Kanekoa Texeira has been chosen for the Kansas City Royals' 25-player major league roster, the relief pitcher confirmed Sunday.
Texeira, who was raised in Kula and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama, will be one of three Maui-born major leaguers this year, joining Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino and Oakland Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki.
"I thought I had a good shot at making it, but in spring training you never know what can happen," Texeira said.
The 2011 season will be Texeira's second in the major leagues - he made his debut with the Seattle Mariners last year before being claimed by the Royals on outright waivers in June.
Texeira, a right-hander who turned 25 in February, has allowed one earned run over 9 2/3 innings in eight spring training appearances this March, and his 0.93 ERA is best among players still on the Royals' major league roster. He has one save.
He made his most recent appearance on Saturday and pitched a scoreless inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing two hits and striking out a batter. That was the first time he had pitched on a second consecutive day this spring - on Friday he recorded a perfect inning against the San Francisco Giants, striking out the last batter he faced.
"I knew that yesterday was going to be a deciding factor, to see if everything else was a fluke," Texeira said.
Last year, Texeira was 1-1 with a 4.84 ERA in 61 1/3 innings over 43 total games with Seattle and Kansas City, all in relief. With the Royals, he was 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in 42 2/3 innings over 27 appearances. He was on the disabled list from Aug. 28 through Sept. 23 with a strained elbow and did not pitch after being activated.
"I busted my tail off this offseason, and got into good shape," Texeira said. "It was the hardest offseason I've ever had. They told me last year that they wanted to know how I was when I was healthy. I told them I was going to show them."
The Royals have two spring training games left, and begin their regular season at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.
The Royals have reported on their website that they will carry 12 pitchers, but will open the season with eight relievers and four starters - the fifth starter, Vin Mazzaro, will begin the year in the minor leagues because three open dates in the first 11 days of April allow the team to use a four-pitcher rotation. The site said a pitcher would be dropped when Mazzaro joins the major league roster.
Texeira agreed to terms on a contract for 2011 last month. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
* Brad Sherman is at firstname.lastname@example.org