Odds & Ends: Dukes, Astros, Twins, Giants

Some Saturday afternoon tidbits….

  • Nationals' manager Jim Riggleman spoke about what he thinks Elijah Dukes can do next season, writes Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com.
  • Satchel Price at Beyond The Box Score thinks the Astros have overpaid for the players they've picked up this offseason.
  • Kelly Thesier of MLB.com points out that for all of the talk about the Twins' need for a third baseman, the club is only looking for a "short-term stopgap" given the presence of top prospect Danny Valencia.  Thesier's mailbag piece also shoots downs a couple of Twins-related trade rumors and discusses the club's attempt to re-sign Joe Mauer.  
  • In another MLB.com mailbag, Chris Haft says there hasn't been any talk of the Giants signing Carlos Delgado (though he would fit their need for a left-handed bat) and proposes that Ryan Church would be a better outfield option for San Francisco than Rick Ankiel.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke to Chris Capuano about the pitcher's attempt to return from (his second) Tommy John surgery.
  • The Reds' budget may limit them to just pinch-hitting options in their search for a hitter, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com grades the top 20 prospects in the Mets and Indians systems.  The only player on either list to rate an A-grade was Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana.
  • Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com looks at the youngsters who will be fighting to be the Dodgers' No. 5 starter next season.  Jackson points out that these pitchers might be going for the No. 4 spot too if L.A. doesn't sign a veteran starter before Opening Day.


63 Responses to Odds & Ends: Dukes, Astros, Twins, Giants Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    I completely disagree with Chris Taft. If Ryan Church was better than Rick Ankiel then he wouldn’t have been non-tendered by the Braves. Plus think about the fact that Rick is more powerful and that if Ryan Church couldn’t hit home runs in Citi Field hes not going to have much more success at AT&T.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      Braves non-tendered Church because he was going to make around 4 MM in arbitration.

      When you compare the two, you have .272/.345/.441/.787 (.341 wOBA) for Church and .255/.315/.465/.780 (.334 wOBA) for Ankiel after the switch to the OF. Plus Church is a plus defender to Ankiel being questionable. I understand teams valuing Church more – especially if he is asking for a lower base.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Yeah but for the San Francisco Giants I would go for Ankiel because Ankiel has one of the best outfield arm’s in baseball and is more powerful. It’s about a 2MM difference between the two and for I think Ankiel is just a much better fit than Church.

    • 55saveslives 5 years ago

      If they want Church, it would make more sense to get Garko back!

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        Church can play the OF, Garko is limited to 1B. Apples to Oranges there.

        • ssf1234 5 years ago

          sorry double post.

        • ssf1234 5 years ago

          OF and 1B; apples to oranges yes. But you miss the bigger picture. Pablo is a better 3B than 1B. So by signing Garko, we have our 1B, Pablo plays 3rd and DeRosa moves to left. Done deal, case closed.

  2. lol at possibly having interest in Ryan Church. You get the same production from the left handed OF already on the roster in Nate Schierholtz.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Completely agree.. Truthfully ankiel and church would be bad fits in San fran

  3. Bye Bye Baby Bonanza 5 years ago

    I don’t know why the Giants are so hell-bent on signing a left-handed hitting outfielder. They have Nate Schierholtz, John Bowker and Fred Lewis, who all bat lefty, already on the roster.

    According to fangraphs.com 2010 projections
    Ankiel wOBA .329
    Church wOBA .335
    Schierholtz wOBA .338
    Bowker wOBA .350
    Lewis wOBA .336

    • Jason_F 5 years ago

      fyi, you are looking at the Bill James projections, not fangraphs.

      • Bye Bye Baby Bonanza 5 years ago

        Yeah, all are Bill James projections except for John Bowker, his is CHONE.

        • S8P7W 5 years ago

          I’m surprised Bowker is projected at .350 wOBA by CHONE. CHONE is usually very conservative compared to Bill James. Interesting…

  4. If the Giants are going to add another bat, it should be a player with at least Adam LaRoche-type power, or be a .290/.350+ OBP gap hitter. Church and Ankiel are neither of these things. And preferably, they’d be at 1B, where the Giants have less depth.

  5. Guest 5 years ago

    God the Mets prospects are bad. if Thole improves his D, he’ll go up to a B…maybe. Davis is being hyped like a future star, but could end up a .300 20-30 80-90 RBI guy. Still good, but not future star. Niese I feel like has more potential than Meija. Fernando “Belly Flop” Martinez is 22, wow. A year and a half in the minors and he’ll be fine in the majors!

    • nycstateofmind 5 years ago

      Are you being sarcastic or serious???

      • Guest 5 years ago

        A little of both. I want F-Mart to do well and I think he can, but that Belly Flop puts a tack in it.

  6. You know what?? I’d be JUST FINE with a Joe Crede/Danny Valencia platoon at thirdbase in 2010. Maybe just resigning Joe Crede is all the Twins have left to do this offseason. Leaving this as the 2010 Lineup:1) CF Denard Span2) SS JJ Hardy3) C Joe Mauer4) 1B Justin Morneau5) DH Jason Kubel6) RF Michael Cuddyer7) 3B Joe Crede/Danny Valencia8) LF Delmon Young9) 2B Nick PuntoTwins fans, this is realistic at this point and guess what? Not bad at all!!

    • Mauerneau 5 years ago

      I just dont know if i like hardy in the 2 hole. What happens if he doesn’t rebound from last season… who do we bat 2nd? Punto? I hope not.. If your going to sign someone for a year get hudson, and move punto to third. Statistically its his better defensive position anyway. I would rather have Lopez than Crede also, although he will probably come at a higher price.

      • I wasn’t really ordering them, that’s gardy’s call. I like Crede and Punto at 3rd and 2nd because with those two in there, the twins have arguably the best defensive infield in the american league. Also, Crede is a clutch stick with some power when healthy….

        • Mauerneau 5 years ago

          Yea but if we add a typical third baseman like crede and no one else, who is going to bat second.. Even in his good years, hardy is not a good fit there.

  7. I think Haeger and McDonald would fit best in the Dodgers’ rotation, though I also think Stults deserves an extended look at some point. Elbert would be nice to have in the bullpen for the time being.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      Elbert and Haegar should be 4th and 5th, if we sign no FAs. Elbert has the most potential, he was the top prospect in the system when guys like Billz, Martin and Kemp were in the system. Haegar is a knuckleballer who has other pitches… and was very effective in his starts. McDonald has proven he can handle the pen

      And the FO has said that Elbert has a rotation spot to lose, FYI.

      Also, what about the guy we got from the Chi Sox?

      • Elbert certainly has the most potential, but he has yet to prove himself in the Majors. In 25 2/3 innings pitched in the Bigs, he has a 6.66 ERA. Starting out in the pen would help acclimate him to the Big Leagues. He also has some history with injuries making his durability a concern.

        Haeger’s great. I love knuckleballers. If the Dodgers don’t want him in the rotation he should at least be kept around, as a knuckleballer’s durability can be a huge asset.

        McDonald has been great in the bullpen, like you said. That’s exactly why I think he deserves an extended look in the rotation.

        It looks like Ely could use at least another year in the Minors. He hasn’t pitched in Triple-A yet, so sticking him in Albuquerque to start the season wouldn’t hurt.

        • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

          I dont think you can use Elbert’s big league innings against him. Those innings, if I recall correctly, are over three seasons. He proved last year that he can handle starting and did OK in the majors, considering he was simply thrown into any game with no true plan when he’d be used.

          And the injury stuff is BS. He got hurt in 06 and had shoulder surgery(not TJS, but shoulder). They brought him back really slow from the injury because his arm is pretty special. He has regained his FB almost completely, still has the killer slider and is slowing getting his curve back. If he has all three, and a changeup, he will be fine.

          I completely agree about Haegar. If he is the 4th starter, he would give some serious innings, as knuckleballers can throw 200 pitches a day, at any time. With Billz and Kershaw ahead of him, his starts could really help the Dodgers. And the fact that he throws other pitches besides a knuckler is a plus.

          McDonald did great in relief. Elbert did average. If it is between them two for the 5th spot, I think the nod goes to Elbert. I do think McDonald comes into ST as a option, I just see him going to the pen.

          I said Ely because I remember reading reports about him after the trade that said he is MLB ready. I guess that they meant he could be ready, but another year in the minors would be better….

          • Elbert only threw 14 innings in 2007 and 41 1/3 innings in 2008. The most number of innings he has thrown in a season came in 2006 when he threw for 146. So I think it is fair to say his durability is a concern.

            Elbert had a 5.03 ERA in 19 2/3 innings pitched last season. I’d like to see that improve before putting him in high leverage situations.

            But this is probably all moot, since the Dodgers could sign a mediocre starter or two before the offseason is over.

          • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

            Elbert was hurt in the 07 season and required surgery. He threw those 14 innings pre surgery, and missed the rest of the season. After that, he came back in 08, but they brought him back slowly, having him relieve almost all year(1 start). He could have been MLB ready at that point, but they viewed him as a starter and had him pitch in AA/AAA last year. He threw a ~3.8 ERA in just under 100 innings(he topped 100 innings with him MLB time, if i recall). In 06, when he last threw over 100 innings in the minors, was when he was our top prospect.

            With his MLB experience, and the reason I say it is misleading, is basically what you said. He threw 19 2/3 innings in the majors. A very small sample size. Then add that to the fact he was relieving and not starting, and those numbers are all but moot..

  8. mrdodgerfan 5 years ago

    wow I still cant believe how Ned Colleti Trade raped himself. Casey Blake was not worth it at that price. we should of gotten Lee at a discount package…

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      How would we have gotten Lee? The Indians expected a better package than the one for Blake(which was really dumb, we all know) and the Phils wouldnt have traded him to us…

  9. 55legend 5 years ago

    sign Laroche…he’s our best option…offer an extra 3 Mil if we have to. I’m sure we can afford that. and wtf why would you want Fred lewis to play?! omg..he is certainly not the left-handed solution. he has that stupid upper cut will clark wannabe swing on a 3-2 count and whiffs it everytime. I remember spring training he said “I’m goin yard!” that was the most hilarious thing I heard from Giants’ preseason. He had like 3 homers, two of which were dinkers in seattle. Do I need to talk about his defense?

    • Sadly enough, Lewis had the best OBP on the team last season. And as so eloquently put by Terry Francona, OBP is simply, “not making outs.” Which this team needs right now. To be fair, I don’t want Fred Lewis as a starter, and think he’s a butcher in LF, even if he did work as a left-handed pinch hitter down the stretch.

      As for LaRoche, the Giants have to be patient on this one; LaRoche simply wants too much money. If they pull the trigger too early, they’re going to wind up doing something incredibly stupid and bidding against themselves for a free agent without other serious suitors… You know, like St. Louis did.

      • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

        Lewis was 2nd in OBP after Panda .348 to .387. Instead of Church or Ankiel I’d rather see Ish at 1B, Panda at 3B,and DeRosa in LF. Ish could match either of those guys #’s. Velez, Lewis, Bowker, Shierholtz, and Torres all hit LH. Why are they pursuing a lefty outfielder?

        • Because Velez’s OBP is .308, and apparently they aren’t confident in their lefties to give the kind of production that they want. Simply, Ishikawa and Schierholtz can be adequate, but they haven’t had proper coaching or playing time to develop the way they need to.

          They all have big holes in their approaches: Ishikawa and Schierholtz are suckers for the back-foot slider, Velez strikes out with fastballs in under the hands, and Lewis and Torres don’t have good contact numbers. Again, I am hoping that Hensley Meulens’ aggressive approach to his new job will pay off in ST, and that Ishikawa and Schierholtz become proven starters.

          • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

            I agree with you about Ish and Nate not getting enought ab’s. They both should’ve had 500-600 ab’s last year. Velez was league average hitter LH and showed significant improvement the 2nd half. Most young players stuggle with nasty inside sliders. Ish was improving in Sept and finnished with league average OBP .329 and showed power at home. My point is unless they sign LaRoache or Damon it’s not enough upgrade to even bother. They have 5 LH hitters to chose from one of them could match Church/Ankiels #’s.

          • You’re preaching to the choir, dude. 😉

            Though Velez showed significant improvement for the first three weeks after he came up, but his average tailed pretty consistently after that, which explains his average at the end of the season. I’d rather have Torres as our fourth outfielder, he’s a more natural runner and fielder, and is actually FASTER. Watching him run the bases at ST last year was an eye-opener.

          • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

            I went to ST last year for the first time. My boys and I had a great time. We drove all over Phoenix and went to like 6 games in 3 days. Watched the Brewcrew destroy the Doyles!! Fielder hit one so high and hard it left the brewcrews stadium.

          • Yeah, we hit up home games against the Padres, Mariners, and Indians. We got to watch Cliff Lee get lit up like a roman candle, RJ pitch 1-3 and Timmy pitch 4-6, and Damon Bruce was in the seat behind me. What an entertaining day -that- was.

  10. Dermick 5 years ago

    hmm, I didn’t read anything about Joe Mather in this post…

    • It’s spelled MAUER not MATHER. =)

    • Dermick 5 years ago

      Look at the links to player rumors instead of Joe Mauer it is Joe Mather.

    • CrisE 5 years ago

      What’s funny is that if you click on the ‘Joe Mather’ link in the footer it takes you to a bunch of stories where he hasn’t been written about.

  11. strikethree 5 years ago

    ‘Satchel Price at Beyond The Box Score thinks the Astros have overpaid for the players they’ve picked up this offseason.’

    lol for pointing out the obvious.

  12. johnsilver 5 years ago

    The only thing Elijah Dukes will ever break out of is 24 hour lockup and seeing how the Nationals have a security detail following him whenever he is on the 25 man roster, the chance of him getting into serious trouble whenever he is on the MLB roster is kind of small anyway, unless he gives them the slip and then reverts to his normal habits.

  13. markjsunz 5 years ago

    None of the Dodgers minor league pitchers are big league quality. McDonald is 25 yrs. old and while it is young if he does not develop this year he will be a bust. Maybe they can get lucky again with some sore armed vets from the scrap heap. Though not likely to be so lucky two years in a row. Billingsly either starts out looking like the ace of the staff, or finishes looking like the ace of the staff but he has not been able to break thru for a whole year. The dodgers will need that from him, kuroda is ok. and Kershaw is expected to improve but you again never can be to sure. Looks like a lot of 4 to 6 inning starts from the starters, then the bullpen will come into play. Everything will have to fall into place for the dodgers to be able to handle Colorado or the giants. The Diamondbacks should improve with a healthy staff, and the Padres also had a good second half last year.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      Oh man.. they have no big league quality pitchers? Are you serious. How does a 3.74 ERA at AAA sound, at age 23? That’s Scott Elbert. Or a knucklerballer who also has a good fastball and curve? That’s Charlie Haegar. McDonald is a bust, if he doesnt start next year? Are you serious? Because he had a handful of starts at the start of the year and struggled, was sent back to the minors and came back to be a stud in relief, as a 24 year old, he is one year from a bust? He never got another chance after that point, because he did so well in relief. He is very far from a bust. If Elbert and Haegar have a better ST/the Dodgers feel they will help the team more starting than relief and they keep McDonald in relief, that does not mean he could never be a starter again.

      Billingsley was never expected to be the ace until last season. He did it last year, coming off a broken leg, in the first half, until he tried to pitch through pain. He did fine in his first 75 pitches, but after 76 he would start to struggle. That would happen(most likely) simply because he would have more pain in his legs as he pitched and would change his mechanics. Therefore, his control would get worse and he’d struggle.

      You say the Kuroda is OK, but we can’t be sure Kershaw is going to improve? Wow…

      I am not worried about the Giants much simply because their offense got no better and their pitching will decline as Cain declines(his FIP stayed the same as career averages, but his ERA dropped a run). Colorado is returning the same team and will be the biggest threat. The Dbacks will rely on Jackson remaining the same as last year(which is unlikely), Webb coming back, and their whole offense rebounding. The Padres will do nothing. Nada. They will field a minor league team next year.

      • markjsunz 5 years ago

        It sounds like nothing, a minor league pitcher with a 3.74 ERA sounds like an over 5 era in the majors.If they were any good they would have already been with the major league club. You can go to a minor league game all the time and see great looking prospects. Guys who throw in the high 90`s, guys that cannot miss. Most of them when they get over 25 years old stop being prospects and you never hear from them again. A guy gets called up from the minor league team throws a 95 plus mile an hour fastball and the hitter hits the ball in the upper deck. You have to be able to get big leaguers out. If your pitch does not move around, or is deceptive you will get hit in the majors. I think the guy with the best shot would be Haegar if he can control his Knuckle ball. Every decade seems to have a few guys who can pitch well in the majors with that pitch.How about this guy the Dodgers got from the white sox John Ely. He had a pretty good record in the minors and if he has a good spring you might see him get a shot.

        • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

          Wow, you obviously know nothing about any of the pitchers. Elbert has a running fastball, a slider that is one of the best in the organization, a killer curve and a changeup. He is still 24, until August.

          McDonald has a curveball, fastball(that reached at 97 last year), and a slider. He is working on a changeup as well. If you think that a 25 year old who was a starter in the minors and isn’t in the rotation in the majors is a bust, then Roy Halladay would have been a bust had they had him relieve in his first year after being sent to the minors.

          Ely needs another year in the minors.

          McDonald has MOR potential and has plenty of time to get to the majors as a starter. If you followed the Dodgers, you would know that they like to give pitchers time in the ‘pen before throwing them in the rotation. Given the fact that McDonald has had so much success in relief and that Haegar and Elbert have more potential, McDonald will probably start in the pen this season.

          One final thing. McDonald was the Dodgers top prospect last year. Elbert was coming off surgery and many other prospects were either too young to be top prospects or were in the majors. One season of ~2 ERA in relief, in the majors, doesnt make him a bust. The complete opposite.

  14. johnsilver 5 years ago

    “I am not worried about the Giants much simply because their offense got no better and their pitching will decline as Cain declines”

    ———————————————————————————-

    Agree pretty much with you here LDYF. Sabean has had an awful off season thus far and not praising Colleti either. The LAD were ripe by letting Wolfie go and no replacement, same with Hudson, questions if Martin’s season was a fluke and he will rebound. Serious questions all over and Sabean just sat on his hands also with a all around pathetic offense other than Sandoval and let his top power threat in Molina leave, counting on a young staff to lead them and Zito to repeat as the vet.

    Maybe he is waiting for one of the Boras trio of Ankiel/Nady, or Damon to fall into his lap for 4-5M and take whichever won is left without a chair when the signings are done, but that could be around the time ST arrives, Boras has no fear and does not like to admit defeat, even when he is proven wrong.

    • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

      “Sabean has had an awful off season thus far”

      Which overpriced FA do you want him to sign? I think the Giants are sitting in a good spot right now. If they sign Nady or LaRoache I believe Nady or LaRoache plus DeRosa, and Uribe > Bay. Adding three average/+ hitters is better than 1 big fish. Molina is in decline offensive and defensively. Posey will easily better his OBP. The giants made fair offers to Penny and N. Johnson. They took less money to sign with better teams.

      • Yeah, Sabean’s done a terrible job spending conservatively so that he has the money to hold on to his most valuable asset. Oh, and not overspending to obtain an over-valued free agent like Bay or Holliday was stupid. Didn’t you hear? Tehy ned a big bta! Shame on Sabean for not heeding the poorly spelled wisdom of the masses.

  15. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    they cant sign laRoche and have Rowand and LaRoche as their cleanup and 5th hitter for the next three years. they need to focus more on BA and get money for Cain’s contract. I am hoping they trade Aaron Rowand to the Tigers for Carlos Guillen to solve first base or LF. then they could shift a speedster like Velez to CF, buy a LF/RF like Jermaine Dye and not be tied up to Rowand for the next three years and 36 million. Guillen is only 2 years and 24MM, but will hit .290 and get on base. plus then they can lock up matt cain. Tigers need a CF to develop A-Jax and Rowand is the same cost as Guillen but one more year and would be more useful to them than Guillen in LF/DH, where they would have to play him.

    • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

      Rowand will lead off or hit 6th or 7th not 4th or 5th. Rentawreck 9M comes off the books after 2010 so cash will be there for Cain. Cain’s not a FA until after 2011.
      Cain’s salary
      10 4.25M
      11 6.25M

      That’s not going to break any teams bank. If he signs an extension it could be 10-14M per.

    • pablosfullofposeys 5 years ago

      Not quite a future GM. Tell me the last time Rowand has hit 3rd 4th or 5th for the giants. He is slated to hit leadoff right now. Velez, with all his speed, is worse than rowand. Dye sucks in the field, has a declining bat, and will cost way too much. Horrible ideas.

      • For a while, I actually sort of thought that if Rowand could spend his offseason working on staying away from that stupid slider, he might actually do well in the 3 or 5 roll. In my view, Rowand thrives on being “the guy,” and that’s why he succeeded in the leadoff role, why he has such good numbers batting with the bases loaded, why he likes to dive and go all out all the time, and so on.

        I know that there are differences in a pitcher’s approach based on spot in the order but all that, but if the Giants are lacking production in the 3 or 5 spot mid-season… Maybe toss Rowand there for a few games, see if he responds to it. It’s not like we can do much worse than we did last year, particularly with Pablo hitting clean-up now.

        • pablosfullofposeys 5 years ago

          Agreed, Rowand has one of the best mental approaches to the game, and usually comes through went counted on.

  16. One unlucky/stupid play “puts a tack in it”? C’mon man the kid has been a year or two ahead at every level he has been at and his numbers in AAA were pretty insane. And Mejia has way more potential than Niese who is exactly like Sickels said a mid-rotation starter. There is nothing wrong with developing those kinds of players in fact I wish we had developed more.

  17. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    i meant to add that tigers should include Gerald Laird in the deal as well, since it would be good for the Giants to have a pro-backstop, who was one of the best fielding catchers in MLB last year, in order to ease Buster Posey into the position. This would tempt Sabean a bit more.

  18. ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

    i would like to sew what that kid Carlos Monasterios has because i hear hes a power pitcher.

  19. andrewrickli 5 years ago

    What about Luke Scott to SF?

  20. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    my point was after 2011, they will have 12 million in salary going to Aaron Rowand for the 2012 season. Im saying that money could be used on Matt Cain after 2011. Carlos Guillen’s contract would be done by then. and Dye was just an example. Trading for Guillen and Laird fills two needs, LH 1B/LF and defensively sound C that can ease Posey in full-time. they can shift around DeRosa, Sandoval, and Guillen at 3B, LF, and 1B which gives their lineup flexibility. I think they then should organize a trade for a guy like Rajai Davis from Oakland for CF. Realistic San Francisco playoff team.

    CF Rajai Davis
    2b Freddy Sanchez
    1b/3b Pablo Sandoval
    RF Jermaine Dye to cheap deal. (He’s running out of options. his affordability is the main reason I like him for San Francisco)
    1b/LF Carlos Guillen
    3B/LF Mark DeRosa
    SS Juan Uribe/Burriss (just NO RENTERIA lol)
    C Gerald Laird/Buster Posey.
    P Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Bumgarner(i hope), Zito

    • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

      There is no reason for the Tigers to make that trade. They have 50M plus coming of the books after the 2010 season, they could buy alot of talent for 50M why in the world would they what a 90 OPS+ overrated outfielder? Burris needs a full season at AAA. Sabean DFA Davis in 08 after he hit .056 to start the year (I never wanted Rowand, I thought Davis should have be given the CF job). No way he brings Davis back and Dye is a DH period.

  21. lefty177 5 years ago

    did anyone read the blog about Elijah Dukes? If he can play as well as he handles himself, he could be an All-Star, that’s a pretty big IF though, i think he can be pretty good this year nontheless!

  22. GiantsFan805 5 years ago

    The Giants MLB message board has a post on there about the Giants signing Aubrey Huff for 1 year/$3M. Can anyone confirm?

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