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Ervin Santana could pitch for Dominicans in Classic

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Add another pitcher to the list of Angels
that could play in next month's World Baseball Classic.

Right-handed starter Ervin Santana told reporters Saturday that
he would consider an offer to play for his native Dominican
Republic.

Santana, 12-8 in his rookie season last year, is a shoe-in to be
one of five starters in manager Mike Scioscia's rotation this
season.

He was quoted in at least two published reports Friday as saying
that he would not participate in the WBC, hinting that the Angels
were strongly against it.

But the team said Santana was only told he could not pitch in
winter ball.

The 16-team WBC tournament runs March 3 through the 20th.

"If guys are healthy and want to pitch for their country, we're
going to support them," Scioscia said. "To play for your country
is a great honor."

Six Angels pitchers could miss the early part of spring training
if selected by their various countries.

Bartolo Colon (Dominican Republic), Frankie Rodriguez
(Venezuela) and Todd Shields (United States) will participate in
WBC tryouts. Santana, Kelvin Escobar (Venezuela) and J.C. Romero
(Dominican Republic) are awaiting word on whether they will get
tryouts.

"More than half of our pitching staff could be away for three
weeks," Scioscia said.