Texeira Finds Himself in Big-League Limbo
By Fred Guzman
Kanekoa Texeira knows all about that. At age 25, the right-handed reliever from Kula has already been with four organizations. He’s now hoping he can find a fifth after being designated for assignment earlier this week by the Kansas City Royals.
That means Texeira can be claimed off the waiver wire by other major-league teams. If Texeira clears waivers, he could be re-signed by the Royals and again be assigned to one of their minor-league teams.
Texeira originally signed with the Chicago White Sox out of junior college in 2006. He moved the New York Yankees farm system as a small part of a larger trade and was later claimed by the Seattle Mariners in the Rule 5 draft.
He began the 2010 season on Seattle’s roster, was placed on waivers in mid-season and claimed by the Royals.
Texeira opened this season on Kansas City’s roster. Although he had a 2.84 ERA, he gave up 13 hits and three walks in 6.1 innings over six relief appearances. He was shipped to Triple-A Omaha atbout a month ago, where he struggled, going 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in 10.2 innings.
That leaves Maui with two big-leaguers, and have become established players. Philadelphia center fielder Shane Victorino has won a couple of Gold Gloves and has started in an All-Star Game. Kurt Suzuki is the firmly entrenched starting catcher for the Oakland Athletics.
Suzuki’s path to the majors was smooter than Victorino’s.
Victorino signed out of St. Anthony with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who picked him in the sixth round of the 1999 drafted. He broke into the bigs with San Diego in 2004, was demoted, and eventually landed in Philadelphia. He was spot duty with the Phillies in 2005 and has been a regular since 2006.
Victorino is currently nursing a sore hamstring that landed him on the 15-day disabled list, but has been one of Philadelphia’s most consistent performers. Vicorino is currently batting .284 with six homers, 25 runs, 19 RBI and eight steals.
Following graduation from Baldwin, Suzuki played at Cal State Fullerton, earning national recognition for helping the Titans to the 2004 College World Series title.
Oakland drafted him in the second round and Suzuki made a quick trip up the minor-league ladder. Suxuki was promoted to the big team in July 2007, took over the starting position a month later and his since entrenched himself as team’s starting catcher. Last summer, he signed a four-year extension with the A’s valued at $16.25 million.
After a slow start, Suzuki’s numbers have been steadily rising. He’s currently batting .254 with four homers and 13 RBI.