LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers optioned outfielder Xavier Paul to Triple-A Albuquerque after Friday night's game with the Rockies to make room for Manny Ramirez, who returns from the disabled list Saturday. Before the game, the Dodgers returned pitcher John Ely to Albuquerque to make room for Jeff Weaver's return from the disabled list.
Paul went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and two strikeouts in the game, then got the news. Although it was expected, even by him, it wasn't easy to take.
"I don't fit here right now, that's it," Paul said after being consoled by teammates Casey Blake and Matt Kemp. "Right now, I just don't cut it here."
Paul said he was told by general manager Ned Colletti to work on his mental approach to the game "and being a big leaguer."
"To me, he's the boss, his opinion matters," said Paul. "As a player, I have to respect that. It's his team. At the end of the day, my thought is to keep working hard and keep playing like every day is my last. I know the situation with Manny coming back tomorrow. It is what it is. It's a decision they have to make."
Ramirez has been sidelined since April 23 with a strained right calf muscle. Paul was called up to replace him and hit .276 with one RBI, eight runs scored, five extra-base hits in 29 at-bats, three steals and seven strikeouts. The Dodgers were 5-1 in games Paul started and 4-0 when he led off.