Mariners' Texeira One Of Five Rule 5 Survivors
SEATTLE — Kanekoa Texeira always had a chance to make the Seattle roster because, as a Rule 5 pickup from the Yankees, he had to make the roster or be offered back to New York.
But there weren't great expectations—not until Texeira got on the mounds of the Cactus League and put on a dominating performance all spring, ultimately making a big league roster for the first time.
The 24-year-old, originally a 22nd-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2006, went 1-0, 0.64 over 10 appearances in the Cactus League before being roughed up on April 2 in Albuquerque for three runs in one inning.
"I worked hard all off-season and came in hoping to open some eyes, put up some good numbers," Texeira said. "I won't lie—I never expected to have numbers like this. You get on a streak like this, you just want to keep it going."
He'll pitch middle and long relief for the Mariners after having made 41 appearances, six of them starts, for Double-A Trenton in the Yankees organization last year (9-6, 2.84).
Pitching coach Rick Adair worked all spring with Texeira on his changeup, to the point where near the end of the camp, manager Don Wakamatsu walked to up Texeira and said, "That's your out pitch now."
The owner of a mid-90s fastball, a sinker and a slider in addition to the rejuvenated changeup, Texeira was able to throw all his pitches for strikes this spring. And he had no trouble getting stretched out. He was able to throw three innings in a game, giving Wakamatsu the option to use him in long relief.
"About the middle of camp, I worried about jinxing myself, trying to do everything the same way," Texeira said. "The best thing I did was decide not to think. I just pitched. I'm a regular guy on a streak, and when I called my mom and dad with the news, they were more excited than I was."
• Outfielder James McOwen, who garnered headlines last year with a 45-game hitting streak for high Class A High Desert, may miss the 2010 season afer dislocating his left shoulder on April 2.
• Catcher Adam Moore, who got into just six games last year, displayed good defensive tendencies all spring and hit well to secure the backup catcher's job. That means catcher Josh Bard will start the season at Triple-A Tacoma.