Xavier Paul's Down ... But Hardly Out

Xavier Paul of the Pittsburgh Pirates jumps up in the air along the warning track to catch a fly ball against the Chicago Cubs during the game on August 4, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Pirates just added six players to their 40-man roster.

There's a pretty good chance that you've never heard of any of the six, unless you're a Pirates fan or a serious prospect hound. Because they're all young with exactly zero time in the majors. But they've been added because if they weren't, they would be exposed in the Rule 5 draft that happens at the Winter Meetings in a few weeks.

But adding those six pushes the Pirates' 40-man roster to 40 men, which means somebody had to go ...

The Pirates have also designated outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher Eric Fryer for assignment.

Jeez, you might almost think there isn't a place for a 27-year-old outfielder with a .288 career on-base percentage.

Still, this might not be the end for the fourth Xavier in Major League Baseball history. Paul does sport a .320/.380/.502 career Triple-A line, and while park adjustments would knock those numbers down two or three pegs, I suspect we've not quite seen the last of him.

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