Hammel finishes third in AL Final Vote campaign

Hammel finishes third in AL Final Vote campaign

Hammel finishes third in AL Final Vote campaign
ANAHEIM -- Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel fell short in his bid to become a first-time American League All-Star, as the 29-year-old -- along with three others -- lost to Texas Rangers' pitcher Yu Darvish in the MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone.

The results were released Thursday on MLB.com, with Hammel placing third. In addition to Darvish, Hammel was up against White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy -- who placed second -- Royals closer Jonathan Broxton and Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri.

"Being that close is still pretty fun," Hammel said, "But there's always next year."

The Final Vote was a continuation of a record-shattering 2012 fan balloting campaign. On Thursday, MLB.com finished the voting for the 17 starting position players via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot, with 391.2 million votes and 34.9 million ballots. Both figures were easily the largest totals recorded in the history of online balloting at MLB.com.

Hammel has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles this season after being acquired, along with reliever Matt Lindstrom, in a trade for starter Jeremy Guthrie. A former Rays prospect, Hammel was sent to the Rockies bullpen late last season and decided he needed to make some adjustments to save his career. It was a wise choice, as the right-hander has pitched to a 3.43 ERA and has been Baltimore's best starter.

"I think he'd love to go to the All-Star Game, and we'd like for him to go there," manager Buck Showalter said, "but also I think his arm could stand the time [off]."

With the reemergence of Hamel's two-seamer and more of an edge, he has thrust himself into the national spotlight as the surprising Orioles have just their second winning first-half record since 1998. Had he succeeded in joining teammates Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Jim Johnson at the All-Star Game, Baltimore would have had four All-Stars for the first time since 2005.

The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.