Kitsaps in the Pros: Updates on Hammel, Bloomquist, Cunningham, Linden, Ellison and Vetters

Colorado pitcher Jason Hammel pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in a 10-3 road win over the  Houston Astros on Thursday, helping the Rockies end a four-game losing streak.
It was the latest in a series of outstanding road outings.
In five games on the road — three of them starts — Hammel is 2-1 with a 1.86 earned-run average.
In six home appearances at Coors Field — four of them starts — the right-hander is 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA.
Hammel allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts as he matched his career high for innings pitched against the Astros. Hammel retired the first seven hitters he faced and never struggled as he kept his slider and fastball down.
He bounced back from his last outing against San Diego, when he gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Hammel, who was acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay prior to the start of the season, told MLB.com that he doesn’t have clue to why he has pitched vastly different between home and road.
“I’d like to figure that out myself,” Hammel said. “Usually, you’re supposed to be more comfortable at home. I really don’t feel any different. Whether I’m out there at home or road, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s just as of right now, if you look at it, the numbers are trying to say something but honestly, I’m not reading into it.”

Major Leaguers
Jason Hammel
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: RHP
High School: South Kitsap 2000
College: Treasure Valley (Ore.) CC
Drafted: Devil Rays, 10th round, 2002
Update: He’s 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 games (eight starts). In 48 innings, he’s allowed 63 hits. He was struck out 31 batters and walked 14. His next start will be Tuesday at Milwaukee.

Aaron Cunningham
Team: Oakland A’s
Position: OF
High School: South Kitsap (2004)
College: Everett CC
Drafted: White Sox, sixth round, 2005
Update: Cunningham was called up from Sacramento on May 15, but was sent down after going 1-for-13 in five games. The A’s called him back up on May 30. He’s been in the starting lineup every since. After two hitless games left him 1-for-20, the former SK second baseman/DH has put together a five-game hitting streak. He hit his second big-league homer on Thursday and had a two-run single Friday to raise his average to .154.

Willie Bloomquist
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: INF/OF
High School: South Kitsap 1996
College: Arizona State
Drafted: Mariners, 3rd round, 1999
Update: Bloomquist had 165 at bats with the Mariners a year ago. He already has 106 in 39 appearances (29 starts) with the Royals. Bloomquist, who was hitting .389 on May 8, is now hitting .283 with a .350 on-base percentage and eight stolen bases. He’s started 15 games in the outfield, nine at shortstop, one at third base, and four at second. Already a fan favorite in KC, he also played first one game. His bases-loaded triple on Saturday against Toronto helped the Royals end an eight-game losing streak.

The Minors
Todd Linden
Organization: New York Yankees
Team: Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Yankees — Triple-A International League
Position: OF
High School: Central Kitsap 1998
College: Washington, Louisiana State
Drafted: Giants, first round (43rd overall, sandwich pick), 2001
Update: Linden’s hitting .313 with six homers and 40 RBI while playing all 55 games for the Yankees top farm club. He was 4-for-5 with an RBI on Friday. He had a 19-game hitting streak earlier. A promotion to the big club might be tough for the switch hitter. Not only are the MLB Yankees clicking right now, but fellow Scranton Wilkes-Barre outfielders Shelly Duncan (.313, 19 HR, 53 RBI) and John Rodriguez (.300, 11, 36) are also enjoying terrific years.

Jason Ellison
Organization: Philadelphia Phillies
Team: Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Allentown, Pa.) — Triple-A International League
Position: OF
High School: South Kitsap 1996
College: Bellevue CC, Lewis-Clark State
Drafted: Giants, 22nd round, 2000
Update: Ellison’s been in the majors with the Giants, Mariners, Reds and Rangers. The veteran outfielder has not got locked in at the plate this season. He’s hitting .244 with one HR and 12 RBI. He’s struck out 40 times in 156 at bats.

Travis Vetters
Organization: L.A. Dodgers
Team: Great Lakes Loons (Midland, Mich.) — Class A, Midwest League
Position: OF
High School: South Kitsap 2002
College: Portland
Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dodgers in 2006
Update: Vetters is currently on the seven-day disabled list with a shoulder injury sustained while sliding into third base. The former South Kitsap third baseman is hitting .242 with 1 HR and 17 RBI — but just .118 (4-for-34) over his last 10 games.

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