The reliever, who split time with two Independent teams as recently as last year, is poised to be in the San Diego Padres bullpen when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday night.
Hamren, who doesn't turn 25 until August 21, split 2010 between Kansas City, KS (now in the American Association) and Joliet, IL (which has a new team in the Frontier League). Both were Northern League franchises one year ago, with the right-hander working 37 games for the T-Bones (0-1, 2 saves, 3.94) and playing in seven for Joliet (0-1, a save, 0.84.
The 6-foot-1 Hamren was drafted in the 37th round out of Saddleback (CA) Community College by the Chicago Cubs in '08, and emerged in brilliant fashion in the San Diego farm system this season. He was 2-0 with a save and a 1.08 ERA at Lake Elsinore, CA, then moved up to Class AA San Antonio, TX where he won all three decisions in 33 appearances with a 0.92 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 49 innings. He was even better of late, allowing just one run and 10 hits plus three walks over 16 innings in his last 10 trips to the mound.
Hamren is the 32nd Independent player to wear a major league uniform this season, which is two more than in all of 2010 and within three of what is believed to be the all-time high set in '08.
BRAD ZIEGLER HAS A NEW HOME
Another former Northern League hurler, Brad Ziegler, who has been a strong influence in the Oakland Athletics bullpen since 2008, moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the weekend. Ziegler pitched for Schaumburg, IL briefly in 2004.
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