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Mariners Announce Starting Rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz - Seattle Mariners manager John McLaren has announced the order of his rotation to start the 2008 season.

      At the team's spring training headquarters in Peoria, Ariz., McLaren today said that right-hander Carlos Silva will be the No. 3 starter followed by veteran left-hander Jarrod Washburn and right-hander Miguel Batista.

      McLaren made the announcement following several days of discussions with the team's new pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre.  He previously said left-hander Erik Bedard and right-hander
Felix Hernandez would be the Mariners' top two starters.    

     Silva signed a $48 million, four-year contract with the Mariners during the offseason.

      All five starting pitchers won at least 10 games in 2007.

      Silva went 13-14 with a 4.19 earned run average in 33 starts for Minnesota last season, while Washburn was 10-15 with a 4.32 ERA for the Mariners.

      The 37-year-old Batista led Seattle in wins last season, going 16-11 with a 4.29 ERA. Along with starting, Batista has pitched in relief every season since 1997, which gives the Mariners
flexibility should they have to skip his turn in the rotation or if the team's bullpen gets thin.