12/8/16

Mack Ade – Adam Eaton

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Good morning.


The Chicago White Sox have traded outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals in a deal that brings two top prospects, RHSP Lucas Giolito and RHSP Reynaldo Lopez, to Chicago. In addition, the White Sox get Washington’s 2016 first round pick, RHSP Dane Dunning,

As we have discussed on other posts this week, only teams with deep, talented minor league systems can pull off a trade like this and not hurt their overall ranking of talent in this game.

Let’s get this over with… I’m in love with Giolito and still don’t forgive Sandy Alderson for not picking him with the Mets with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft. I also think that Lucas will turn out to be one of the premier starters in this game. That being said, I stand by my beliefs that a bird in hand is worth more than a prospect in the bush… you know… bush leagues… get it?

The recently turned 28-year old Eaton has really turned into one of the stars of the game. He hit .284/.362/.428 last season with 14-HRs, 6.0-WAR, and 14-SB. He’s also considered one of the top defensive right fielders in baseball.

He’s also already locked up for the next three years at only a total of $19.9mil over the length of the contract (+ two options).

The only downside here for the Mets is the fact that Eaton hits from the left side of the plate, but are you telling me that this guy wouldn’t be a better corner outfield option than Michael Conforto, who could be the lead chip in a package to the White Sox?

The White Sox seem to be interested this week (see Chris Sale trade) in securing team controlled prospects and targeted pitching in this deal.

Fine, throw in two Mets prospect pitchers like Robert Gsellman and Chris Flexen.

Would the White Sox be interested?


Well, how the hell would I know unless the offer was made!
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12/7/16

Mack Ade – Wade Davis

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Good afternoon.

The Kansas City Royals have traded 31-year old closer/reliever Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs for third year outfielder Jorge Soler.

Let me ask you a question (s)…

            -isn’t the Mets looking for a back-end reliever to help them get off to the right start while Jeurys Familia does his community service thing? Yes, due to a forearm strain, his fastball speed dropped last year from 95.7-mph to 94.9-mph, but the Cubs said they did a very thorough check on Davis’ medical records and believe a $10mil investment for one year is worth, well, the investment.

            -doesn’t a one year contract fit into the template that Sandy Alderson uses for relief pitchers for this team?

            -and lastly, couldn’t you insert the name of Michael Conforto where Soler’s name is and have a similar kind of sophomore jinxed outfielder? Soler debuted in 2014 with an impressive 89-AB, .292-BA, but seems to have leveled off since (2015: 366-AB, .262-AB… 2016: 227-AB, .238). Couldn’t one make a case that Conforto (2015: 174-AB, .270… 2016: 304-AB, .220) would also tickle the Royal’s fancy.

Look, I can’t speak for the Royal’s front office, but both these guys are young and Conforto comes even cheaper that Soler. Wouldn’t you think that the Mets could have, at least, make a run for something like this trade thought?

Would you for one year of Davis?


The Cubs had a zillion prospect outfielders and could afford to deal off Soler. Could the Mets do the same with Conforto, who really, right now, is the only outfielder in the system that seems like he belongs here. 
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Mack Ade – Chris Sale

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Good morning.

The Boston Red Sox trade yesterday of receiving all-star starter Chris Sale for four untested minor leaguers is the kind of trade that frosts my ass as a Mets fan. Sure, Yoan Moncada is the top prospect in baseball and baseball pundits rave about the potential of Michael Kopech, but that’s all they are right now. Neither is a time tested all-star that has already delivered 74 wins in seven seasons and will still pitch 2017 only as a 28-year old.

The Red Sox just added 223 strikeouts to their pitching staff.

The Mets don’t make trades like this. We always tell other clubs that our top prospects are untouchable, rather than tell them come at me and tell me what you are offering for them. There are clubs out there that just want to rid themselves of committed long-term contracts and want an organization of mostly minimum paid minor leaguers. Look at San Diego. They don’t have a single ballplayer left in their organization that has a contract past their ARB-1 (currently undetermined) commitment.

Plus, if the Mets traded for another front end starter like Sale, you would have guys like Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and yes, even Steven Matz, immediately become available for future deals.

Yes, we do sign quality free agents. Yoesnes Cespedes speaks of this. But teams like Boston wouldn’t let their prospects stand in their way of strengthening an already strong rotation. I remember when the Washington Nationals had what was considered one of the strongest rotations in baseball. Did that stop them from securing the service of Max Scherzer? I think not.

If Boston didn’t want Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce in their outfield, they wouldn’t be there. Both would be long gone by now in deals for the best prospects they could get at the time.

If Boston wanted to replace the loss of Granderson and Bruce with one quality right hand hitting outfielder, they would package a couple of these newly secured prospects, along with guys like Amed Rosario and Tomas Nido (I’m holding onto Michael Conforto and starting him this upcoming season in Queens).

And if Boston needed a quality relief pitcher to add to the back end of their pen, I would have plenty more prospects to throw at a team that wanted a couple of quality, minimum salaried prospects.

(There’s a couple more things that I do need to say. Our system is quite depleted right now. It’s from a combination of all the pitchers we gave up to teams to build a team two years ago to get us to the playoffs and, two (as we discussed yesterday) we just don’t draft as well as other teams do. We just don’t.

Another thing the Mets don’t do properly is sign International prospects. Yes, we have signed what seems like 5,345 shortstops, none of which have still turned into anything of any quality.)


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Reese Kaplan -- The Third LH Slugging Trade Chip

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Very early in the off-season there was speculation that the Mets might non-tender 1st baseman Lucas Duda rather than pay him the perhaps $7 million or so he will be awarded in arbitration.  Some people embraced this idea but no one seemed to indicate how they would fill this void short of signing a much more expensive option such as Edwin Encarnacion or converting Matt Holliday to the position.

Since then the Mets have gone ahead and locked up Yoenis Cespedes for the next four years which assures them of some right handed power.  On the left side, however, they’re somewhat overloaded with Duda, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto.  Some have suggested that Conforto learn 1st base in order to get him into the lineup on a regular basis,, but if Duda is here then that’s not a solution either.

Early indications are that there is interest in both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce as the Mets begin to gauge other teams’ interest in their available chips.  What I’m wondering is whether or not they should throw Lucas Duda’s name into the bowl as well?

Large market teams wouldn’t think twice about paying the $15 million salary of Curtis Granderson or the $13 million salary of Jay Bruce.  For what they deliver by today’s baseball standards they are actually somewhat underpaid.

Small market teams, however, may say those numbers are too rich for their blood.  However, a $7 million investment in a guy capable of 30 HRs may be more to their liking.  That expands your base of potential trade partners beyond the well healed franchises and includes others not normally in the big dollar arena such as Minnesota, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, San Diego and others.

Why would the Mets consider it?  Well, in Duda, Bruce and Granderson you have three virtual clones of one another – high power, high strikeout, all-or-nothing types of left handed hitters.  All are streaky and hurt the team badly when slumping, yet can carry a team when hot.  Granderson has an edge in that he draws a lot of walks and still has some speed and defense in his game.  Duda has made himself into a passable 1st baseman, but no one will confuse him with Keith Hernandez.  Bruce has a better arm than Granderson and is a better outfielder than Duda (though that bar is set at limbo championship height).

Given that surplus it behooves Sandy Alderson to look at all possibilities, not just the obvious ones.  Duda may be more appealing due to his salary and then if you strike a deal you could move Bruce to 1st base or convert Conforto or platoon him with Wilmer Flores.  I’m still on board with trading two lefty sluggers but think they should add Duda into the mix of options.  Next year Bruce, Granderson and Walker all come off the books.  Dom Smith is knocking at the door for promotion in 2018.  You’d still maintain payroll flexibility if you feel Smith is for real.  In fact, if they kept Conforto and Smith as part of the near future then you’ll recoup quite a bit of money to help pay for the starting rotation.

Looking over Duda’s contract he’s eligible to become a free agent in 2018.  That timing should coincide with the arrival of Dom Smith.  If you think they would likely not look to keep Duda beyond this year (and not extend a QO), isn’t it better to trade him a year too soon than lose him for nothing?
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12/6/16

Will Kay - It's Time for the Mets to Move an Outfielder

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The New York Mets recently announced the signing of Yoenis Cespedes to the highest contract in MLB history for an outfielder. While the move drastically improved New York's chances of competing in the NL East division this year, it left them with an abundance of outfielders on the roster right now. With five players capable of providing solid production as a starting outfield, it is time for the Mets to make a trade very soon.

The New York Mets seem to know that they have to make a trade before the season starts because they have been aggressively shopping outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson to other teams in the league. The Mets seem unwilling to trade Michael Conforto because of his huge upside. The team also loves the versatility and great defense of Juan Lagares. Trading either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson should bring back one or two solid players that can help the team this year and in the future. A trade will also free up some money to help the team go sign a big free agent this offseason.

The biggest problem for the Mets is that every team in the league knows they desperately need to trade an outfielder before spring training. This simply gives New York very little leverage in the trade negotiations. The market for Bruce and Granderson may also pose a problem for the Mets. New York would prefer to trade Jay Bruce, but far more teams are showing an interest in Curtis Granderson than Bruce. If the Mets want to get a trade done soon, then they may be forced to lower their asking price on both players.

While any team in the need of an outfielder power hitting outfielder would be a good trade partner for the New York Mets, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are showing the most interest in Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. Since closer Jeurys Familia is likely to be suspended for part of the 2017 season, the Mets are looking to get a solid reliever in any trade. The depth of their bullpen makes the Orioles a much better trade partner for the Mets than the Blue Jays.

The Mets will save at least $13 million by trading one of their extra outfielders. This payroll savings will allow the team to add even more depth to their weak bullpen. Adding two big names to the bullpen will put the Mets in great shape to compete for the National League pennant in 2017, but they must trade an outfielder before they can do anything else.

Since there are a lot of solid free agent outfielders on the market right now, the Mets may have to wait awhile to make a trade. The Orioles are not going to be willing to trade Brad Brach for Granderson if they think they can sign Mark Trumbo or Dexter Fowler. If a team fails to sign their desired outfielder and is left without any other options, then they will be much more willing to trade with the Mets.

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Mack Ade – Bryce Harper, Transparency

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Good morning.


Is it too early to discuss the possibility of the Mets signing OF Bryce Harper to a long-term contract in the $400mil range, beginning in the 2019 season?

Yeah, I know $40mil a year for 10 years seems kind of crazy, but someday some baseball player is going to be paid this much and it might as well be the best hitter in the game (sorry Mike Trout fans… he is).

Can you imagine the benefits of having Harper in the same outfield for two years with Yoenes Cespedes?

My guess is that the final two years of the David Wright contract will be off the books by then. I share with Wright his neck problems and, trust me, you can’t play a 162-game schedule without future complications. That would save the Mets $15mil in 2019 and $12mil in 2020, which could help offset the cost of the first two years of a Harper contract.

Additionally, Juan Lagares’ 2019 $9mil contract could be eliminated via a trade and the third outfield starter slot could be either Michael Conforto (arbitration-1) or Desmond Lindsay (minimum).

Folks, you all know that Mack’s Mets started, and has the reputation as, a premier Mets minor league blog, but I have always been a proponent of filling your 25-man squad with players (especially your starters) that already have success at the major-league level. Baseball is like the pro basketball adage, where you need three great players to make a championship team. In the case of baseball, it takes three great bats, two great starters, and a killer closer. The Mets have the current pitching talent to add to this equation, but they fall two bats short of fulfilling this scenario beginning in 2018.

Maybe Conforto develops into a great bat. Maybe Amed Rosario becomes the all-star shortstop they have been looking for since Jose Reyes exited the team years ago for free agency. Maybe… well, Harper isn’t a maybe. He’s a killer bat and the fans will take to him as quick as they hate him now.

Will something happen during this Hot Stove season that could signal a move someday in this direction? No, baseball doesn’t work that way. If it did, I would trade both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce for top prospects and sign someone like Carlos Gomez to join Harper and Cespedes in the starting outfield.

But what the hell do I know?



For the sake of full transparency, four readers have stepped up so far in December and donated $315.00 to Mack’s Mets. I thank these four from the bottom of my heart. As I have mentioned before, this donation push will end on New Year’s Eve, though we will keep the Paypal donation icon up on the site throughout the year.
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Reese Kaplan -- Jealous of Others' Shiny New Toys

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Sometimes it’s frustrating being a Mets fan.  Scratch that.  Rarely it’s not frustrating being a Mets fan.  The Hot Stove time of the year at least gives a reprieve to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th guessing of lineup and in-game managerial decisions.  Now the focus is on the GM and the owners who always seem either content with the status quo or unwilling to embrace the realities that people get hurt. 

Going into this season they’re banking on 5 starters, all of whom missed time with injuries last year.  The only healthy one is now going to be pitching in Atlanta.  Behind them you have two pitchers in Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman who shined when it counted most, but in Lugo’s case there’s not much of a pedigree behind the stellar performance.  The bullpen is without Jerry Blevins, Fernando Salas and likely a month or more without Jeurys Familia. Even with them the innings allocated to others in the pen were often a crap shoot.    

Yes, the club has retained the services of Yoenis Cespedes and Rene Rivera.  Kudos for that.  However, as they evidently field calls about their left handed hitting surplus, other teams are inking players to free agent contracts to improve their roster and they’re making trades.  Resources are scarce and the longer you wait, the more likely you’ll find fuzzy hot dogs rather than filet mignon when you open the fridge. 

Take, for example, the Washington Nationals.   A few years ago they had arguably the best starting rotation in baseball and they chose to add Max Scherzer.  How’d that work out for them? 

Last year the Chicago Cubs already had enviable hitting and still added Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler (FA who returned on a one-year deal) and Jason Heyward.  All they did was win the World Series.

Now spending isn’t a guarantee of success.  After all, look at the Yankees for the past several years where they haven’t finished at the top of their division since 2012.  The Angels and Tigers are two other franchises that bought into the spend-to-win philosophy but it has pretty much backfired. 

However, if you look at the top payrolls in MLB right now you see names like the Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants and Rangers, teams that are indeed contending for the top. 

Consequently when you see the Mets say things like they won’t be players for the best available bullpen arms – Chapman, Jansen and Melancon – you have to wonder about the commitment to winning.  In their haste to lower payroll they are going to trade one or both of Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson.  What happens if, for example, Yoenis Cespedes gets hit by a golf cart?  Do we seriously think Brandon Nimmo or Ty Kelly is going to replace him?

I have no problem with trading both of these players if the return makes sense.  Can you get some top prospects to fill in the fairly barren minor league cupboard?  Can you find a relief pitcher or leadoff hitter or catcher who can help immediately?  The spin, however, is about payroll exclusively and that fuels the fire of people who refer to the Wilpons as cheap.

Hey, when you just forked over $110 million for Yoenis Cespedes, I don’t think you can properly call them cheap.  Misguided perhaps – like paying David Wright when his numbers were in decline at Citifield and Madoff had bankrupted the franchise – or failing to be in on foreign players who could help the club.  My criticism is more about banking too heavily on health when 2016 should have demonstrated to everyone that people do indeed get hurt and miss significant amounts of time.  Even Ron Darling went on record recently saying that you have to plan as if you will get nothing whatsoever from David Wright.  Granted, Jose Reyes is a better alternative than Eric Campbell, but you could certainly make the case that Evan Longoria or Todd Frazier would be better still.  

I’m frankly tired of the club preparing for a marathon each year and then thinking the Modell’s off-brand shoes will hold up for the duration.  
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12/5/16

Nelson Figueroa - Donations For Kids

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Getting closer and closer each day and although it's not a tuesday, please watch and any donation you can make to help these wonderful kids experience an amazing life changing camp will be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU ALL
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Richard Herr - So Whaddya Think 4

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Averages & Percentages
“So Whaddya think?”
“Whaddya mean, what do I think?”
“Whaddya think the Mets need to do to improve their average for runners in scoring position?”
“They need to be at RISP.”
“Is that a joke?”
“Not a good one, but it’s hard to come up with good jokes when you’re as thirsty as I am. I’m about a pint low.”
“I’m going to see if I can do the impossible: get you back to the topic. Tell me about RISP.”
“It’s all about averages and percentages.”
“I know that. It’s average with Runners In Scoring Position.”
“That is correct. You win the prize which happens to be the right to buy the next round before Percy dies of old age behind the bar.”
“Your comment is noted, and has been sent to the Finance Committee, which has final say in the matter.”
“That’s good.”
“So you were saying averages and percentages.”
“You gotta think of those things when you’re trying to get to a good RISP.”
“That means what?”
“That means there’s all sorts of averages and percentages involved.”
“How’s that.”
“Okay, let’s say one of the Mets’ many left-handed batters is at the plate.”
“Do I get to choose which one?”
“Right now, that’s subject to change. One of them’s about to get traded away. For my purposes they’re interchangeable. They’re all coached by Kevin Long.”
“That makes them all the same?”
“No, but there’s a tendency. So let’s get this guy to the plate before he’s hit with a delay of game penalty.”
“I’ll say it’s Grandy.”
“Not a bad choice. What do you see out in the field?”
“Nine guys.”
“Yeah, and where do you see a greater proportion of them?”
“In a shift.”
“Bingo. There’s a whole bunch of them gathered on the right side of the field because their manager is playing the--get this--percentages that he’ll hit over there. Which he will probably do. Now why, may I ask you, is he going to hit to the right side?”
“He likes to.”
“That’s one way of phrasing it. It’s because he hits the ball harder that way, and will probably have a better batting--her we go again--average by hitting that way.”
“So?”
“Now let me pose you a question. What would happen if there were twelve guys out on the field instead of nine?”
“More balls’d be caught.”
“Right, and he’d have a lower batting average than with the number of players that Abner Doubleday originally came up with. Well isn’t that kind of the same situation you have when you’re trying to hit into a pull side with a majority of the fielders playing on that side?”
“You could say that.”
“It’s a free country, so I will. Now, he says, wouldn’t you be able to hit for a higher average by shooting some balls to the left side which is manned by a Lonely Guy with a glove?”
“Yeah.”
“The problem is you’re going to hit a lower percentage of home runs going that way because the swing is stronger to the pull side.”
“Are we getting somewhere?”
“You bet, and here’s what I’m getting at. Take this situation. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, tie game, guy on third. Do you need a home run, or do you need a single?”
“A single wins the game.”
“And guys hit a higher percentage of singles than home runs.”
“Your point is?”
“My point is that you’ll have a better batting average with RISP if you look at the percentages in the situation and sacrifice your home run swing for a secondary skill of being able to take the ball the other way. It doesn’t get you as many home runs, but it brings in more guys from second. Add that second swing to your batting repertoire.”
“You finally got there!”
“Of course I got there. Now the question is when do you suppose Percy is going to make his way down to this end of the bar?”
“I think he stays where he is because he gets a better percentage of tips from the guys down there.”
“Smart ass.”

Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.


You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.
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Mack’s Morning Report – My 2017 Binghamton Whatever They Are Called Now - Infield

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Binghamton Mets Baseball - Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau

Good Morning.


My 2017 Binghamton infied -


1B – Kevin Taylor – 24/yrs – AA: 399-AB, .288, 8-HR – I’m a fast track kind of General Manager and I’m going to move this along as quick as I can, knowing that Peter Alonso (21/yrs, Brklyn, .321) could be right behind him. Taylor is a rags-to-riches story in the making… a 2011 36th round draft pick by the Dodgers out of a Community College than wound up in Indy ball in 2014 and 2015. Hit .327, 11-HR for Laredo in the American Association in 2015 before the Mets signed him to play last year in St. Lucie. Is he a future major league first baseman? Who the heck knows at this point.

2B – L.J. Mazzilli – Mazzilli had an exception year in 2014 for Savannah (250-AB, .292) and St. Lucie (250-AB, .312), but has not hit above .263 since. His .240 last season for Binghamton was particularly disappointing. I have no room for him in Las Vegas so I’ll have him come back here and try one more time to impress. Family contact or not, he has to produce.

SS – Luis Guillorme – Guillorme is like T.J. Rivera version 2.0. Had a magical year in Savannah in 2015 (.318, .391-OBP) and settled in last year for St. Lucie (441-AB, .263). One of the top defensive infielders in the organization, his biggest problem will come when he’s trying to force out Amed Rosario for the Mets shortstop position. Until then, enjoy the kid.

3B – David Thompson – Frankly, I had three third basemen to pick from here and I went with the one with the most talent, highest investment by the team, and highest projected return. Thompson was a steal as a 4th round draft pick in 2015 after leading the NCAA with 90-RBIs for the U. 2016 was his first full professional year and he hit 11-HR/95-RBIs split with Columbia and St. Lucie. I’m fast tracking him to AA because he will play 2017 as a 23 year old and we desperately need a power hitting, young, healthy third baseman someday in Queens.

UT/IF – Jhoan Urena – 21/yrs old – A highly touted international prospect at 16, Urena has had a hard time staying uninjured and unsuspended. Life is quickly passing the young Met by and he’ll now lose his third base position to Thompson. It could even be worse than that since he really only plays one infield position and doesn’t fill the requirements needed for a utility infielder. A DH maybe (frankly, I may rethink this whole thing and replace him with either Jonathan Johnson or Vinny Siena).

UT/IF – Derrick Gibson – My third 3Bman, though this one can play three positions in the infield. The 26-year old ex-2nd round BoSox pick (2008) had a great year for the B-Mets last season (392-AB, .281) after he was dropped by Baltimore after the 2015 season. He would be my starter but I have to go first with Thompson, who the team has much more ching invested in.

        Update - I wrote this piece before Gibson signed a new deal with a new team... since it is a UT fill in, I will assume the Mets will not rush someone from inside the organization and instead sign someone outside the organization, like Gibson was orginally signed.

C – Tomas Nido - 22/yrs – St. Lucie: 344-AB, .320 – Nido was an over-slot 8th round high school pick in 2012 that was supposed to be the bomb behind the plate. He got off to a slow start for Kingsport (2012) and Brooklyn (2013), found his pace in 2014 for Brooklyn (.277) and 2015 for Savannah (.259) and then broke out last year for St. Lucie, where he led the league in hitting. Yes, a Mets catcher led the league in hitting. Can I hear an Amen?


C/UT – Lednier Ricardo – Ricardo is what he is… a backup catcher. Nido will get most of the games here and, if he stumbles or is injured, I’ll call up Brandon Brosher from St. Lucie. 
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