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Tigers Add Three Pitchers

August 24, 2003

DETROIT (AP) _ The Tigers made several roster moves Sunday, calling up three minor-league pitchers and letting go popular knuckleballer Steve Sparks.

The Tigers recalled relievers Franklyn German and Fernando Rodney from Triple-A Toledo and purchased the contract of reliever Brian Schmack from Double-A Erie.

To make room for the trio, Detroit optioned catcher Matt Walbeck and reliever Eric Eckenstahler to Toledo and designated Sparks for assignment.

German was 2-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 31 games with Detroit before being sent to Toledo in late June. Rodney went 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in 12 midseason appearances.

Schmack, in his ninth minor league season, is making his first trip to the majors. He leads the Eastern League with 29 saves and has posted a 2.05 ERA in 57 innings for the SeaWolves.

The 38-year-old Sparks was 0-6 with a 4.72 ERA in 42 relief appearances this season. He spent his first three years in Detroit as a starter.

Walbeck and Eckenstahler are expected to be recalled when rosters expand to 40 players on Sept. 1.

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