Padres release three, claim one

The San Diego Padres announced that the club has claimed left-handed pitcher Justin Hampson from the Colorado Rockies and requested waivers on infielders Manny Alexander and Mark Bellhorn, and right-handed pitcher Scott Williamson for the purpose of their unconditional release.

Justin Hampson, 26, made his Major League debut with the Rockies in September and went 1-0 with a 7.50 ERA (10 ER/12.0 IP) in five appearances (one start) with Colorado this season. In 31 games (13 starts) for Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2006, Hampson went 8-4 with a 3.33 ERA (45 ER/121.2 IP). He recorded a team best 95 strikeouts for the Sky Sox while issuing 39 walks. Selected by the Rockies in the 28th round of the 1999 June draft, Hampson is 51-56 with a 4.10 ERA (416 ER/914.0 IP) in 168 career minor league appearances (148 starts). The 35-year-old Manny Alexander split the 2006 season between Triple-A Portland and San Diego, batting .176 (6-for-34) with a double, triple and four RBI in 22 games for the Padres and .265 (114-for-430) with 21 doubles, seven home runs, 37 RBI, 78 runs scored and a team-leading 14 stolen bases in 102 games for the Beavers. Originally acquired by the Padres in a trade with the Texas Rangers on August 31, 2005, he made 13 appearances at third base and nine at shortstop for San Diego this season. Alexander is hitting at a .231 clip (293-for-1271) with 50 doubles, 12 triples, 15 home runs, 115 RBI, 166 runs scored and 37 stolen bases in 594 career games over parts of 11 Major League seasons with the Baltimore Orioles (1992-93, 95-96), New York Mets (1997), Chicago Cubs (1997-99), Boston Red Sox (2000), Rangers (2004) and Padres (2005-06).

Mark Bellhorn, 32, batted .190 (48-for-253) with 11 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 27 RBI and 26 runs scored in 115 games for the Padres in 2006. Signed by San Diego as a free agent on December 22, 2005, he made appearances at first base (18), second base (11), third base (50) and in right field (1), committing six errors in 251 total chances. Over parts of nine seasons with the Oakland A's (1997-98, 2000-01), Chicago Cubs (2002-03), Colorado Rockies (2003), Boston Red Sox (2004-05), New York Yankees (2005) and Padres (2006), Bellhorn is batting .231 (483-for-2093) with 113 doubles, 13 triples, 69 home runs, 245 RBI and 322 runs scored in 718 games.

Scott Williamson, 30, went 2-4 with a 5.72 ERA (25 ER/39.1 IP) in 42 combined relief appearances for the Padres and the Chicago Cubs this season. He was acquired by the Padres from the Cubs on July 22 and pitched in 11 contests for San Diego, going 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA (9 ER/11.0 IP) in those outings. Over parts of eight Major League seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (1999-2003), Boston Red Sox (2003-04), Cubs (2005-06) and Padres (2006), Williamson is 27-28 with 55 saves and a 3.32 ERA (157 ER/425.0 IP) in 328 career games (10 starts).

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