Mike Paul

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Michael George Paul

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Biographical Information[edit]

Mike Paul was drafted in the 20th round of the 1967 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians out of the University of Arizona. He had success in the minors and in less than two years was in a big league uniform. In 1967, he spent time with the Reno Silver Sox and Portland Beavers. With the Silver Sox, he went 3-2 with a 1.63 ERA. In 72 innings (9 games), he struck out 103 batters. He didn't do as well with the Beavers, going 2-4 with a 3.94 ERA with them. However, he did strike out 37 batters in 32 innings of work. Overall, Paul went 5-6 with a 2.34 ERA. He struck out 140 batters in 104 innings of work (18 games).

Paul again pitched for Reno in 1968, going 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 4 games (33 innings). He was called up to the major leagues and on May 27th, he made his big league debut. He performed well in his first appearance, going 2 2/3 innings, striking out 4 (including the first batter he faced, Frank Kostro), allowing only one hit and earning the save against the Minnesota Twins. Overall, Paul went 5-8 with a 3.93 ERA in 91 2/3 innings of work in his rookie season. He allowed only 72 hits in 36 games (7 starts) and he walked 35 batters.

Despite posting a 3.61 ERA for the 62-99 Indians in 1969, his record was only 5-10. In 47 games (12 starts), he struck out 98 batters. He went only 2-8 with a 4.81 ERA in 30 games (15 starts) in 1970. His performance was so unimpressive in fact that he spent 10 games in the minors with the Wichita Aeros, with whom he went 6-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 71 innings of work. In 1971, he went only 2-7 with a 5.95 ERA in 17 games (12 starts), and he again spent time with Wichita, going 6-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 17 games (107 innings).

On December 2, 1971, Paul was traded with Roy Foster, Rich Hand and Ken Suarez to the Texas Rangers for Del Unser, Denny Riddleberger, Terry Ley and Gary Jones.

Paul had the best year of his career with Texas in 1972, going 8-9 with a 2.17 ERA in 49 games (20 starts). In 161 2/3 innings, he allowed only 149 hits, and he struck out 108 batters. His 2.17 ERA was sixth best in the American League, and his 139 Adjusted ERA+ was sixth-best as well.

He began the 1973 season with the Rangers, going 5-4 with a 4.95 ERA in 36 games (10 starts). On August 31st, he was sent to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later, who ended up being Larry Gura. He made 11 appearances (1 start) for the Cubs that year, going 0-1 with a 3.44 ERA. Overall, Paul went 5-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 1973.

1974 ended up being Paul's final season in the major leagues. He appeared in only 2 games in the early days of the season, allowing 4 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings of work for a 27.00 ERA. He played his final game on April 16th, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After being released by the Cubs, Paul played in the Mexican League until 1982.

Paul was a minor league pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1986. He was bullpen coach of the Oakland A's in 1987-1988, and pitching coach of the Seattle Mariners from 1989 to 1991. He was named advance scout for the Athletics in 1992 and the Rangers in 1995.

Paul is most similar to John Henry Johnson, according to the similarity scores method (through August, 2008).

Further Reading[edit]

  • Wayne Strumpfer: "Mike Paul", in Steve West and Bill Nowlin, eds.: The Team That Couldn't Hit: The 1972 Texas Rangers, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2019, pp. 182-185. ISBN 978-1-943816-93-4

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