Fall League Update

An unusual feat for Scottsdale on Friday as they kept their six game winless streak intact, with a 5-5 eleven inning tie.  Domonic Brown’s recent struggles continued with an 0-5, making him 0 for his last 14. Steve Susdorf was 0-3 with a run scored and two walks, while Michael Schwimer threw two scoreless, hitless innings, in relief, yielding just two walks.

Scottsdale got back on the winning track Saturday with a 6-0 shutout victory.  Domonic Brown broke out of his recent slide, going 2-5 with 2 doubles, and 3 RBI’s, but also committed his 3rd error in the young Fall League season. Steve Susdorf was the DH, hitting 7th, and added two hits, during a 2-5 evening.  Tuffy Gosewisch got the start at catcher and went 1-5, while Troy Hanzawa saw his second start of the Fall League season at SS, and went 0-4 with a run scored and an RBI.  Scott Mathieson kept his Fall League scoreless streak alive, throwing another scoreless inning but it wasnt easy, as he allowed two hits and a walk, while striking out two.

After an off day Sunday, Scottsdale lost 6-4 on Monday with Domonic Brown going 2-4 with a run scored out of the cleanup hole. Mike Cisco started and threw very well, going 4.2 innings, and giving up just a run on 2 hits.  He didnt walk a batter and struck out four.  Edgar Garcia came in to relieve Cisco, and was hit around a bit in his 1.1 innings, giving up 4 hits and a run.

Look for updated stats on Saturday.

56 thoughts on “Fall League Update

  1. The game on Saturday is the All Star Game. The only representative from the Phillies is Dom Brown. Somehow Mathieson didn’t make it…go figure.

  2. @ ChaseUberman:
    Do you know this from watching them in person or are you just making this judgement based on the few blurbs you’ve read here? Every single team in the AFL is STACKED with talent. Scottsdale started off very hot, but have definitely come back down to earth since. Our staff is not as talented as some others, but that’s entirely relative. The Scorpions have as much offensive talent as any team in the AFL, but they’ve yet to really click on all cylinders. I’ll be at the game next Wednesday when they host Strasburg’s Phoenix Desert Dogs, so hopefully I’ll get to see the likes of Brown, Tabata, D’Arnaud, and Posey against top-notch pitching talent.

  3. Hey Uber, interesting comment. Can you please expound a little? The Minors in general and the Winter Leagues in specific are not necessarily about the team. It’s guy working on things. Some of these things might be an entirely new pitch or trying to make more contact. It involves trying and tinkering and retrying. If you went to see a game and the team didn’t have it that night, go again and see if it gets better. If you’ve seen many games, give us a rundown of what you see as the problem on an individual basis. Brown has been up and down but he seems to be making adjustments. Mathieson has been very, very good. Schwim had 1 bad outing. Hanzawa barely gets in a game so I can’t see how he can get any rhythm. Garcia is trying to get back to form. And so on.

    Maybe its other teams prospects that you don’t feel are performing. Let us know…

  4. I don’t know if anyone has been keeping track of this, but, after his normal adjustment period, Michael Taylor has been hitting the living daylights out of the ball in the Mexican Winter Pacific League. Although he hasn’t shown his typical power, his average is .362. I have to think that, with a little help from a good hitting coach (to help him elevate the ball), Taylor’s potential is staggering. He’ll be with the team in spring training and once Charlie sees this kid play and gets a full idea of his potential (which is huge), it won’t be long before Michael is brought up to the majors. Trust me, he’ll force the issue sometime next year with his play, demeanor and potential.

    It is noteworthy that Neil Sellers is also playing very well on this team. Next year, Sellers will be 28 and, I hope and assume, he’ll be playing at LhV. The issue with Sellers is whether he’ll hit enough to have an outside chance to become a major league bench player. Will he be Mike Cervanek or Greg Dobbs? The odds say Cervanek, but Sellers hits wherever he goes, plays an infield position and has more power than a guy like Cervanek.

  5. If Victorino is out, can we get Taylor on the 1st flight to NYC? That would sure beat Miguel Cairo!!

  6. Dear Mr Jeltz: From your lips to God’s ears. Wouldn’t that liven up tonight’s festivities ???????? My hope is that the Phils understand the need to integrate Taylor into next years team on a semi platoon with all three other outfileders to keep everyone fresh through the summer.

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed..

  7. If you watch Michael Taylor play for very long one thing you will realize is that his approach to the game is really about managing a game in which he participates. Despite his size and considerable strength when he is at bat the emphasis is on what is best for the team at that moment. He excels at situational hitting using the whole field and is not hesitant to move a runner if it means that his average does not rise. It is important to watch his approach and productiviy not wish on his physical size. You are not going to get a swing from the heels all or nothing type slugger you are going to watch a very intelligent, unselfish baseball player with skills that allow him to readily square up the ball. When he goes deep the ball is usally on a rope and exits quickly and usually in the center of the field. His first two full seasons has brought top or near the top rbi results across all of our minors. Adjusting to upper level pitching is more important than adjusting his swing for more loft. If he can produce a similar type game at the major league level he will be an asset for a long time.

  8. Assuming Taylor is still here after the offseason, he’ll start at LHV. As usual, the Phillies will have some tough decisions to make. If they feel they can afford to and want to keep Werth and Victorino, logic would dictate that they don’t need both Taylor and Brown and both will be ready to play in 2011. They both need to play every day to continue their development. Its a good problem to have and the team doesn’t have to do anything until forced. Taylor looks so good when you watch him play but can you imagine the Phils without Werth or Victorino’s contributions? Werth will cost alot but he’s had so many big hits in key spots that its hard to see the Phils trading him or letting hime go.

  9. The team’s record isn’t good. That doesn’t mean the Phillies players aren’t doing well. Which they seem to be. I just read the daily box scores and just from reading them and nothing else, that’s the conclusion I came to.

  10. I think Taylor would make a tremendous fifth outfielder if we don’t find an acceptable deal for him. IMO the plan should be: hold onto both Brown and Taylor for the time being. Ibanez isn’t getting any younger and his contract is up at the end of 2010. Either one would make a more than capable corner outfielder.

  11. When I mention Taylor making adjustments to his swing to get additional loft, I am not talking about changing his whole swing. I am talking about the type of minor adjustments that hitting coaches make to the swing of a talented player to get the most of his ability. In this regard, I don’t think we’ve seen anything close to the best Michael Taylor can do – which is a scary thought because he’s already extremely good.

    What was said about Taylor’s approach does not surprise me. I don’t think I’ve read so many good things about the personality, intelligence, and demeanor of a young baseball player in our system since Utley arrived.

    As for Brown, we keep hearing about his defensive lapses and his lack of polish. He also has not yet developed the consistent power that he should be able to tap. Brown probably needs at least one full year at LvH, perhaps a year and a half. Frankly, given the talent at the major league level and the fact that Michael Taylor is probably just about ready to play in the big leagues, it would work just fine if Brown were promoted mid-season in 2011.

  12. Brown should start the season in Reading.

    Taylor as a 5th OF? That would be awful. All he would get out of the season would be rust in his swing and splinters in his butt. How many AB has Stairs had as the #5, and actually #4 for much of season OF?

  13. Watching Michael Taylor play in the MPL on the Net over the last couple weeks is like reading the “Spalding Guide” as Whitey would say. He plays the game as it was meant to be played. From laying down a sac. bunt, to lining a home run over the left field wall, to taking the pitch the other way for a hit, to stealing a bag are just some of the plays Michael has demonstrated to perfection as the DH for the Yaquis so far. He is ready right now for the Show!

  14. I know there are a lot of man crushes on Micheal Taylor, but he is an asset to use in improving the Varsity.
    How about Taylor, Escalona and Happ to Kansas City for Soria, Bannister and Teahan?
    Teahan can play the 4C positions and is a lefty bat off the bench (Stairs is toast and Dobbs is strictly a pinch hitter) and Soria would probably become the best closer in the National League. Bannister would become the fourth starter until 2011 when Drabek would be in the rotation.
    It would work well for KC too. Taylor is a better prospect than anyone they’ve got and Happ would fit in behind Greinke. Escalona is better than anyone else they have in the bullpen.

  15. That’s actually an awful trade for the Phillies. Teahen’s a sub-average hitter over his career. Bannister is a #5 starter. And I certainly would not trade a top 25 prospect for a closer.

  16. Alan again I second that emotion. Why trade the perfect outfielder who is also a great person. And throw in your most consistent pitcher as well. Tweeking and a third baseman for now or the future and a decent backup catcher is all this team needs.

  17. thats a horrible trade but the premise of useing the minors as assets is correct. there,s only deal to make , happ, drabek, and brown for halliday. keeping taylor for lf.

  18. I don’t think that Happ is going to stran like 90% of his runners next year. he’s due for some regression.

  19. How about simply promote Taylor when one of the 3 starting OFs inevitably goes down with an injury? It will happen. Werth is gone after 2010 and Taylor slides into that spot. Too easy of a fix.

  20. I think you hang onto Taylor. But pretty much any other offensive OF can be traded. JA Happ should also be traded. Theyve bounced him back and forth too much. He did not fare well at all in the WS. Hell be a solid major league pitcher. However, they will not trade Hamels even if hes an arrogant, lazy primadonna. With Pedro leaving via FA, and maybe Brett Myers leaving too, the Phillies have NO number 2 starter. Cole Hamels has regressed to the point of being a 3rd starter. Blanton is 4th still. Lee will get a contract extension because he is the ace. They need to go out and grab a number 2 starter – again.

    They also need to get rid of Feliz, he has regressed to being a bench player/platoon player. He is no longer an everyday player. They need to get a good hitting 3B. They also need an 8th/9th inning reliever to setup or close. They need to add another bullpen arm on top of that, or two. And a replacement bench player for Stairs because he is done.

  21. We’ve talked about this before. Trade werth to san fran for baumgardner and ship him and gose to toronto for halladay. Taylor starts the year in right. If he produces half of werths output with a better avg, its worth it.

  22. I don’t know how any of you are able to debate the nuances of marginal trades after last night’s drubbing.

    In theory, it should be easier to take losing to the Yankees (because they’re the best opponent), in reality, it’s worse, because it’s those *()%^*) Yankees again!

  23. how are people so fast to get rid of werth? do you really understand how good werth is? the same with howard weve waited for 127 years for a 1st baseman like him and i hear dont resign him. i guess singleton will put up his numbers. its amazing that people think these minor leagers are capable of replacing our mlb,ers. i understand following kids from the draft up but get real. i would think schwimm is the next tug mcgraw just because he,s a good guy. wait til this team is gone there,ll be wailing and knashing of teeth. i just cant believe how easy some of you guys think it is.

  24. Howard and Werth aren’t problems or the real reason the team lost. The team lost because of bullpen issues and lack of bench depth. Think about it – the Yankees had Matsui as their DH and our DH was Ben Francisco. That difference alone likely cost us the series.

  25. If the Phils think that both Taylor and Brown can be major league corner outfielders, then they’ll have to decide whether they plan to keep Werth or Victorino. They’ll also have to decide if they think Taylor is ready now. However, if they trade one of those three now, and something happens to Ibanez next year, there won’t be a safety net other than a Francisco/Dobbs platoon because Brown is definitely not ready yet. What if the Phils sign Figgins to replace Feliz at third, move Werth to CF and put Taylor in RF batting seventh, and trade Victorino for pitching? I strongly believe a team needs to inject new blood each year so sticking with the same starting 8 and same rotation won’t do that. We all know that Stairs, Bruntlett and Bako will be replaced by three other guys next year as well as a few spots in the bullpen that will be replaced. Is that enough new blood? I think Figgins in the one or two hole would be better than Victorino and Taylor’s bat should be better than Feliz’s. They lose a little defensively but I’m not sure how much. How old is Figgins? Anyone want to guess on how much money he’ll command?

  26. Figgins is 30, hell command top dollar on the market. The Phillies will have to pony up for his services. They will spend the money on signing Cliff Lee to a contract extension.

    I think they should trade Cole Hamels because of his attitude. But they probably wont. He coasts through everything without working to improve himself because of his talent. Feliz has to go. They should have hung onto Paulino beacuse they need a backup catcher now. You cant trade Victoruino or Werth, the point of having a core group of players signed for a while is to keep going back to the World Series. The Phililes need a 2 starter again because those other guys either wilted or will leave via free agency and youll be left with Lee Blanton and Happ and worthless negative Cole Hamels. They need to sign Lee first, then straighten out Hamels and if not then trade him. Then dump feliz and get a better 3B. Then trade Brown and Savery and a few others for a late inning reliever/closer type in case Lidge doesnt get himself right again. Brown is expendable for pitching or a position player. Taylor really is untouchable and so is Drabek. Pretty much everyone else we talekd about at the deadline last year is expendable too. Even Happ.

  27. There aren’t serious attitude problems with Cole. Just a little youthful frustration. No indication at all he’s a bad guy on the team. Also, he’s cheap and has a bright future, so he absolutely should not be traded. I won’t miss the Myers personality. Happ is not expendable and Brown is absolutely not to be traded.

  28. Funny how an increase in Hamels’ BABIP is indicative of an unfixable problem with his attitude. When a pitcher strikes out almost four times as many batters as he walks, I am NOT looking to get rid of him.

    And Dominic Brown is a top 25 prospect. You do not trade that player for a relief pitcher.

  29. Alan, that was the smartest post on the tread. He has the same FIP (fielding independant pitching) as last year, the same attitude as last year, and a better strikeout rate than last year. oh, and he’s like 24. he’s pretty much awesome. just got unlucky on his batted balls.

  30. Honestly, the Phillies don’t need to do a hell of a lot to improve significantly. My view is that they will improve as soon as Michael Taylor is promoted. Imagine last night’s game, but with MT in left field – it’s a very different line-up. Also, Romero will be back, Drabek and Mathieson will be up and Bastardo will have another year under his belt. And, I think this WS loss will piss them off – expect next year’s team to be a team on a serious mission and don’t be surprised if we get a WS rematch.

  31. I agree that Hamels is fine as long as he stays healthy. I do not think that we need to address the starting pitching. We have 4 decent starters for next year (Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ) and can do something inexpensive for the number 5 starter while we wait for Drabek to be ready. We also have a number of near-ready backup arms in Savery, Worley, Stutes, and Flande. No stars there, but we might get a pitcher or two out of that group.

    Mathieson and Bastardo should also be ready to help in larger roles next year.

    At some point we probably need to move an OF, but that might also be a problem that solves itself with injuries, especially if Taylor needs a couple of months in AAA to start the season.

  32. Look at this way ,its been funny and the hunger will be back next year. I have said Raul\MT in left , keeping Raul as a viable player and DH by July and August that will answer itself.
    Early in the season I was tough on Werth against Rhers
    but he kept improving as did Vic (give Brown another year)
    I caught hell early for saying Chase wasn’t a classic hitter.
    Well he isn’t. He as delevoped a unique style of hitting some pitches solely with his arms. He at times hardly opens his hips
    But the Yankees pitched him outside the last game against the book and more of that will come in the copy cat world of baseball. It will be interesting to watch him adapt.
    The major need on this team is spring and a strong GM

  33. Yeah, I could see them getting panicky though and swinging a trade for a bullpen arm. I wouldn’t mind seeing them over-paying DeRosa or Scutaro to play 3rd, SS, and 2nd.

  34. I think Hamels will be fine, but also that there was more than simple bad luck behind his high babip. Looking at the results in the WS and even the NLCS, random results could result from pitches at the edges of the strike zone, but even moderately fat pitches got fairly uniformly creamed. The difference in babip between the strikes at the edges of the strike zone and those closer to the center seemed very significant. Hamels threw more fat pitches in key situations this season, or perhaps that is just warped observation.

    I don’t think there is any reason to trade for a pitcher or pay a big FA pitcher contract this winter. The pen starts with Lidge, Madson, Romero, and likely Park. Maybe Eyre, possibly Condrey and Durbin. We add Mathieson and Bastardo to the pen. The starting staff is in great shape with Lee, Hamels, Happ, Blanton, and Moyer/Kendall. Lots of talent in reserve for mid-season in Drabek, Savery, Stutes, Worley, Carpenter, and maybe some of the college relievers from this year’s draft.

  35. Madson would benefit from some “swimology” with his stuff no one should hit him. He needs to hide the ball or something.
    The batters get too good a look. I think Bastardo will be bigtime from the start of the season (if given the chance).
    Lidge is a puzzlement.

  36. I absolutely think not picking up a stud potential 9th inning guy would be a mistake. There are two possibilities going into next year, Lidge stays the same/gets worse or he gets better. The phillies can’t afford another 11 blown saves and I think we’d be foolish to go into the year with what we have. On the other hand, if it turns out lidge performs and we happen to have a “2nd option” at the closer spot, then great!! Maybe come next world series we will have 3 reliable 8/9th inning guys. Which would be amazing.

  37. Where is Brown going to play unless you want to wait until he is 25 or 26. Ibanez has 2 yrs left, Vic has one or two left I think. Werth will be replaced by Taylor. I think it would be Gose or some younger guys that benefit from that. They need to flip him for some top end pitching, be it starting or relieving. THey also MUST upgrade over Pedro Feliz. Against teams like the Yankees you cannot even have one hole in the lineup because it will kill your rallies like Feliz did, which ended up costing us the World Series.

    Also, they absolutely have to upgrade the starting rotation behind Lee and before Hamels. Other than Lee and Pedros first start, everybody got hit fairly hard. Im sure Hamels will be back anyway, but he should be treated as a number 3. Go get a number 2 to support Lee and bury Hamels in the middle of the set so he doesnt feel any pressure because he showed no ability to handle pressure this past season at all.

    They need to add 2 or 3 relievers, including resigning Park and adding a late inning reliever. Romero should not be counted on for anything, and I think he should be traded or released. Replace him with Bastardo and then add on top of that. These great powerhouse teams always add to their bullpen in the offeason. EVERY YEAR. The Red Sox and Yankees always do that because they know pitching wears down and gets injured.

    They need:

    Starter to go behind Lee – trade for someone (Brown, Happ to start with)
    Secondary Closing Option – Rafael Soriano, plenty of free agent options, trade options like Jenks
    2 additional bullpen guys – internal options are Bastardo, resigning Park, adding an external option or two
    3B – Feliz has to go, sign Figgins (unless too pricey), otherwise go after DERosa or Scutaro, or trade options
    Backup catcher – just find a free agent, plenty of those guys every year
    LH pH to replace Stairs – Free Agents
    RH PH to replace Bruntlett – Free Agents

    Thats not that much really because so many of those are smaller cheaper things. Other than 3B, there are no starting position roles up for grabs really, which means that I feel that if they plug these gaps here, they WILL be back in the World Series next year.

  38. hamels; see carlton 1971. the only minor leager needed now is taylor for ibanez in 2010-11. i give up tear apart the best team in phillies history for the likes of gose. the current team has 5 years left but i guess keeping it intact willl leave nothing to post about.

  39. Starter to go behind Lee – trade for someone (Brown, Happ to start with)
    Why oh why would you want to trade your most consistent pitcher, tied with the most win(fewest starts), not to point out the lowest ERA. – The 12th lowest in baseball- did I say he works cheap.
    My god please stop the trade Happ thing.

  40. I believe you’re referring to Carlton 1972 – 1973 – 1974 since 1972 was his big first year with the Phils and he lost 20 in ’73. Hamels will come back rested and better than ever. The Phils won’t do anything with their rotation. They’ll let Moyer fight Kendrick and Carpenter for it and hope that Drabek will get that job mid season. Their big decision will be whether to extend Lee who threw over 270 innings this year and will want big money as he reaches his mid 30s. Personally, I’d give it to him and extend for a few more years. The Phils will definitely try to sign DeRosa since they’ve pursued him for several years. If he wants to start, he’ll go elsewhere but if he wants to be a super sub who starts four games a week at different positions, he’ll sign with the Phils because they’re an attractive destination for hitters. At 3B, the Phils will decide whether they have a shot at Figgins and either chase him or exercise feliz for $5M. Don’t get too carried away with Feliz making some big outs in the WS, that’s baseball. If the Phils won game 4, Feliz’s homerun would have been a famous one plus he had a great season knocking in 80 runs form the 7th spot and played terrific defense. Figgins would be an upgrade offensively but they have to weigh the cost. The Angels still have Brandon Wood ready to slide in so I think they’ll let Figgins go.

  41. Im just trying to find ways to upgrade the rotation without spending mad money or giving up Drabek or Taylor. Aside from Drabek or Taylor who will be playing for the Phililes sooner rather than later, I could care less about the rest of these prospects right now in terms of making them “untouchable.” Taylor is a prime future slugger, Drabek is a frontline starting pitcher. Other than that, its hard to project the others. There is depth and quality in the farm system here, and they can afford to move a few guys. Brown is good, probably a good major league player, but he is most certaintly coveted enough to net the Phillies a valuable piece. If you could trade him for a Cheap, younger 3B under team control for a while I think you have to do that beacuse the system has nothing at 3B. Otherwise prepare to pay up for DeRosa or Figgins (great players, but expensive). They WILL dump Feliz, thats a no brainer move to me if you want to improve your lineup. Its the ONLY move you can make in terms of the lineup.

    Figgins really really would make the top of this lineup something to watch and marvel at though. Hes got to command top money figures though this year.

    Im sure Happ will be going nowhere, dont worry. He will probably regress a tinge though unless he works hard to improve himself. I just dont want to see another Kendrick situation there. Hes much better than Kendrick. But that offseason Kendrick seems like he didnt go out and try to get better and when he came back he was figured out easily.

  42. Also, I dont need to see Moyer anymore. Seriously, what kind of joke is that? Its not funny. Pay him to go away and retire. They need to move past him and really aquire a starting pitcher who can give you quality innings. Im nto sayying go sign John Lackey for all that money, that money is better spent signing Cliff Lee to a contract extension.

    Guys need to check the figures if theyre calling for Bannister though, come on man. Maybe Kansas City will be looking to offload part of Meche’s contract, I dont know, still too expensive.

    Lee
    Empty
    Hamels
    Blanton
    Happ
    _____
    Drabek
    Kendrick

    Thats how I see the rotation setting up. Pedro and Myers likely wont be back, but Myers could be had for cheap one year deal I feel, and maybe that wouldnt be such a bad move because of his ability to go from the bullpen.

    The guy they get to replace feliz should be able to hit higher than 7th if needed, even if hed fall to 7th anyway. thats what it takes to beat lineups like the yankees. No easy outs, no weakness.

    Ruiz doesnt count as an easy out in teh postseason beacuse hes actually better in October and November than he is during the whole regular season. He is also now CLEARLY recognized as one of the best catchers in baseball. He was much better than Posada behind the plate. It wasnt even really close of a comparison.

  43. We are already paying Moyer. Why not give him a shot at the 5th starter role buying a couple of months for Drabek to mature in the minors.

    The Phillies need to make good long term roster decisions. That means they should not really go after long term expensive free agents like Figgins or De Rosa. The issue is more age rather than cost. If we get expensive players I would rather spend money on 27-year-olds than 34-year-olds. Look at what Boston did in acquiring Hermida. He has been a disappointment. But he is young and less expensive than most similar free agents. That is the type of player the Phillies should target for a financial acquisition. Someone with upside that is not too old.

    I would also consider trading either Brown or Taylor in the right deal. For me the right deal might be a young 3B rather than an older starter like Halladay. Again the consideration should be to acquire a younger player that can balance the rest of the aging roster. This team does not need to add more older stars. They need to get a little younger and diversified in talent.

  44. I agree with that assessment in terms of upside. I really like Figgins. BUT, you know youll have to overpay. DeRosa would be very valuable to this team, so would Scutaro, but youd have to overpay a lot. Beltre had like one really great year and has kept living off it since. My ideal guy would be a 3B with upside who is cheap. What about Alex Gordon of Kansas City? Only problem is he hits left-handed. Are there any right handed 3B out there who would be cheap with upside and could be had via trade?

  45. Gamel’s problem is he can’t field adequately. I think the Phillies are too defensive oriented to make a play for him. All the Gordon talk actually makes sense if the teams matched up on a prospect trade. Brandon Wood is another intriguing name who also could be an emergency option if Rollis ever got hurt.

    We don’t need a great 3B. The team will probably re-sign Feliz anyway and choose to spend dollars on other things.

  46. no i meant carlton 1970-71 . he was considered a flake and complainer by the cards, so he was traded for wise. the only deal i make is for halliday, who is 32, he certainly has 5 years left. i would part with brown drabek and happ. think about it do you think drabek is better than hughes. maybe, maybe not. will he ever be close to halliday i douldt it. how about happ whos 27. i love the guy but charlie doesnt and who would you want him or halliday. brown? we dont need him with taylor ready for left. i would sign scutaro 1st, derosa 2nd. for 3rd. why do people worry how much the payroll goes to, its not your money. ticket prices will go up anyway. i dont care if they spend 150 mil. just win baby, every year.

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