Aaron Cunningham and Drew Vettleson, a couple of minor-league outfielders, appear to have gotten untracked after slow starts.
Cunningham, from South Kitsap and Everett CC, is playing for the Round Rock Express, Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate that plays in the Pacific Coast League. He has hit .302 (13 for 43) with six RBI over his last 10 games going into Monday night’s game at Tucson. He was 4 for 6 with a home run at Las Vegas on May 10. Cunningham, now hitting No. 5 in the order, is hitting .272 for the season with a .373 on-base percentage and .395 slugging percentage.
Vettleson, an outfielder from Central Kitsap, is hitting .308 (12 for 39) over the his last 10 games for the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the advanced Class A Florida State League. Vettleson was 2 for 4 with an RBI double on Monday and has hit two homers in that stretch to boost his average to .233. He’s now batting No. 3 for the Stone Crabs after seeing his average flirt with the Mendoza Line for most of April. He’s got a .270 on-base percentage and .380 slugging percentage.
Todd Linden, another Central Kitsap grad, fouled a ball off his right foot on April 20, suffering a deep bone bruise, and he remains on the Fresno Grizzlies’ disabled list. Linden, who was hitting .286 after just 35 at bats, is targeting a mid- to late-June return, according to the Grizzlies.
At the major league level, shortstop Willie Bloomquist remains on the Arizona Diamondback’s disabled list with a strained oblique. The South Kitsap grad pulled it prior to the start of the season and recently had a small setback in extended spring training.
Bloomquist was shut down for a couple of days before resuming hitting a week ago.
“We just kind of slowed him down a little big,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson told MLB.com. “It’s not like he totally reinjured it, it just wasn’t as good as it needed to be to start playing in games.”
Baltimore pitcher Jason Hammel has had some rocky outings, but he’s 5-1 with a 4.93 ERA and on pace for a 21-4 season. The Orioles have won six of his eight starts. The South Kitsap grad lasted just four innings in his last start, and got a no decision after allowing eight hits and six unearned runs at Minnesota on Friday. Hammel has 32 strikeouts and 18 walks in 45.2 innings. The right-hander has been getting some serious run support by his teammates.