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04/01/10 5:38 PM ET

Mariners send Olson to Minors

Lefty heads to Tacoma after injury-plagued spring

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners broke camp on Thursday and traveled to Albuquerque for a two-game series against the Rockies, but left-hander Garrett Olson remained in Arizona.

He was sent to the Minor Leagues Thursday morning.

A finger injury suffered during PFP (pitcher's fielding practice) limited Olson's workload to 3 1/3 innings this spring. He surrendered eight earned runs, which calculates to a 21.60 ERA.

"I didn't get to pitch much, and when I did, I wasn't dazzling," he said. "You know, I certainly didn't deserve to make this team out of Spring Training."

Olson reported to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday to start his pursuit of getting back to the Major Leagues.

"The injury set me back, but I got to pitch in an intrasquad game and I was pleased," he said. "I have been working on a few things with [pitching coach Rick Adair], and I feel like I am a better pitcher now than coming into Spring Training or even last season."

The one-inning stint (three earned runs) was the first time he had faced hitters since March 13.

Olson, acquired from the Cubs for pitcher Aaron Heilman on Jan. 28, 2009, appeared in 31 games, including 11 starts, with the Mariners last season, posting a 3-5 record and 5.60 ERA. He also made nine starts for Tacoma, going 2-3 with a 4.94 ERA.

His departure leaves 31 players in camp. The roster must be reduced to 25 players on Sunday and look for the roster to include non-roster invitee Mike Sweeney, all-purpose reserve Matt Tuiasosopo and Rule 5 Draft selection Kanekoa Texeira.

Mariners make rough Arizona exit

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Some of the areas manager Don Wakamatsu was most concerned about entering Spring Training turned out to be better than he might have expected.

He is satisfied that the inexperienced duo of Rob Johnson and Adam Moore can handle the catching load, the infield defense is solid and the long relief has fallen into place nicely.

"I feel pretty good where we're at," the second-year manager said after Thursday's 9-4 Cactus League loss to the White Sox at Peoria Stadium. "I like what's going on with our catching, Felix [Hernandez] looks as good as I've seen him, [Jason] Vargas is throwing the ball well, I'm happy with the infield defense and I like the long guys in the bullpen."

Getaway day had some bumps, however.

Right-hander Ian Snell, who will start the second game of the regular season, was shaky to say the least. He surrendered 10 hits and six earned runs in five innings.

"Snell got in 79 pitches and wasn't real sharp," Wakamatsu said. "I'm not sure if was the competition, or getting ready to get out of here. His location wasn't very good."

A White Sox lineup filled with Minor League players went on a hitting spree, beginning with a three-run first inning.

The veteran was up in the strike zone way too often and ended up throwing his final 21 pitches in the bullpen, just so he could get his pitch count up to 90.

"You don't know with these guys what you're going to get until the lights come on," Wakamatsu said.

Snell ended camp with a 1-4 record and 7.13 ERA.

Back-to-back Rookies of the Year

PEORIA, Ariz. -- For the second consecutive season, the Mariners have the Peoria Sports Complex Rookie of the Year, which was announced on Thursday.

Right-handed reliever Kaneko Texeira was named the top rookie among first-year players from the Mariners and Padres, who began sharing the Spring Training facility in 1994.

Texeira, following in the footsteps of 2009 winner Matt Tuiasosopo, posted a 1-0 record and 0.64 ERA in 10 Cactus League appearances, allowing just one earned run in 14 innings. The Maui native was a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Yankees organization in December.

Texeira becomes the third Mariners player selected for the award, which debuted in 2002. Jeremy Reed was the first, in 2005.

The award is presented annually by the Peoria Diamond Club. Players must be eligible for the American or National League Rookie of the Year.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.