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Benoit confident he'll be ready for season

Veteran says he feels healthy, expects to throw bullpen session Monday
MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit expects to throw another bullpen session Monday and is optimistic that five or six Cactus League appearances next month will have him ready for the start of the Mariners' season in April.

Benoit, 38, who has been limited by a tight hamstring and back, threw his first bullpen Friday and said he's feeling completely healthy. He anticipates throwing live batting practice soon.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit expects to throw another bullpen session Monday and is optimistic that five or six Cactus League appearances next month will have him ready for the start of the Mariners' season in April.

Benoit, 38, who has been limited by a tight hamstring and back, threw his first bullpen Friday and said he's feeling completely healthy. He anticipates throwing live batting practice soon.

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Benoit will serve as the club's primary right-handed setup guy in front of closer Steve Cishek, but he says he can still close if needed.

• Mariners counting on Benoit's veteran presence in 'pen

"I'm just preparing myself for the season, and I know how to get ready," said Benoit, who is entering his 15th big league season. "I don't plan on breaking any records this year. We have Cishek for that. He's young and has a good arm. My thing now is helping the team win any way I can. I've been a setup guy for five or six years now, and I know how to do the job."

Benoit went 6-5 with a 2.34 ERA in 67 games with San Diego last season. He has 49 saves in the past eight seasons. He missed all of 2009 while recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Joaquin Benoit