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Tigers Release Lima, Paniagua

September 7, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Detroit Tigers released pitchers Jose Lima and Jose Paniagua on Saturday, and called up nine players from Triple-A Toledo.

The 29-year-old Lima went 37-18 for Houston from 1998-99, including a 21-win season in ’99. But the excitable right-hander, who refers to his starts as ``Lima Time,″ has won just 17 major league games in the last three years.

He was 4-6 with a 7.77 ERA for Detroit this season. Paniagua was 0-1 with a 5.83 ERA and a save in 41 games.

Among the nine players called up were first baseman Eric Munson and shortstop Omar Infante, who were in the starting lineup against the New York Yankees.

With Toledo eliminated from the International League playoffs Friday night, the last-place Tigers want to get a close look at some of their young players.

``When you are in our situation where you are struggling at the big league level, you are looking for some promise for the future,″ team president Dave Dombrowski said. ``It shows that there is some pretty good talent down there.″

Munson, a promising slugger picked third overall out of Southern California in the 1999 draft, homered off Mike Mussina into the right field upper deck with two outs in the second inning.

It was Munson’s second home run in the big leagues, and first this season. He batted .262 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs this year for the Mud Hens.

The Tigers purchased the contracts of Infante and left-hander Eric Eckenstahler. Detroit also recalled right-handers Jason Beverlin, Nate Cornejo, Franklyn German, Shane Loux and Fernando Rodney, catcher Michael Rivera and Munson.

Infante made his major league debut, grounding back to Mussina in the third inning.

German, acquired from Oakland on July 6 in the three-team trade that sent pitcher Jeff Weaver to the Yankees, was 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA and 13 saves in 23 games for Toledo.

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