Michael George Paul (born April 18, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1968 to 1974 for the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.
Drafted in the 20th round of the 1967 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona by the Indians, Paul 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 (nine 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 strikeout 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 four games (33 innings). He was called up to the major leagues and on May 27, he made his big league debut. He performed well in his first appearances, going 22⁄3 innings, striking out four (including the first batter he faced, Frank Kostro), allowing only one hit and earning the save. Overall, Paul went 5–8 with a 3.93 ERA in 912⁄3 innings of work in his rookie season. He allowed only 72 hits in 36 games (seven 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 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 1612⁄3 innings, he allowed only 149 hits, and he struck out 108 batters. His 2.17 ERA was sixth best in the 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 31, he was sent to the Cubs for a player to be named later, which ended up being Larry Gura. He made 11 appearances (one 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 would end up being Paul's final season in the major leagues. He appeared in only two games, allowing four earned runs in 11⁄3 innings of work for a 27.00 ERA. He played his final game on April 16, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After being released by the Cubs, Paul played in the Mexican League until 1982.
In his major league career, Paul went 27–48 with a 3.91 ERA in 228 appearances (77 starts). In 6272⁄3 innings, he walked 246 batters and struck out 452. As a batter, Paul hit .115 in 148 at-bats.
- ^ Shropshire, Mike (2005). Seasons in Hell. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-9277-5.
- ^ ?, ? (n.d.). ProMex Sports. T. Hernandez.
By Dean Hanley
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