Ervin Santana could pitch for Dominicans in Classic

Updated: February 18, 2006, 8:40 PM ET
Associated Press

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

Ervin Santana

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.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press