LOS ANGELES -- When Triple-A Albuquerque outfielder Xavier Paul received a phone call at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, he was greeted with great news -- he was getting called up to the Majors for the first time in his career.
But what Paul didn't find out until he arrived in Los Angeles from Oklahoma City was that Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for use of a performance-enhancing drug.
Paul, who was batting .344 with nine doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs in 25 Minor Leagues games, said he was surprised by the news, but that it also allows him a chance to make an impact at the Major League level.
"It's sad for me under these circumstances, but it's also an opportunity to take advantage of it as best as I can and as long as I can," said Paul, who hit .308 with a home run and 12 RBIs in 33 Spring Training games.
Paul, however, hit into an inning-ending double play in his first Major League at-bat when he pinch-hit for left-hander Randy Wolf in the sixth inning.
For now, though, Juan Pierre is Ramirez's replacement in left field, and Pierre was in the lineup on Thursday and was batting ninth behind Wolf. Pierre didn't want to talk about the situation with reporters before the Dodgers played the Nationals at Dodger Stadium.
"I pray for him and his family to get through this," Pierre said. "I wish him the best and that's all I got."