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BALTIMORE ORIOLES
April 09, 1956
Loaded with bonus players and aging cast-offs—at least one from every other team in the American League—the Orioles will earn Paul Richards a handful of votes as Manager of the Year if they can beat their seventh-place finish of 1955. With a who's-on-first-second-and-third type of lineup, Richards hopes to get by with a lot of switching, testing and platooning against left-and right-handed pitching. The quasi-regulars range in age from Bonus Baby Wayne Causey, 19, all the way up to Veteran Dave Philley, 35. Willy Miranda is a fine defensive ballplayer at short, and the defense in general looks fair, leaving only two large problems: pitching and punch. No pitcher on the roster has ever won more than 15 games in the major leagues; Gus Triandos' 1955 output of 12 home runs is a Baltimore record. The Orioles, it appears, are still building.
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April 09, 1956

Baltimore Orioles

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THE BASIC ROSTER

 

'55 AVG.

2 Fred Marsh, 3b

.218

3 Dave Pope, of

.264

4 Dave Philley, If

.299

5 Bobby Adams, 2b

.252

6 Bob Hale, 1b

.357

7 Willy Miranda, ss

.255

11 Gus Triandos, 1b

.277

14 Jim Dyck, of

.279

15 Bob Boyd, 1b

(minors)

22 Hal Smith, c

.271

32 Chuck Diering, of

.256

33 Wayne Causey, 3b

.194

44 Tito Francona, of

(Service)

PITCHERS

 

'55 W-L

16 Erv Palica, right

5-11

17 Bill Wight, left

6-8

23 H. Dorish, right

5-3

29 Ray Moore, right

10-10

35 G. Zuverink, right

4-8

36 Jim Wilson, right

12-18

39 D. Ferrarese, left

(minors)

Loaded with bonus players and aging cast-offs—at least one from every other team in the American League—the Orioles will earn Paul Richards a handful of votes as Manager of the Year if they can beat their seventh-place finish of 1955. With a who's-on-first-second-and-third type of lineup, Richards hopes to get by with a lot of switching, testing and platooning against left-and right-handed pitching. The quasi-regulars range in age from Bonus Baby Wayne Causey, 19, all the way up to Veteran Dave Philley, 35. Willy Miranda is a fine defensive ballplayer at short, and the defense in general looks fair, leaving only two large problems: pitching and punch. No pitcher on the roster has ever won more than 15 games in the major leagues; Gus Triandos' 1955 output of 12 home runs is a Baltimore record. The Orioles, it appears, are still building.

THE MAINSTAYS

7 WILLY MIRANDA, SHORTSTOP: A little switch-hitter with a mere .255 average, Miranda manages to hold up his end with a magician's touch at short. As a Yankee, he was not big enough to bench Rizzuto, but has become a big leaguer at Baltimore.

11 GUS TRIANDOS, FIRST BASE: Big and slow afoot but the best long-range hitter on the ball club, Triandos is one of the few Orioles that other major league teams would like to have. Fair defensively at first and a good catcher.

17 BILL WIGHT, PITCHER: This experienced left-hander is playing with his sixth American League team and appears ready for his best season. He is steady and has excellent control.

22 HAL SMITH, CATCHER: Like other members of the Oriole "big four," Smith once belonged to the Yankees. A fine young handler of pitchers, he should also hit well in his second major league season despite a weakness on inside pitches. May give way to Triandos against right-handers.

Looking just as good as Wight in spring training are three other veteran pitchers, all right-handers, who will probably round out the starting staff: Ray Moore, Jim Wilson, Erv Palica. Harry Dorish and George Zuverink are in relief. Causey will play against right-handers, alternating with aging Fred Marsh at third, while Bobby Adams (see below) appears set at second. Philley, a switch-hitting .299 batsman last year, is a fixture in one outfield spot; the others will be handled by a platoon which includes Chuck Diering, Jim Dyck, Dave Pope and Rookie Tito Francona. Bobby Hale, a .357 hitter in 67 games last year, has shown it was no fluke with his spring performance and will spell Triandos at first. Another first-base candidate, powerful Bob Boyd, who can really move, may go to the outfield.

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH

5 BOBBY ADAMS, SECOND BASE: A consistent .275 hitter who came to the Orioles from the White Sox, Adams should form a strong double-play combination with Miranda.

39 DON FERRARESE, PITCHER: Looks like a 160-pound Bobby Shantz, a catlike fielder and good hitter. Has a sharp left-handed curve, sizzling speed—and trouble with control. A strikeout sensation last year in the minors.

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