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Notes: Rule 5 pick could be staying put

Notes: Rule 5 pick could be staying put

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rule 5 draft pick Sean White did his part Thursday afternoon to show the Mariners that he belongs in the Major Leagues.

The right-hander also showed it to someone else.

"I feel like I proved to myself that I can pitch against big-league batters and be successful," White said after surrendering one run and one hit in three innings against San Diego at Peoria Stadium.

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The Mariners fielded a lineup filled with Minor League players and lost their final Cactus League game to the Padres, 6-1. But White might have clinched a spot in the Seattle bullpen.

"I don't know much about what's going on other than I'm flying to Vegas," White said.

He'll join the team that played in San Francisco on Thursday night and end the spring with games against the Cubs on Friday and Saturday at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

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As a Rule 5 draft choice, White must be on the Mariners' 25-man roster out of Spring Training or else be offered back to the Braves for $25,000. That is the amount Seattle paid the Pirates, who selected White from Atlanta in December.

"This is definitely where I want to be," White said.

White, 25, was born in Pullman, Wash., and grew up on Mercer Island, just east of downtown Seattle.

To be introduced during Monday's Opening Day festivities at Safeco Field prior to the game against the Athletics "would definitely be a great feeling," White said. "I would be home playing in front of my family and friends."

White retired the first six batters he faced Thursday, walked the first two batters in the third inning and surrendered a run-scoring single before a double play got him out of further trouble. He suffered the loss, but still finished camp with a 1.59 ERA.

"I wanted to keep it going," White said. "You always have to continue proving yourself and getting outs."

Another cut: Right-handed reliever Jon Huber was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after working three innings against the Padres. That leaves 16 pitchers vying for 12 Opening Day roster spots. Huber, 25, pitched in 16 games for the Mariners last season, going 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA. He was 2-1 with a 9.75 ERA in nine Cactus League outings this spring.

On deck: The Mariners are in Las Vegas on Friday for a 7:05 p.m. PT game against the Cubs. Right-hander Miguel Batista makes his final spring start, and closer J.J. Putz is scheduled to pitch his third -- and final -- inning of Spring Training.

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

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