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February 21, 2009

Saturday spring update, Benson arrives

Kris 1 

          Ron Jenkins/Star-Telegram

Right-hander Kris Benson wasted no time getting into the mix Saturday. He participated in pop-up drills and then stepped in and threw batting practice for 10 minutes. He said he feels like he's 24 again after rotator cuff surgery and biceps tendinitis the past two seasons, and he made it clear that he plans to be in the Rangers' rotation on Opening Day.

"I'm definitely going to be aggressive this year and set my sights on making this rotation," said Benson, the No. 1 overall draft choice in 1996 who pitched in the minor leagues last year. "I paid my dues last year. I know what it takes. I have nothing in the back of my mind about being in the minors."

The Rangers watched Benson pitch three times -- the last of which was Monday -- before signing him to a minor-league deal that includes a May 5 opt-out date.

-- Jeff Wilson

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