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Dodgers activate Andre Ethier, send down Xavier Paul

May 31, 2010 |  5:22 pm

Xavierpaul_300 Xavier Paul, see ya. See ya, soon?

Well, it’s not exactly scheduled, but at least he’s made it seem inevitable.

Paul, as completely expected, was sent back to triple-A Albuquerque prior to Monday’s game against the Diamondbacks to make room for the activation of Andre Ethier.

Paul wasn’t exactly lights out in his second stint this season with the Dodgers, but he was certainly much more good than bad. Certainly good enough that the next time the Dodgers need to call up an outfielder he is the obvious candidate.

Paul is 25 and does a lot of things very well. He’ll hit, collect extra-base hits, put down the bunt and run the bases well. The only thing missing offensively is true home-run power. He’ll get a few, but he’s never going to be the 30-home run guy you’d prefer in a corner outfielder.

Defensively, he’s all over the place. Looking like he doesn’t have a baseball instinct in him one moment, and then making a terrific play the next. Still, he’ll make a lot more good plays than bad.

He hit .286 with a double and five RBIs in his 10 games since being called up May 18 when Ethier went on the disabled list.

He may not be a franchise player, but he’s 25 and versatile and figures to only get better with the additional regular playing time he’ll get at Albuquerque. At some point, he’ll be back.

--Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers outfielder Xavier Paul flies out against the Cubs in Chicago last week. Credit: Tannen Maury / EPA