BALTIMORE -- Imagine ranking Orioles pitchers based on 2014 All-Star potential back in Spring Training or on Opening Day. Zach Britton wouldn't have made the short list. Three months into the season, Baltimore's new closer stands as an obvious choice.
After bouncing back and forth between the Majors and the Minors since 2011, Britton's been a dominant force out of the bullpen no matter the role this year. Overall, he owns a 3-1 record with a 1.52 ERA in 34 games, striking out 31 batters in 41 1/3 innings. Twenty-two of his 24 appearances since May 1 have been scoreless. Four of the seven earned runs Britton allowed this season came in one outing.
Baltimore started the 2014 campaign with Tommy Hunter taking over as the closer. When Hunter faltered, Britton stepped in, converting 10 of 12 save opportunities. Starry numbers indeed.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Benjamin Standig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.