Open Discussion: Week of March 13th

Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.  I have instituted a separate article for draft discussion.  

The Phillies are 10-3-2 after 15 games.  They lead all NL teams with 89 runs scored, 37 doubles, 19 HR and 88 RBI. They are second in hits, third in triples, second with 54 BB.

They have the fifth best BA, but the third best OBP, SLG, and OPS.

However, they have struck out a second most 106 times and have 9:8 stolen base to caught stealing ratio.

Their pitchers have a league leading 3.43 ERA, 6 saves, and 123 K.  They have the second lowest BA against.  And third lowest WHIP.  They have only allowed 10 HR.  But have issued the second most walks at 50.

Their pitchers have the second best OBP, SLG, and OPS behind the Nationals in all three categories.

Defensively, they are among the league leaders with 15 errors committed.  Their fielding percentage is a pedestrian .974.  Their catchers have allowed 9 SB, but have 7 CS.

And in Small Sample Size world, the Phillies have 12 players with an OPS above 1.000 and 2 more over .900.

This morning in the intrasquad games:

  • Charlie Morton – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 58 pitches, 39 strikes
  • Jeremy Hellickson – 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0, BB, 4 SO. 55 pitches, 36 strikes

Recent Transactions:

  • 3/10 – Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, and Mark Appel were reassigned to the minor league camp a day after combining to throw eight , one-run innings against the Minnesota Twins.
  • 3/12 – Greg Burke and Gregory Infante were reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/14 – J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams have reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/14 – Roman Quinn and Edubray Ramo have been optioned to Reading.

Some random observations:

Well, just a short story.  I left for the Complex one day last week.  I didn’t realize that my grand daughter had turned my cell phone’s ringer off.  My wife tried to call and message me and I didn’t respond.  She became worried and called some people I go to the Phillies’ games with.  They suggested she contact the police.  Since I never go missing and since my father started wandering off as he got older, my wife called the police to see if I had been in an accident.  Their exchange went something like this:

Wife: Can you check to see if Jim has been in an accident?

Woman PO: No accidents where a person couldn’t make or take a call.

Wife: Can you check local hospital admissions?

Woman PO: No admissions from accidents, and no one named Jim has been arrested.

Wife: I don’t know what could have happened.  It’s not like Jim to be away for so long and not answer his cell.

Woman PO: Well, maybe he ran off with another woman.  It happens all the time.

Wife:  Hysterical laughter.

When I was told the story later that night, my first thought was, “Great, the police will only give my a 4 hour head start. Good to know.”

91 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 13th

  1. Cute story. The punchline could have gone a few ways…. My response would have been insult as to the impossibility of it….
    In baseball – watching Morgan today on tv I saw Morgan throwing 91 consistently and looking like a legit arm. If he keeps it up he’ll be pitching in Philly. Also, I predict Andrew Bailey will be the closer, he’s looked very good and has the experience.

    1. Morgan looked really good. I would have liked it if he got it up to 92-93 but he had his secondary pitches working. Would not be shocked if he wins the #5 spot.

      1. Hopefully it is nothing like Jason Werth’s two ligament tears that required surgery in 2006 and had to sit out all that season. Of course Werth’s initial broken wrist by a AJ Burnett pitch in ST 2005, did not reveal the ligament tears and he played with it in 2005 after the bone healed.
        But for Altherr this is the second time so he may not play this season.
        Would not surprise me if he is DFAed in 2017 to make room for Williams and Quinn..

  2. I have been extremely impressed with the position prospects this spring. Knapp, Williams, JP and Quinn all look like they belong at MLB level. All look very comfortable. I saw Williams’ triple yesterday. An absolute lazer and he was motoring around the bases. I think he can be up mid season. Looks like an elite prospect to me.

    1. good question. i am curious as to the answer as well. i have the mlb package to watch the big club. but could also be interested in the milb package if it gets good reviews.

      1. Baseball Ross has had it for a couple seasons. He has never complained about the quality, only that it didn’t provide coverage of the lower organizational levels, too. I looked into it last year. You get all the LHV games and all the Reading games except for for those played at Hartford and Bowie, 3-7 games depending on scheduling. I passed on it last year because LHV was, well LHV. But this year, the LHV rotation and a couple of position player prospects should make them interesting every night. And Reading should be interesting again.

      2. I buy this package every year and find it well worth the cost.

        I don’t watch many (if any) games in real time. Rather, I use it as an advanced information/scouting tool when I watch the games on archive. I knew about how good Eickhoff could be last year before he came up because I saw him blow away AAA hitters. I typically use it to watch selected portions of games and performances. The Phillies AAA and AA home feeds are very good – in fact, Reading’s feed is among the best in AA – below AA it’s spotty at best and nearly useless. But every year I get it and am glad I did. Enjoy!

    2. The quality is somewhere between mediocre and poor, depending on the ballpark, Reading and Lehigh Valley are at the top end of the spectrum. It is not a particularly pleasant viewing, but at least last season it was $20 if you already had mlbtv, and at that price the sheer number of games is well worth it if you have the time to watch (either live or going through the archives).

      I do recommend it, but I am also a slightly crazy person who watches the archived AA and AAA games from the previous night most days.

      1. v1,

        I think the answer is that for $20 go do it.

        I watch a few innings a week of various games so, over the course of the season, it’s worth it.

    3. I get it every year, the price for non mlb.tv users at least, went up a little last year but is still worth it. On top of getting just about every LV and Reading game, they usually show a few Lakewood games and some Crosscutters. It varies based on the schedule as only a few teams in those leagues have cameras set up. But last year it seemed like they had the most games of both if I recall correctly, something like 7 games of each.

      The quality will vary but LV and Reading are usually among the best. You get a few that are bad from time to time. I also really like the on demand feature so that when there are 2 games at the same time you can watch one live and watch the other afterwards. Usually an hour or so and the link will be up, although every now and then it’s like they forget and it might not be up or a day or two or never. Plus with the on demand you can fast forward through the breaks so it cuts down on the length of the game.

      1. Forgot to add the one downside is at least in the past, no cameras in the Flo State league. They haven’t updated from last years package, but when they do you can see what games they will be showing for the entire season before you purchase.

      1. With Crawford, they are probably just making sure he’s made all the hitting adjustments. He’ll probably be in Reading this year as long as he was in Clearwater last year – look for a promotion by around mid-May. Quinn will probably be the same.

  3. I posted this in another thread, but the General Discussion seems like a more appropriate spot for this, so I apologize for the repost, but I have a few newbie questions:

    1) Which position do you see Cornelius Randolph settling in at? Is his hitting strong enough for a corner OF spot? Will he be a 2nd baseman?

    2) We were all excited to see the development of Odubel Herrera last year. Will he stick in CF (keeping in mind the development of Roman Quinn, who is by all accounts a very strong fielder)? Does he have the ability to play 2nd base or corner OF?

    3) Who do you think will play 1st base in 3 years time? Is Rhys Hoskins the real deal? Do you think there is a possibility of Jorge Alfaro/Andrew Knapp playing there?

    Let me know what you guys think – I am very interested to hear and am looking forward to seeing the further development of our prospects at all levels!

    1. I wonder if after this year and we find out the reality of Stassi & Hoskins, if Ruff won’t be good trade material. That would leave hoskins/Stassi to battle at first.

      But, on the other hand, it is always good to have first baseman with other skills. Maybe Stassi and Hoskins could also learn to sub in at OF?

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they might try to move howard for a few more prospects by midseason, even if they have to pay just about his whole salary. He is still swinging at the low sliders that end up in the dirt.

      I expect Rupp to have somewhat of a breakout year power-wise. I wonder if he won’t see over 50% playing time.

      1. Yes, they’d trade Howard if there are any takers. There haven’t been any to date. Some AL team would have to lose their DH to injury for them to even consider it.
        Yes Rupp will play more than half because he’s better than Chooch at this point. I’m sure the team would love to trade Chooch now to be a backup on a good team. I’m sure they’re talking as we speak.
        Ruf has little trade value at this point so that wouldn’t happen. Future 1b could be Hoskins depending on how he does this season. Stassi had a good year last year and has a great glove and might provide an short term fix. There’s a list of guys who could be converted to 1B but they have to hit enough to pull it off. Alfara, Knapp, Cozens, Asche, and even Franco are all possibilities in the future. My money is on Hoskins however. His bat makes a different sound, I think he can really hit.

      2. hoskins was a freshman all-American as an outfielder in college and impressed in the cape cod league after his sophomore year in both corners (casey gillespie played first for their team)

    2. Welcome Rob these are my opinions others will certainly chime in

      Randolph will stick in LF his profile will be that of a Tony Gwynn offensively. I would think if they thought he could be a 2B he would be playing there already. His offensive profile fits better at 2B but that doesn’t mean anything if he is not an IF. He is as much as 4 years away so who knows maybe the power comes to the tune of 15-20. He has decent gap power now to be a doubles guy.

      Herrera is much like Randolph. He hits but not for much HR type power. He is not the best CF in the system but definitely good enough to stick there until someone proves they are better suited. Quinn as you state can definitely field the position. Can he hit, can he stay healthy will determine his path and arrival date.

      Unknown. As much as I like Hoskins and think he will hit at the MLB level he’s another guy who’s offensive profile doesn’t fit his position strongly.

      Knapp is likely to stick behind the plate as is Alfaro. One of them is likely to get moved at some point to acquire an asset in another area.

      1. I think the near future of the outfield will be the most interesting story to track over the next couple years.

        You have a guy in Herrera who greatly exceeded expectations in his first year as a Rule 5 pickup. He was a very pleasant surprise as a hitter and he held his own in the very important CF position. He will be a good story to follow this year. Will his fielding improve? Will he show better patience at the plate and cut down on S/Os? Can he add to his stolen base tally?

        Then you have a guy who’s been in our system for what feels like ages in Aaron Altherr come up and show flashes of ability. He has struggled with injuries and this may ultimately hamper his chances on the Phillies. I don’t think he will be part of long-term plans as we have too many strong prospects knocking on the door, but he could possibly be a 4th OFer with his skillset.

        Arguably the most exciting prospect in the system is Nick Williams, Many people, myself included, believe he will be the real deal. 5 tools kinda guy. When does he get promoted to the big leagues? My guess is he will be up in September and never look back (unless there is some kind of injury to a corner OF spot necessitating an earlier promotion). He should be a fixture in LF for years.

        Then we have Roman Quinn – another guy who’s lost large chunks of crucial developmental time to injury. He has world class speed and good pop for someone his size. With his arm, he could be a threat in RF, but that would almost be a waste of his speed. Where does Herrera move if the organization feels that Quinn is the better option in CF? Does he get shifted over to RF? Does he get a shot at 2B?

        Finally we have Cornelius Randolph who looks to have an advanced approach at the plate for someone his age. Will his bat force Herrera or Quinn out of their spots? He is further back in his development, but he may force the FO to make a decision which could move players around the diamond.

        Williams – Quinn – Herrera is my guess for our OF in 3 years time, and what an OF that would be. Power and speed across the board.

    3. I’ll give you my opinions for whatever they’re worth.
      1 – LF, they don’t think he can play infield. I do think he’ll hit enough to hold a corner OF spot
      2 – Herrera is a legit hitter and is turning himself into a very good OF. However, my opinion of Quinn is very high. I think Quinn will be in the OF in 2017. I think they’ll take a look at Hererra at 2b next spring training but my current guess is that Quinn goes to RF and Williams goes to left and they keep Herera in CF. Think of that OF speed.
      3 – I vote Hoskins but I’m not positive

    4. I pretty much concur with DMAR.

      1) Randolph will be fine in LF. If he could play the infield he would be there already. The team drafted him thinking he could be a middle of the order hitter, so they definitely think that he has enough bat. I think 20+ homers is a reasonable possibility.

      2) Herrera will be in CF until someone unseats him. Quinn seems to be the most likely prospect to do that but he has a lot to prove before that happens. Given how quickly Herrera took to CF, I’m confident he would make a good corner OF defensively. If he hits like did last year, his bat will play just fine.

      3) I think Alfaro would move to RF before 1B, and I doubt he or Knapp would hit enough to be an everyday first baseman anyway. Hoskins could be the guy, but there’s just as good a chance that the next one will come in FA or trade.

    5. 1) Corny will be LF and his bat will be productive enough for a corner OF.
      2) If Quinn proves to stay healthy and he can maintain his projection (speed, .300 BA, decent power) and Williams proves to be an above average RF – Quin will be CF. An OF of Herrera-Quinn-Williams will be fun to watch. Phils will probably give Kingery and/or Canelo the opportunity to be the future 2B. If not, FA will be a possibility.
      3) Future 1B will be a) Hoskins (if he continue his current production); b) Franco; or c) FA – veteran MLB or international FA. If both Alfaro and Knapp produced well, one of them will be traded.

      1. NVM haha. I wish I could delete this. You literally mentioned it so obviously I’m not the only one thinking it.

    6. 1. I think Cornelius Randolph has the ability to play LF. But I can envision a Pittsburgh Pirates-Josh Bell situation developing, where the team is filled in the OF, but weak at 1B and Randolph gets pushed to 1B.

      2. CF is hard to forecast. Herrera has proved he can play the position defensively. I think his BABIP will normalize and it will be hard decision between he and Quinn for CF. The team has options though. Herrera can play 2nd base and Quinn has the arm to play RF, like Victorino. Nick Williams will be the LF, so that’s not an option.

      3. I seriously doubt Rys Hoskins will be the 1B of the future. Either a Free-agent or one of the current OFs (Cozens, Randolph) will get that spot.
      Knapp will beat Alfaro to majors and get the Catchers spot. Alfaro will then get traded.

      1. Cozens may ultimately be moved to first base.
        I would think if it is the case, they will start with him in the FIL this year.
        He also has to be protected on the 40 in November, along with Quinn, Williamsd and Tocci for sure, since his birthday fell 6 days prior to the June cut-off, so I would expect, the decision to switch him, if that is their ultimate intention, would probably be made after this season is completed.

  4. Herrera was ranked first in range factor in the NL, if not in all baseball. Tgat says tgat he can stick. Also didnt jimmy say that he asked ine if tge coaches who would win a gold glove first. I expected tgem to say Franco, but he said Herrera. I’d also expect his hitting skills and power to increase before decrease, unkess he acquires the Willie Montanez syndrome.

    1. Hey, I loved Willie the Phillie. I had that bat flip walking to the plate thing he did down pat when I was a kid. He was so smooth.

    1. And in his second at bat – Franco hits another home run. If he keeps this up, we could be looking at a bona fide star – won’t that help the rebuild?!

          1. a pitching staff of Asher, Mujica, Frieri and a Rule 5 — it’s meant to implode at some point in time. this is probably the weakest pitching staff the Phils assembled so far in spring training. Frieri needs to go. Mujica or Bailey will make it with the team – I’m leaning towards Bailey. If the Phils keeps Stumpf and his low to mid 90s, LaFromboise will be in LHV.

            1. Bailey has looked terrific so far. I think he’ll be the closer initially. Mujica has looked very good also though I’m not sure there’s room for him. We’ll see how the pen gets worked out but Stumpf didn’t help himself today.

          2. Murray,

            Regular season and they pull Stumpf and don’t lose the game.

            Couple of observations on Franco, who I have full confidence is a star player:

            1. For the second time in two games that I’ve seen him this spring (the other game against the Twins last week), he bobbled a ball in his glove and hurried a throw that pulled the first baseman off the bag.

            2. After his second home run, his at-bats looked like someone thinking about his third home run.

    1. You scout Stumpf and the stuff and you start to wonder how effective he can be long term. I think he benefited early in Spring from guys just not being familiar with him.

      1. DMAR,
        He is in the truest sense …a LOOGY.
        And just not sure how critical it is for the Phillies to really need one at this point in their rebuild.

        1. Romus, you are right. He is a LOOGY and the Phillies are stretching him out to see how he handles righties as well. Nothing wrong with trying to get that extra work in and seeing how he reacts to pressure and different situations.

          I don’t care if he’s a LOOGY-only. Our bullpen isn’t exactly chock-full of phenomenal relievers. If he turns out to be an absolute stud, shut-down LOOGY, then we are set with one position in the bullpen for the next 6 years. This is the time to experiment and see who can succeed. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to see if can be a LOOGY and perhaps something more in time.

          1. I would tend to agree…..but do not see modern day relievers, LOOGYs withstanding, lasting to be 6 year stars.
            Relievers are so fluid and other than a select few, their shelf-life is normally only 3/4 years.
            I can see experimenting with him now and see how he does vs the righties.
            This is the time to do it.
            If he is able to muster it up…then he probably makes the 25 North.

            1. I’m passing on Stumpf I think at decision time. I have Araujo and LaFramboise and Oberholtzer.

              I’ll keep him of course if KC doesn’t want him back and assign him to AAA.

  5. SP Hellickson, Nola, Morton, Eickoff, Morgan BP Oberholtzer, Stumpf, MUjica, Gomez, Hinosa, Hernandez, Bailey !B Howard 2b Hernandez ss Galvis 3B Franco LF Bourjos CF Herrera RF Goedell C Ruiz C Rupp IF Blanco Jackson OF Ruf Hunter ( I think Ruf may start in LF on Opening day and Bourjos in RF)

    1. This is very interesting Sam. Notably absent is Velasquez. I don’t think there is any chance Ruf starts any games in the OF given Pete’s emphasis on defense and pitching.

      I like Goeddel in RF and Bourjos in LF.

      As far as the pen is concerned if I had to decide today I think Hinojosa would be my closer.

      1. It will be Bailey closing (I predict) although Hinojsa sure looks like he has a good shot to make the team. Bailey, Hernandez (if he’s not on the DL initially), Gomez, Araujo, Stumpf (probably) or Lafrombase, Garcia or Hinojsa, and Asher, Velasquez, Morgan, and Oberholzer to cover 5th starter and long man. The two who don’t make it (Velasquez and Asher?) will be in the LHV rotation with Appel, Eflin, and Thompson. The LHV pen should be decent also.

      2. DMAR,

        Agree. MacKanin has made it pretty clear by his words and line ups that he isn’t thinking much about Ruff in LF.

      3. The only reason I think Ruf gets the start is cause opening day and he has time…I think Goedell gets majority time in left. I think Velaquez starts as #1 in LV just because Hellickson and Morton have looked good so far. I forgot about Araujo…I’d have him over Stumpf but figured they want to take a free look first

        1. Sam…Araujo has options left…maybe one I think…so assume he will be sent to LHV for more work. And you may be right on Velasquez as the LHV #1, if Pete Mack. decides he wants a lefty in the rotation to break things up a bit.
          If that is the case LHV has the numbers for a 6-man…but doubt they will do that at the AAA level….I think Joe Jordan would rather do that with A level pitchers and below, and let the AAA/AA pitchers get their rhythm in with the four day off regiment since a call-up could be happen at any time.

    2. I can see Mujica and Bailey making the team and probably Jackson is not Buriss. Phils might go with Sweeney than Hunter since Sweeney is already in the 40-man roster.

      The Phils will probably have 2 open spots when Altherr and Harrison will be put in DL60 – Mariot might be a casualty that will create 3 open spots for any of the NRI – Bailey, Mujica and Jackson or Burriss.

      1. The Phillies are giving Lough and Hunter long looks. They both started yesterday in Sarasota.

        Hunter looks good this spring.

        We’ll see.

      2. Asche is hurt and hasn’t had any Spring Training. Both Sweeney and Hunter have a good chance of making the team.

  6. If Velasquez is sent down to LHV, then, LHV along with Indianapolis may have two of best starting five rotations in all the minors.

  7. Appel and Cordero reports today:

    JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 · 5h5 hours ago
    Rowdy Tellez just homered off Appel. No doubter. Ok some of the hits were bloop but Appel is getting rocked.
    ………………………………
    JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 · 5h5 hours ago
    Roemen Fields makes a nice sliding catch in CF. A Fields – Alford OF doesn’t allow much to fall in lf and cf.
    ………………………………………….
    JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 · 5h5 hours ago
    Cordero was 93-97. Little wild.

    1. JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 · 5h5 hours ago
      Mark Appel 91-94. Gave up a fly ball HR to Jon Berti struck out next batter then walked Roemen Fields.

      JJ Cooper ‏@jjcoop36 · 5h5 hours ago
      Now Mark Appel on mound after Nick Williams doubled off of Greene. Too much fun here.

  8. Some loose comments from Phils-Rays.

    Hunter is playing like he wants to stay. HR again today.

    Neris and Bailey looked strong. Both struck out the side. Neris FB steadily at 93, 94. Bailey, too, Struck out the last batter who was ahead of the pitch when he backed off to 92. Missed much of Nola due to horrendously bad traffic. From what I saw, he mixed pitches well, FB at 89 to 92. Had control. No flappable.

    The Phils turned a number of nifty double plays over the past two games though, admittedly, with different players at different positions.

    Sweeney and Blanco were clutch at the plate. Ruf a double off a righty, of course. Hernandez big at the plate and a SB. Lots to like.

    Biggest surprise. Some guy wearing 93 came to the plate. No announcement as to who he is. He’s not listed on the Phillies roster. He strikes out. Then goes to right field.

    At next at bat, learn that this is Dylan Cozens. My first look at him. Later, he works a walk in the big Phillies 8th inning rally. He is huge, towering over the 1B coach. He returned to right field in the 9th and made the final put out of the win.

    1. FrankF….saw the game too and was as surprised as you that # 93 was Cozens.. My heavens, he was about 3 feet taller than Freddie Galvis !!!!!!!

  9. There’s going to be so much Talent coming up and staying up. Starting pitcher , Position players so A Asche , Hunter, Jackson , Loach , Sweeney, now . Maybe a Galvis , Cooch, Hernandez, Ruff etc later. SP Going a daily thing does it really matter who the last 2 players are that make this team . When you have AAA that’s loaded with Talent at the beginning of a season. The parent club is usually is at the end .

  10. Ah, if only Cozens began to bring power in his bat…ASAP. He now still plays in the OF….so 1b would be a large change for him. Awaiting power from this big guy.
    N. Williams IMO will continue to show power and a good bat. L:F for him? IO notice that they had him playing in RF a couple of games. His fielding in the OF is average but could get better with experience…he does have a good arm. Corny is headed to LF and will be up in maybe 3 years. IMO, he WILL add power. Question to myself: will Wil.liams be able tgo make an adjustment to RF? It would help since AA is gone for now and corny would be ticketed for LF. I do NOT see Knapp or Alfaro being traded any time soon. A good outcome could be Knapp at 1st base w Alfaro at C…if Knapp is first to come up to replace Ruiz in August or so. Refining Alfaro’s defense would allow–after a AA season and replacing Knapp at LV. Alfaro’s great arm SHOULD work very well at C….and be a stop to base-runners. We should not count Hoskins out any time soon until he rules himself out by play.Does Cozens remain in the OF? Probably so now that the big club is short. Many ;possibilities…and they will be playing out before our eyes this season and next. And then there is the #1 draft choice and following…int’l signings. WOW!

  11. Looks like Jon Singleton so far made a good move signing that ten million dollar contract. He still isn’t in the picture at first for the Astros, but will get his ten million. Sometimes I think its better to take less that’s guaranteed than bank on become a star.

    1. rocco…I think the ‘Stros are leaning AJ Reed….AJ Hinch yesterday said Singleton is still in their mix, along with another guy and also Duffy and Gonzalez as a back-up, but he didn’t sound to emphatic about Singleton’s chances.
      Singleton could be available to teams next month at a discount price.

  12. LV ?? Velaquez, Thompson, Appel, Efflin, Asher, Buchannon, Gonzalez
    Rea ?? Pivetta, Lively, I’m already forgetting guys

    1. Now that is a bit of a real shocker, since he came out of the Citadel…a military school in South Carolina.
      Does it mention what substance was involved?

  13. In the end that situation is just silly. I know a little about how they handle their clubhouse and the tunnel and this is clearly an over reaction by Adam. Most of the players and coaches are able to self manage family.

  14. I think its great that you could walk away from 14 million dollars. Plus lose a year of pension time. Cause your boss doesn’t want children in the clubhouse. We all would do the same thing. Nuts. could you imagine telling your boss. I Wont come in if you don’t let my kid run around the office.

  15. Boy it did my heart good to see Ryan crush a grand salami today. Its a very long shot but it would be awesome if he went out with a bang over the next few months. Its a pipe dream, but everyone would win if he had a good year and got traded.

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