Hammel’s All-Star aspirations now rest in fans’ hands

Anyone who’s watched the Orioles this season knows the impact that right-hander Jason Hammel has had on the team’s turnaround. Now, Hammel’s chances of joining three teammates - Adam Jones, Jim Johnson and Matt Wieters - in Kansas City for the July 10 All-Star Game are in the fans’ hands.

Hammel is one of five finalists for the Final Vote, a fan-centric competition that will name the final member of the American League squad. From now through Thursday at 4 p.m., fans can cast an online ballot to choose one more All-Star. Hammel is on the Final Vote ballot along with Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish, Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri and White Sox ace Jake Peavy.

Yes, in a weird coincidence, five pitchers are vying for the final roster spot at Kauffman Stadium.

It’s hard to argue that Hammel isn’t worthy. He’s 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 15 starts and leads the Orioles in victories. The right-hander has fanned a team-high 89 while walking 32. The sinker that flattened out when he was at Coors Field has reappeared and Hammel is making the trade that sent Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom look like a steal for Dan Duquette.

So get your mouse-clicking finger ready and vote. Remember, you have until 4 p.m. Thursday. You can cast your vote here.

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