Ben Frederickson Live

Ben Frederickson Live

Bring your Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou and St. Louis sports questions, and talk to Post-Dispatch columnist Ben Frederickson in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Is there so little readership interest of anything going on with the Memphis Redbirds epic winning to warrant some added coverage of the team at least during their playoffs?
  • There is a lot of interest in the Redbirds. You bet. And we do our best to cover them from afar, occasionally making trips to Memphis, usually when it's a key Cardinal on a rehab appearance or something like that.
    We do not have someone from the P-D covering them on the ground in the postseason, but do our best to keep Cardinals fans aware of the team's progress.
    We cover the Cardinals and keep an eye on the Redbirds. The Cardinals are in a postseason push, perhaps you've noticed. If we could cover everything we hoped to cover, maybe we would have someone there. We do the best we can. That I can promise you.
  • Will Ozuna be having shoulder surgery this offseason or will the club just hope some rest will fix the issue?
  • That has not yet been decided, to our knowledge. 
    Goold presented the options here: 

    Ozuna surrenders to the pain, Cards place him on DL; agent Boras says it's 'nothing serious'

    stltoday.comLOS ANGELES • With a chance yet to play a powerful part in the Cardinals’ September push for a playoff spot, Marcell Ozuna and the team surrendered Wednesday to the
  • Do you have a lineup for tonight yet?
  • I do.
    Carpenter 3B
    J. Martinez RF
    Adams 1B
    Ozuna LF
    DeJong SS
    Wong 2B
    Bader CF
    Pena C
    Mikolas SP
  • I wouldn't be entirely averse to trading Carlos Martinez, if the return were terrific, as befits a number 1 starter on a team-friendly contract.

    But the problem with trading Carlos is twofold. (1)Based on who'll *plausibly* be available for trade, it's almost impossible for the Cards to upgrade by more than 1 win or so at any position on the diamond. And (2)The rotation after Mikolas and Wacha depart would be really really shaky. You'd have a #1/2 in Flaherty, maybe a #3 in Hudson, an injury risk in Reyes, and 4 back 'o the rotation guys in Weaver, Gomber, Ponce, and Gant. The minor league cupboard is bare, save for maybe Helsley. Maybe Angel Rondon waaay down at Peoria.

    So, in a vacuum, trading Carlos isn't crazy. But right now, where this organization is, it doesn't make any sense to me. Not unless you want to pay big bucks to extend Mikolas or Wacha. And that's neither smart nor within team tradition. They let very good-but-not-great arms like Kyle Lohse and Lance Lynn go, grabbed the draft pick, and were right to do so.

    And so I ask: naming actual names, what's the *specific* theoretical fantasy perfect trade the Cards would be looking to make, for Carlos? A couple ace relievers, and a top 50 prospect? Other than bullpen, I can't think where an upgrade would come.

    Thanks again for chatting, Ben.
  • I'm in the same boat. I'm OK with trading Carlos Martinez, but you have to demand and receive a pretty good return. I'm thinking prospects that could help at positions of need. A climbing hitter who offers the kind of upside Carlos Martinez once offered for this rotation, for example. I have not combed through the minors looking for this specific deal, so attempting to be more specific is borderline reckless, but it's clear the Cardinals have not found that kind of offer, because they might have pulled the trigger on a trade if so.
    Something to note: The Cardinals have in the past looked offload declining assets while there is still a demand for them. Think Colby Rasmus. It's fair to think the asking price for Carlos is on the decline, when you add in the inconsistency, the injuries and the off-the-field concerns. I used to think Martinez was the pitcher you don't trade. I don't think that anymore. The hard part is what you presented: coming up with the return that makes sense.
    He might excel as a closer. That opens the discussion of, is it better to leave him there?
    This has been a disappointing season for Carlos, even if he thrives as closer. This was supposed to be the year he emerged as the ace. Now he has been leaped over, not just in terms of stuff but in terms of commitment. I heard just recently that he showed up hours, plural, late to the Albert Pujols golf tournament that he was hosting in the place of Pujols. This is not a team event, but it speaks to some of the frustrations that have been growing with Martinez.
  • Does Mizzou win vs Purdue
  • Yes.
    This game has been circled on the Tigers' calendar all offseason.
    And Purdue could not beat Eastern Michigan.
    Mizzou will be undefeated when Georgia comes to town, as it should be.
  • Hey Ben, always love the chats! Perhaps I'm an optimist, but my mindset is, playoffs or not, the overall season is a success for the franchise. They got rid of the anchor that was Matheny/Mabry, retained an up-and-coming baseball mind like Shildt, brought up some exciting young arms and have made it a fun September, which did not seem like a guarantee going into the season. A late September collapse would hurt but I have to admit I'm much more excited heading into this offseason than I have in recent years. Not much of a question, but thought I'd offer some optimism among the typical cynicism of the chat.
  • I tend to agree with that assessment. It is undeniable that there is an energy around the team and in the clubhouse that was not the case before the change. If that was simply the change, it would have worn off by now. No matter how the season ends, the Cardinals have some questions to answer about their roster. Right field is a big one. I'm not going to give them a pass if they sit out on what should be one of the bigger free agent periods in recent memory. The young pitching is very promising and deeper than we realized. What comes next? Excitement for the Shildt era is justfied based on how the team has played since the took over. It's going to be really interesting to see what he can do with a spring training. He can't wait for that chance to put his brand on the team. I think most would have been pleasantly surprised if you told them the Cardinal would be in this spot now back on July 14, when the change was made.
    Hey Ben, on the Liddell comment, we will be able to see how beloved a NBA player will be with Gordon at SLU. The kid is on his way.
  • He has the ability, for sure. Hope it happens.
    Will the Brewers & Cards have a say if the Cubs try to get that game moved to Oct 1? Why wouldn't they just relocate it instead? It's clear the Cubs are hoping they just don't have to play it, isn't it? Plus, how would this impact other teams if there are tie-breaker games to be played?
  • Yes, it's clear. Just read the comments coming out of Chicago. They are hoping it turns into an off day. The game would have to be played at the season's end if there were any sort of postseason implications. If not, it just disappears. Shrug that off if you'd like, but a lot can happen in one game. And when you are leading the race, a game not played might be better than a win. The Brewers and the Cardinals should throw a fit if this happens.
    Saw the Georgia kickoff is 11:00 am. Is that a reflection of How people perceive mizzou? And expect that game to be a blowout?
    If everyone who griped about this kickoff time showed up to the games, there might actually be a threatening crowd awaiting the Bulldogs when they arrive!
    The time did surprise me a bit, because this should be the most intriguing conference game on that day.
    The night games are Mississippi State at Kentucky, Louisiana Tech at LSU, Arkansas at Auburn and Florida at Tennessee.
    No big thrills there.
    If anything, it's a slap at Georgia. Mizzou has not been good enough recently to bemoan national disrespect.
    The good news is Mizzou has been pretty good in 11 am games.
    Hopefully you were being sarcastic about the Cubs whining about the Thursday make-up. What sense does it make to have a team fly into the remnants of a hurricane, the game is cancelled, the teams can't leave due to airports being closed. Talk about a nightmare. No wonder they are upset about the make-up date...
  • Sarcastic? No. I said right there in my answer that the game could be played somewhere else. Don't send them into a hurricane. Send them to Milwaukee. Or somewhere. But don't send them to Wrigley, and don't make this a game that can simply disappear. That's an unfair advantage, and every game counts.
    Regarding DeJong's error in the 9th,I thought Carpenter should have had it or charged with the error.What do you say?
    I was OK with the call, but Carpenter's stab at it was not good. He doesn't read those very well, it seems.
    I think Waino should get another start. However, putting him against the Dodgers (probably the most crucial series of the year to this point) is the makings of a disaster. Agreed?
    Jedd Gyorko is out on the field before the game taking grounders at third base, for those who have asked about him in the chat. Seems to be moving pretty well. Should be more info on him this afternoon.
    Serena Williams was getting smoked in the US Open finals, her coach was caught cheating, and so Serena threw a temper tantrum. Why does so much of the national media tell me I'm supposed to feel bad for her? Funny how none of the commentators brought up the time she threatened to assault the lines-woman who dared to call a foot fault on her ...
    Glad I was not the only one who noticed that Serena tends to have these issues when she is losing, and her chances of winning appear to be grim. That seems to have been lost in the national discussion, for the most part.
    I do think it's fair to bring up the difference in how women players are treated differently than men, but was that the best setting? Didn't seem like it to me, if the objective was to win. If the objective was to turn a likely loss into a statement, then it was indeed the right time.
    I felt bad for Osaka, more than anything.
    I thought Martina Navratilova wrote the most clear-headed piece on the entire event. Let me know what you think of this: 

    Opinion | Martina Navratilova: What Serena Got Wrong

    Just because the guys might be able to get away with it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.
    Hi, Ben. Please help me to understand something. Rosenthal was an elite closer before he got injured. History of recovery from Tommy John surgery is pretty good, so there is a good chance he will be an elite closer again. I know that the Cardinals HOPE that Hicks will be an elite closer in the future, but we have seen a lot of hoping with this team. If I were Mo, I would call up Rosenthal's agent and ask what he wants, see if I can get a contract that works for him and the team. Then, if Hicks proves to be an elite closer, we have two, and we can win more than two close games in a row. Instead, the team indicates that the Rosenthal door is totally closed, slammed shut by the team, no matter what his price is. Isn't it the job of Mo and Girsch to ask that question? Why the reluctance to ask? We have seen this before with Lackey. Is there bad blood there (Lackey due to his having to pitch for us for the minimum, Rosenthal due to us telling him he is on his own during his recovery from surgery? If not, why the absolute slamming shut of that door, not even asking what is wanted? Some free agents want to pitch on the coast, but some might like pitching before a sold out stadium of cheering fans every night, and might figure that into their equation.
    Here's the rub: Rosenthal and his agent, Scott Boras (perhaps you have heard of him) will want him to make the kind of money his past performance has indicated he is worth. Maybe he's worth that. Maybe not. The Cardinals are reluctant to make those kind of deals, and the last time they did it (Holland), it blew up squarely in their face. They also have Hicks, Mayers, Brebbia. And who knows, maybe Carlos Martinez turns out to be a better reliever than starter by the time next season rolls around. The options in hand, and the price tag Rosenthal and Boras likely seek, will be the conflict more than anything related to Rosenthal. He was a good fit. Team liked him. No hard feelings. He's pitched for Shildt before. And I imagine the Cardinals will watch him pitch at his showcase, when that time comes. Just don't expect a reunion, for the reasons listed above.
    People need to slow their trade-CMart-roll. First, let's not let recency bias dominate. He started the season as a true #1. He was lights out, top-5 in all of baseball until the first injury. He was what everyone wanted/expected. Then, he came back too fast because, you know, Cardinals. They rush players back way too fast too often. So, his performance drops off because he's not healthy. Straight up. Then, injury number 2. Now, are the tardiness issues (the game ones, not the charity tournament, because that is meaningless in this discussion) a problem? Yes. But you don't trade CMart for prospects. Ever. Unless you're tanking. If you get an offer for major league ready players that are equal in value, then you could do it. But, as a previous chatter noted, it's going to be tough to get fair market return, so the Cardinals are way better off keeping a highly talented pitcher who has performed well for multiple seasons, is approaching his prime and has a team-friendly contract.
  • I mentioned Martinez showing up hours late to the Pujols tournament because it's another example of a trend that has at times been problematic for the team.
    If we are hearing about it, it's an issue. It speaks to the frustration that exists. And it can be expanded: Not in a "what kind of example does this set?" kind of way, but in a "is a player who can't even show up on time capable of doing everything in his power to pitch at his best?" kind of way.
    Don't overlook this quote from Mozeliak to colleague Benjamin Hochman:
    “I hate to single anybody out, but reliability is really the definition of anyone in baseball,” Mozeliak said, when asked about Martinez and reliability. “Managers want to know what they’re going to get; managers want to know what they have in a player. And having a player be great one day and not the next? It makes it really hard to manage. Consistency and reliability is usually something that is the hallmark of definition."
    When people call STL a “baseball city”, is it an insult or compliment? I feel that they are saying STL isn’t worthy of having football or basketball.
  • How you interpret it likely depends on how you feel about baseball.
    It's not going to change. That much I do know.
    Is the fact that the Cards would rather start Waino (who is clearly on his last legs) than Weaver a sign that Weaver is probably not long for the Cards and is probably a trade candidate in the offseason?
    Not necessarily. Weaver isn't on his "last legs" but he hasn't been much good lately. He's not headed for the wood pile yet. He's 25 years old. Could he be traded at some point? Sure. Most on this team could. The Cardinals want Wainwright to work. That's no secret.
  • Mike Mayers is activated and will be active for tonight's game.
    Dodgers series lines up for Gomber, Flaherty, Gant, and then on Sunday it would be Mikolas on regular rest or Wainwright on an extra days rest. Who do you think the Cards go with? Thanks.
  • If there's a reason to not start Mikolas, I'd like to hear it.
    Wainwright could start against the Braves, in Atlanta. That would be a cool thing for him, but more importantly keep Mikolas against the Dodgers.
    Ben are you saying, when it comes to waino, sentimentality takes precedence over the best possible chance to win at a time when every game, every inning could make the difference for playoffs or not?
  • To say that Wainwright starting represents that, you would have to know, without a doubt, that you would get better starts from someone not named Adam Wainwright. Right now, there is gray area there. And when there is gray area, the Cardinals, when it comes to Wainwright, are going to side with sentimentality.
    The other thing to keep in mind is the Cardinals are trying to build in one last breather for their heaviest hitters, because their heaviest hitters have not done this before.
    The Cardinals refuse to call this a six-man rotation, but it looks like it, with a different guy becoming the sixth man at different times.
    It's because their rotation is rubbing up against limits.
  • The Cubs, by the hair of Joe's chinny chin chin.
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