Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tigers Acquire Jhonny Peralta

The Tigers acquired Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians today for minor league pitcher Giovanni Soto.  Peralta is a 28-year-old third baseman who is batting .246/.308/.389 so far this year.  The converted shortstop appeared to be headed for stardom when he posted a .886 OPS at age 23 in 2005.  After two down years, he then had an OPS of .804 in 2008.  However, his OPS has been below .700 each of the last two years.

He will presumably take over third base while Brandon Inge is on the the disabled list with a broken hand.  When Inge returns in another month or so, Peralta may switch to shortstop if he hits. He's not a good defensive shortstop though, so it would be hard to justify bumping Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth if he continues to struggle offensively.  The Tigers have a $7 million option on Peralta for next year, but it's hard to see them exercising it at this point.

Soto is a soft tossing left-hander who had a 2.61 ERA and 76/25 K/BB ratio at low single-A Western Michigan this year.  He is only 19 years old and still has time to increase his velocity, but currently has him ranked as only the 36th best prospect in the Tigers system.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ordonez, Guillen to DL, Larish and RhymesRecalled

Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez have been placed on the disabled list and infielders Jeff Larish and Will Rhymes have been added to the 25 man roster.  Guillen left today's game with a strained calf and Ordonez left with a broken ankle.  The injuries to Guillen, Ordonez and Brandon Inge have left the Tigers with a very young inexperienced roster.  Nine of their 13 position players  spent time in the minors either last year or this year.  Only Miguel Cabrera, Johnny Damon, Gerald Laird and Ramon Santiago have been in the majors for all of 2009-2010. 

Rhymes is a 5-9 155 pound second baseman, who has been described as the David Eckstein of the minors.  The left-handed batter hit .304/.367/.414 for Toledo this season.  He also had a 33/31 BB/K ratio in 336 at bats and 20 steals.  Jeff Larish is a slugging corner infielder who was batting .275/.373/.497 for the MudHens.  He was hitting .304 with 10 homers in June-July. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ordonez Fractures Ankle, Out 6-8 Weeks

Magglio Ordonez left tonight's game after the third inning with a fractured ankle and will be out six to eight weeks.  His ankle had already been bothering him and he was being used as a designated hitter to reduce the risk of further injury.  However, he twisted his ankle sliding into home on a double by Miguel Cabrera in the bottom of the third.  He had to be helped off the field and x-rays revealed the bad news later.

The Ordonez injury combined with Brandon Inge's broken hand may be too much to overcome for a team trying to stay in the race in the American League Central division.  They already have five rookies playing regularly and will likely call up another tomorrow.  Possibilities include Ryan Strieby, Casper Wells and Wilkin Ramirez.  This could also mean more playing time for Ryan Raburn and Donny Kelly.  The line-up is not looking good at all right now.

This week's injuries will probably alter what they will try to as the trading deadline approaches. Much of the talk has centered around acquiring a starting pitcher such as Danny Haren or Ted Lilly.  There has also been talk about relievers, although specific names have not been mentioned seriously.  They might now shift their attention to hitters.  One possibility would be to move Carlos Guillen back to DH, Johnny Damon to left field and Scott Sizemore to second base and to acquire a new third baseman. 

Of course, they might also decide that they are no longer serious contenders and stand pat.  They could spend the rest of the season finding out which young players are ready for next year. 

Another thing to think about is Magglio Ordonez's contract.  His 2011 option will vest if he reaches 135 starts or 540 plate appearances in 2010 or 270 starts and 1,080 plate appearances in 2009-2010.  He has only 84 starts and 365 starts so far this season, which makes it virtually impossible for his option to vest.  This means the Tigers will be able to shed his $15 million contract, or at least sign him at a lower salary.   

With the end of contracts of Ordonez, Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman, Johnny Damon, Gerald Laird and Brandon Inge brings, over 60 million will be coming off the books after the season.  A couple of those players may be back at lower salaries, but I think we can expect a lot of wheeling and dealing this off-season.

For now though, the injury is a big blow to their chances to contend for the division title.  It could lead to a disappointing rest of the summer for Tigers fans.  All we can do is wait and see how things unfold starting with the player they call up for tomorrow's doubleheader.    

Where Does Cabrera's 2010 Season Rank in Tigers History?

It's been well documented that Miguel Cabrera has a chance to be the first Triple Crown winner (league leader in batting average, home runs and Runs Batted In)  in Major League Baseball since Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastremski accomplished the feat in 1967.  Cabrera's .347 batting average is second in the league to Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton (.354).  His 24 homer's are second to Jose Baustista of the Blue Jays (26) .  He leads the league in RBI with 85.   So, he is certainly within reach of winning all three categories.   

Cabrera also ranks well on some of the more modern statistics: He leads in slugging average (.650) and OPS (1.070).  He is second in OBP (.420) to Twins first Baseman Justin Morneau (.437). 

If we compare his OPS to league average and adjust for home ballpark, we get his adjusted OPS+.  An OPS+ of 100 is league average.  An OPS+ of more than 100 is better than average and an OPS+ of less than 100 is worse than average.  Keeping in mind that it's difficult to assign a ballpark effect to Target Field in Minnesota at this early stage, Cabrera is currently second to Morneau in OPS+ (181 versus 182). 

A limitation of OPS+ is that it weights OBP and slugging equally.  In actuality, OBP is more important than slugging and should carry more weight. It has been determine from the results of thousands of games that the following linear weights are more appropriate:

single 0.47
double 0.77
triple 1.04
home run 1.40
walk 0.31
HBP 0.34

Based on that, we can arrive at a batters runs created (wRC).  Cabrera has 84.7 wRC which is second to Hamilton at 85.8.  Adjusted Runs Created (wRC+) is the linear weights version of OPS+ and is interpreted the same way.  Cabrera is second to Morneau in wRC+ (181 to 185).

I used OPS+ and wRC+ to compare Cabrera's 2010 season so far to the best seasons in Tigers history.  Table 1 below lists the top seasons according to OPS+.  Not surprisingly, Ty Cobb dominates the list with nine of the top 11 seasons.   His OPS+ in those years ranged from 209 in 1917 to 185 in 1915.  His supremacy is interrupted only by Norm Cash (201 in 1961) and Harry Heilmann (194 in 1923).  Cabrera's current 181OPS+ ranks him 12th on the list.  For those who are curious, Magglio ordonez had a 166 OPS+ in 2007.

Table 1: Top OPS+ seasons in Tigers history 

Rank Player Year OPS+
1 Ty Cobb 1917 209
2 Ty Cobb 1910 206
3 Norm Cash 1961 201
4 Ty Cobb 1912 200
5 Ty Cobb 1911 196
6 Harry Heilmann 1923 194
7 Ty Cobb 1913 194
8 Ty Cobb 1909 194
9 Ty Cobb 1918 193
10 Ty Cobb 1914 190
11 Ty Cobb 1915 185
12 Miguel Cabrera 2010 181
13 Harry Heilmann 1927 180
14 Ty Cobb 1916 179
15 Al Kaline 1967 176
16 Roy Cullenbine 1946 176

Table 2 lists the top Tigers seasons according to wRC+.  Cobb is even more dominant on this list taking nine of the top ten spots.  Cash's 1961 season is the only interruption.  Cabrera ranks #15 on this list behind ten seasons of Cobb, Cash, Heilmann's 1923 and 1927 seasons and Roy Cullenbine in 1946.

There is still a lot of baseball to be played this season but if Cabrera can keep up the same pace, it will be one of the best seasons ever by a Tiger not named Cobb.   

Table 2: Top wRC+ Seasons in Tigers history

Rank Player Year wRC+
1 Ty Cobb 1917 219
2 Ty Cobb 1910 219
3 Ty Cobb 1911 210
4 Ty Cobb 1909 209
5 Ty Cobb 1913 203
6 Norm Cash 1961 200
7 Ty Cobb 1912 200
8 Ty Cobb 1915 200
9 Ty Cobb 1918 200
10 Ty Cobb 1914 197
11 Harry Heilmann 1923 196
12 Ty Cobb 1916 193
13 Roy Cullenbine 1946 192
14 Harry Heilmann 1927 187
15 Miguel Cabrera 2010 181
16 Al Kaline 1967 181

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sizemore to Replace Inge at Third

Rookie Scott Sizemore has been recalled from Toledo to replace Brandon Inge at third base.  He has played only four games at third base, but the Tigers don't have any better options in their system.  My original thought was that Sizemore would play second with Carlos Guillen switching to third.  Apparently the Tigers either don't think Guiillen has the arm to play third or just don't want to move him to yet another position in the middle of the season.  I'm sure they are hoping that Sizemore can blossom as a hitter while playing a passable third base.

While Sizemore will be a substantial downgrade defensively at third, he has potential as a hitter.  He began the season as the Tigers starting second baseman but struggled at the plate with a .586 OPS in 97 at bats.  However, he excelled at triple-A Toledo batting .329 with a .392 OBP and 19 extra base hits in 41 games. This is not likely to be a permanent shift.  If he has a future as a major league regular, it will almost surely be at second base.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inge Out 4-6 Weeks with Broken Finger

Brandon Inge was hit by a pitch by Rangers right-hander Scott Feldman tonight and left the game with a broken finger.  The early word is that he'll be out four to six weeks.  This is a big blow to the Tigers who already had a few other holes they were trying to fill before the July 31trading deadline.  He was replaced by Don Kelly tonight, but that won't be a permanent arrangement.

There are a couple of possible directions they could go.  What I would like to see them do is bring up second baseman Scott Sizemore (.333/,395/.509 for Toledo) and move Carlos Guillen to third base.  Sizemore is a better second baseman than Guillen and Guillen won't hurt them anymore at third than second.  

Since I think that Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland will be reluctant to move Guillen to yet another new position, a more likely scenario would be to call up Jeff Larish (.273/.368./.505 for Toledo). The problem I see with this move is that you end up with below average defenders at both second and third. 

The third possibility would be to acquire a third baseman in a trade, but they are already looking for help in the starting rotation, the bullpen and shortstop.  If they do look to acquire a third baseman, possible targets include Pedro Feliz and Ty Wgginton. 

I'm sure we'll find out more tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tigers Swept by Indians

The Indians beat the Tigers 7-2 today to complete a four game sweep of the Tigers.  Jeanmar Gomez held them to two unearned runs in seven innings in his first MLB start.  It shouldn't have come to a surprise to anyone given how the Tigers have played this series:  Here is my  summary of the Tigers play this series:

1. Poor pitching except for Rick Porcello
2. Poor fielding
3. Even worse hitting

My list of positives:

1. Porcello pitched a great game in the second game of yesterday's doubleheader.

There is really nothing else I can come up with.  It was just an awful series, the worst of the season for the Tigers.  They better get straightened out fast because the schedule is about to get really tough with 30 straight games versus teams which are currently above .500:

3 vs. Rangers
4 vs. Blue Jays
7 vs. Rays
3 vs. Red Sox
6 vs. White Sox
3 vs. Angels
4 vs. Yankees

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Strong First Start for Porcello

The one thing the Tigers need more than anything if they are going to remain in contention all year is for Rick Porcello to turn his season around.  He was sent down to the minors in June after posting a 6.14 ERA in 13 starts.  After four starts in Toledo, the hope is that he'll respond to his triple-A stint anywhere close to as well as Max Scherzer has.  Scherzer has a 2.86 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings since returning from a two-game trip to Toledo.

Porcello returned to the Tigers rotation with a bang tonight.  He threw eight innings of six-hit one-run ball versus the Indians in the second game of a doubleheader.  His control was outstanding as he threw 71 of his 99 pitches for balls and walked nobody. 

He had his sinker working well enough to put up an 11/6 gound out fly out ratio.  prior to his demotion, he had a 28/38 GO/FO ratio which isn't going to work for a sinker ball pitcher.  In addition to the ground balls, he also had a season high six strikeouts.

Some will say that it's only game against a weak hitting Cleveland Indians club and they are correct.  However, this is the same team against which Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander have struggled the last two days.  The important thing is that Porcello was throwing strikes and inducing grounders, two things he wasn't doing so much earlier in the year.           

Tigers Lose Game One of DH

The Tigers scored three runs off Fausto Carmona in the first inning but stopped right there losing 4-3 to the Indians in the first game of a day night doubleheader.  Carmona was not sharp today allowing six batters in the first four innings.  However, three doubleplays and some strong Indians defense saved him.  Most notably, third baseman Andy Marte made a brilliant play on a shot down the line by Miguel Cabrera with two runners on base and nobody out in the third inning.  He turned a two run double into a double play and the Tigers were pretty much done offensively after that point.

Justin Verlander also had trouble with control allowing five walks in six innings.  His wild pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth inning allowed the tying run to score.  It's a ball that Alex Avila could have caught but when your ace allows five walks, you are inviting that sort of thing to happen.  Reliever Phil Coke allowed the winning run to score in the seventh on a double by Matt LaPorta, a questionable intentional walk to Shelley Duncan and a single by Trevor Crowe.  

It's been two consecutive lackluster performances versus a last place team for the Tigers.  Rick Porcello, who really needs to get going in the second half, will pitch game two versus Mitch Talbot. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tigers Lose to Indians in First Game After Break

After an all-star break that seemed to last a month, the Tigers were finally back in action today.  Unfortunately, they were pounded by the Indians 8-2 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.  Austin Kearns and Andy Marte led the Indians ten hit attack with homers.  The loss leaves the Tigers a game and a half behind the White Sox pending the outcome of their game with the Twins tonight.

Max Scherzer came into the game with a 2.44 ERA and 62/19 K/BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings since returning from Toledo.  Tonight, he had control problems walking five batters and throwing 109 pitches in just five innings.  He gave up four runs on five hits.

Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to a career high 20 games with a first inning single.  He gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at the time.

The Tigers mysterious home/road breakdown continues.  They are now 32-13 at home and 16-26 on the road.  They've got three more games at Cleveland this weekend including a doubleheader tomorrow.     

Friday, July 09, 2010

Tigers Take Game One Versus Twins

Minnesota came into the series having only five wins in their last 16 games.  They had fallen into third place after being in first most of the season.  Still, Tigers fans always fear the worst when the Twins come to town.  This time the Tigers took game one 7-3 in relatively stress-free fashion.

The Bengals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning against Twins starter Francisco Liriano.  The inning featured three straight singles by the heart of the order - Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Brennan Boesch.  They added five more in the second thanks to a two-run single by Ordonez and a two-run triple by Carlos Guillen.  They led 7-0 after two innings with their ace Justin Verlander on the mound.

The Tigers would not score again against four Twins relievers but there was no way Jim Leyland was going to let this one get away.  He made two preemptive moves to make sure the Twins would not sneak back into it.  When Verlander allowed five straight singles in the sixth to make it 7-2, Leyland immediately removed him.  Normally, he would let let Verlander try to work his way out off a mess in the sixth inning of a two-run game but not tonight. Rookie Robbie Weinhardt came into the game with the bases loaded and one out and induced Delmon Young to hit into a double play.

The second Leyland decision came in the ninth.  Ryan Perry allowed the first two batters to reach in the ninth.  In a typical game, Leyland would have left him in there for at least another batter.  Tonight though, he brought in closer Jose Valverde with a five-run lead.  Valverde allowed a single to J.J. Hardy to make it 7-3 but then retired the final three batters in succession.

Tomorrow, night it will be Jeremy Bonderman versus Nick Blackburn.  It's a pretty good match-up for the Tigers but if Bonderman pitches the way he has in the last couple of outings, you can bet that the Tigers manager will have a quick hook again.  It's an important series and Leyland is going to do everything he can to give them a chance at a series win.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Best Rookie Seasons for Tigers Position Players

Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson are the two best rookies in the American League so far this season.  They are also having the most impressive seasons we've seen among Tigers rookie position players in a long time.  Where do they rank on the list of all-time Tigers rookies?  To answer this question, I used statistics from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.  Some of statistics used are:
  •  PA = Plate appearances
  •  BA = Batting Average
  •  OBP = On Base Percentage
  •  SLG = Slugging Average
  • OPS+ = OPS relative to league average adjusting for ballpark: 100 is average; above 100 is  better than average; below 100 is worse than average.
  • RAA = Runs Above Average = runs contributed above what an average batter would have been expected to contribute given the same number of outs.
  • WAR = Wins Above Replacement = the wins a player contributed to his team’s win total above what you would expect from a replacement level player – a theoretical player who could be acquired for league minimum salary.
It’s a challenge to rank players from different eras and the rankings which follow are somewhat subjective.  It’s especially difficult to compare players on fielding contribution because the most advanced fielding data are only available for 2002-2010.  WAR attempts to include fielding contribution but data prior to retrosheet in 1954 are not very reliable.  For earlier years, anecdotal information on fielding is also considered. 

Assuming Brennan Boesch continues to hit at the same rate, he would be the best rookie hitter in Tigers history with an OPS+ of 160.  However, I have ranked him below Rudy York, who had a 150 OPS+ at the more demanding catching position.  I ranked Austin Jackson number five ahead of some better hitters, in part, because of his exceptional fielding at an important defensive position.  The top 12 players are included in Table 1.

Table 1: Top 10 Rookie Seasons for Tigers Position Players

Rank Player                        Year  Pos  Age  PA  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS+  RAA  WAR 
Rudy York
1937 C 23 417 .307 .375 .651 150 34.6 4.3
Brennan Boesch
2010 LF 25 251 .341 .394 .594 160 20.4 2.5
Dale Alexander
1929 1B 26 700 .343 .397 .580 148 42.9 4.5
Donie Bush
1909 SS 21 676 .273 .380 .314 114 26.1 7.4
5 Austin Jackson 2010 CF 23 322 .307 .354 .407 103 5.2 2.2
6 Dick Wakefield 1943 LF 22 697 .316 .377 .434 127 29.4 4.2
7 Matt Nokes 1987 C 23 508 .289 .345 .536 135 20.8 3.6
8 Barney McCosky 1939 CF 22 692 .311 .384 .470 100 20.6 4.2
9 Lou Whitaker 1978 2B 21 567 .285 .361 .357 101 4.7 3.7
10 Harvey Kuenn 1953 SS 22 731 .308 .356 .386 101 2.8 3.6
Lu Blue        
1921 1B 24 709 .308 .416 .427 116 24.7 3.6
12 Ira Flagstead 1919 RF 25 342 .331 .416 .481 155 24.4 3.7

Here are some notes on each batter:

Rudy York (1937)
York blasted 18 home runs in the month of August which is still an American League record. He finished in the American League Top five in slugging (.651), homers (35) and OPS (1.026). York gets extra credit in the ranking for being a catcher. He wound up playing 13 Major League seasons between 1934-1948, most of them with the Tigers. He batted .275, with 277 home runs and a 123 OPS+ in 1,603 games. 

Brennan Boesch (2010)

Boesch is fifth in the league in OPS (.988), fourth in batting average (.341), and fourth in slugging (.594).  He is the clear favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award in the American League.  

Dale Alexander (1929)

Alexander finished in the American League top ten in batting average (.343), slugging (.580) and OPS (.977). He batted .331 in five seasons with the Tigers and Red Sox but was a terrible fielder and was sent to the minors after batting .281 in 1933.

Matt Nokes (1987)

Nokes hit one homer for every 14.4 at bats in 1987, good for fourth best in the league. He also gets extra credit for being a catcher. He played 11 seasons with five major league teams but never again approached the numbers of his rookie season.

Donie Bush (1909)

Bush led the league in games played (157) and walks (88) and finished third in OBP (.380). His rookie season was his best one offensively but he went on to play 16 seasons as a steady shortstop, mostly with the Tigers.

Austin Jackson (2010)

Jackson leads American League center fielders with a .307 batting average and is third in OBP (.354).  More importantly, he leads all Major League center fielders in Defensive Runs Saved (+12 runs better than average). 

Dick Wakefield (1943)

Wakefield was likely helped somewhat by the diluted talent pool during World War II but he finished second in batting (.316), 6th in OBP (.377) and 5th in slugging (.434). That was his only truly full season but he played nine years mostly with the Tigers and posted a 131 OPS+ in 2,132 career at bats.

Barney McCosky (1939)

McCosky finished 5th in the league in times on base (262), fourth in runs (120) and second in triples (14) while playing a solid center field.  He missed three prime years due to World War II but still posted a line of .312/.386/.414 in 11 seasons with four teams.

Lou Whitaker (1978)

Whitaker and Alan Trammell began their long careers as a very strong hitting and fielding keystone combo in 1978. Whitaker batted .285 with a .361 OBP and won the American League Rookie of the Year. He played 19 seasons, all with the Tigers, and batted .276/.363/.426.

Harvey Kuenn (1953)

Kuenn finished sixth in the league with a .308 batting average in 155 games as a shortstop. That performance earned him the American League Rookie of the Year award. Kuenn went on to bat .303 in 15 seasons for five major league teams.

Lu Blue (1921)

Blue walked 103 times to finish second in the league and his .416 OBP was good for eighth. In 13 major league seasons, he walked 1,092 times with only 436 strikeouts.

Ira Flagstead (1919)
Flagstead batted a robust .331/.416/.481 with a 153 OPS+ but ranks as low as twelfth on this list because he had only 342 plate appearances in 1919. He played 13 seasons, mostly with the Tigers and Red Sox, and batted .290 with a .370 OBP.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Austin Jackson Among AL Baserunning Leaders

For most of baseball history, baserunning has been measured by stolen bases and caught stealing.  Fans and analysts have complained for a long time that there is more to baserunning than stealing bases and that the impact of baserunning has not been measured adequately.  For example, a good baserunner will go from first to third on a single or advance from second to third on a fly ball more often than a poor baserunner. 

With the development of play-by-play databases such as Retrosheet, it is now possible to measure baserunning beyond stolen bases.  The most advanced baserunning metric is Equivalent Baserunning Runs (EQBRR) found at at Baseball Prospectus.  Developed by former Baseball Prospectus writer and current MLB team statistician Dan Fox, EQBRR takes into account the following types of baserunner advancement:

(1) Ground outs (e.g. Runner is on first base with other bases unoccupied and less than two outs and then advances to second on a ground out)

(2) Air outs  (e.g. Runner is on second base with third  base unoccupied and less than two outs and then advances to third on a fly out)

(3) Stolen bases, caught stealing and pickoffs.

(4) Hits (Runner goes from first to third on a single, second to home on a single or first to home on a double)

(5) Other  (passed balls, wild pitches, balks)

A complex algorithm takes all of the above into consideration in estimating the number of runs which a player contributed to his team above what you would expect from an average baserunner.  For those who are interested in the details, the methodology can be found here, here and here

The top baserunners in the American League according to EQBRR in 2010 are listed below:

Chone Figgins, Sea 5.9
Elvis Andrus, Tex 5.9
Carl Crawford, TB 5.4
Ben Zobrist, TB 3.6
Brett Gardner, NYA 3.6
Austin Jackson, Det 2.8

Austin Jackson is sixth in the league with an EQBRR of 2.8.  This means that he has contributed an estimated 2.8 runs above what the average baserunner would have contributed given the same opportunities. A player's baserunning contribution is generally a lot less than his hitting contribution but some players actually do make a significant impact with their baserunning and it should be considered in determining their overall offensive value.

The EQBRRs for all Tigers with 100 or more opportunities for base advancement are listed below:

Austin Jackson +2.8
Johnny Damon +2.0
Magglio Ordonez +1.2
Gerald Laird +0.2
Ramon Santiago -0.4
Brandon Inge -0.6
Brennan Boesch -1.2
Miguel Cabrera -1.6
Carlos Guillen -1.7

The biggest surprise on the list might be Ordonez at +1.2.  Magglio is not known for his speed on the bases.  This result is probably just a fluke as he is usually below average on this statistic.

As a team, the Tigers rank third in the league:

Tampa Bay 6.6
Texas 6.4
Detroit 1.3

Which team is last in the league?  Mike Scioscia's aggressive Angels are 12.4 runs below average. That just goes to show that aggressive baserunning only works when you've got runners who have the ability to execute.


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