting anybody's play. They're just trying to win ballgames."

• To make space at Class-A West Virginia for right-hander Jameson Taillon, righty Brooks Pounders was transferred to extended spring training.

Additional Information:

Scouting report

Pirates at Rockies

8:40 p.m. today, Coors Field, Denver

TV/radio: Root Sports/WPGB-FM (104.7), WCNS-AM (1480), WJPA-AM (1450), Pirates Radio Network, XM 184

Probable starters: Pirates RHP Kevin Correia (3-2, 3.48) vs. Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-1, 2.67)

Next: 8:10 p.m. Saturday at Rockies

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