Trio from Maui on opening day rosters?
By Fred Guzman
Opening Day is right around the corner – on Sunday, April 4, to be exact – and three Maui boys are likely be wearing major-league uniforms to start the season.
Two of them are givens. Shane Victorino is an All-Star and Gold Glove centerfielder for the the two-time defending National League champion Phillies, who won it all two years ago.
Kurt Suzuki is a productive starting catcher for the Oakland A’s.
The big question revolves around the status of Kanekoa Texeira. The right-handed reliever is making a compelling case for earning a spot Seattle’s roster and a prominent role in the Mariners bullpen.
Through last week, Texeira had compiled a dazzling 0.75 ER while working 12 innings in 10 spring appearances, allowing just one run, seven hits and three walks while striking out seven.
As a Rule 5 draft pick, Texeira would have to be offered back to the Yankees if he doesn’t make the 25-man squad. At rate he’s going, that shouldn’t be a consideration.
The start of Victorino’s exhibition appearances were delayed by a sore shoulder, but the switch-hitter is batting .314 with one homer, four runs and two RBI in 12 games while adjusting to being dropped for second to seventh in the lineup after the off-season signing of Placido Polanco.
In addition to being solid with the glove and accurate with his arm, Suzuki was productive at the plate last season, driving in a team-high 88 RBI. He’s batting .216 with two homers and seven RBI this spring. He’s expected to bat fifth in Oakland’s lineup.
UH RECAP: Three University of Hawaii teams were in action on Friday, and only one of them emerged victorious.
The Rainbow Wahine opened their WAC softball campaign with a 3-2, 10-inning victory over visiting San Jose State. The win improved UH’s overall record to 23-11.
Second-ranked Pepperdine swept the UH men’s volleyball team 30-26, 34-32, 30-26 in the first of two MPSF matches at Firestone Fieldhouse. Fifth-ranked Hawai’i (14-8, 10-7 MPSF) had its three-match win streak snapped and fell two matches behind the conference-leading Waves (13-5, 11-4).
Sophomore right-hander Noe Ramirez pitched a five-hitter and struck out 14 and Cal State Fullerton beat Hawai’i, 3-0, to take the opener of a three-game series at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif.
GOLF Michelle Wie fired a 5-under-par 67 Friday to move into contention after two rounds of the LPGA’s Kia Classic at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. Wie was is at 5-under 139 and in a four-way tie for third place, two shots behind leader Hee Kyung Seo, who shot a bogey-free 67 for a 137 total. … Tadd Fujikawa shot a 2-under-par 70 to maintain a two-stroke lead after the third round and will go after his first eGolf Professional Tour victory on Saturday at the Golf in Morocco Classic. Fujikawa, who was at 13-under 202, had an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys at Columbia Country Club in Blythewood, S.C.