Orioles, for all their "building to the future," are an old team (majority of players are over 30). One-time stars like Stephens, Pesky, Waitkus can't play all out every day all season. Pitching staff has no standout, depends on those who would be doubtful secondary starters on better club.
Catcher Hal Smith, plum the Orioles got in Bob Turley trade with Yankees, is being counted on heavily. Others: First Baseman Gus Triandos, Lefty Pitcher Don Ferrarese.
THE BIG IFS:
Richards' gamble of trading the Orioles' one star, Bob Turley, for a handful of fair-to-middling Yankee players must pay off. Big ifs in the gamble: Rookies Smith and Triandos.
Unless Smith and Triandos turn into stars, it looks like a long, dull second-division summer in Baltimore.
KANSAS CITY ATHLETICS
THIS YEAR'S PROSPECTS:
Two men who played like Major Leaguers in last year's miserable farewell to Philadelphia: Pitcher Portocarrero and Third Baseman Finigan. Other than that, the Athletics have only hope that men who once were bonafide Major Leaguers (like Pitchers Shantz, Kellner and Blackwell), or who gave promise to be (like Outfielders Power and Renna), can stiffen the sinew, summon up the blood and imitate the action of tigers like Portocarrero and Finigan.
The pitching, which was helpless last year (5.18 earned runs per game) and which does not appear noticeably improved. Timorous batting (last year Finigan was the only regular to hit higher than .258).
Pitcher Art Ceccarelli, a lefty up from Birmingham (15-12), and Infielder Hector Lopez, .316 at Ottawa.
THE BIG IFS:
Shantz, Blackwell and Kellner to pitch, and Gus Zernial, Power and Renna to hit. If they do, the Athletics will play well, if only in spurts.