Smith Retires, Dodgers Shuffle Pitchers

As the Dodgers shuffled a number of minor league pitchers about, righthander Travis Smith decided he'd had enough and announced his retirement. Former Boston farmhand Yulkin German was signed.

The 34-year-old Smith had been up with three big league teams in his 11-year career including the Brewers, Cardinals and Braves. Signed as a free agent over the winter, he was with the Dodgers in spring training as a non-roster invitee. Sent to Las Vegas, he had a 2-2 record with a 5.67 ERA when he decided to call it quits.

His place in the Vegas rotation is being taken by lefthander Hong-Chih Kuo, who had been with the team on a rehabilkitation assignment. Now the Dodgers have activated him and optioned him to the 51's. In his last appearance for them, he struck out seven in 2.1 innings.

The 51's also placed lefthander Tim Hamulack on the seven-day disabled list with a strained forearm and activated righthander Harold Eckert. Hamulack is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA and one save while Eckert has appeared in just two games and is 0-0 , 18.00.

Great Lakes also shifted two pitchers, activating righthander Joe Jones from the disabled list while placing righthander Doug Brooks on the Ogden roster. Jones, the son of Dodger scout Hank, split last season between Ogden (1-0, 6.60) and Columbius (1-2, 2.68). Brooks, who was slammed for six runs in his last appearance, leaves Great Lakes with a 1-2, 9.49 record.

The Dodgers have also signed lefthander Yulkin German who was formerly in the Red Sox system. German is 23 years old, 6-2, 180, and is currently in the extended spring camp at Dodgertown. Last year with Lowell in the NYP League he was 6-1, 1.81.