Ben Frederickson Live

Ben Frederickson Live

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

  • I really hope the Cardinals won't consider making O'Neill part of a package for a starting pitcher. He's only 23 and as soon as he's made a regular I feel he's a lock for 30 HR a season. Are the Cardinals still high on him and do you think his future's safe in STL?
  • I don't think they are down on him, necessarily, but there's a reason he is in Memphis and not a part of the current outfield rotation. Outfield competition is fierce in this organization.
  • 58 home runs allowed. Houston we have a problem
  • Maybe the Cardinals are just receiving an unfair supply of the juiced baseballs? I kid. Gotta get the homer problem in check.
  • With all the OF'ers it appears the Cards have, would the Cards in the offseason look to bundle Fowler with something else to get out of that contract. If he can keep a respectable batting line, maybe they can get out from under that deal??? By any sane measurable, it is not a good deal. They appear to have better and cheaper options available.
    Realize what you just proposed. You think the Fowler deal is bad, and that the Cardinals should get out of it. So, another team is going to rush toward that deal? What deal-sweetener would you be willing to give up? Remember that Fowler has a no trade clause. And also remember the divide between teams at the moment, where so many are refusing to spend or simply trying to tank by getting as young and cheap as possible.
     
    Meanwhile Fowler is averaging .313 with a .427 on-base percentage. His OBP is fifth among all MLB outfielders. The Cardinals are risking exposure every time they play him in center field. That lesson has been learned, and I wish they would not try to undo the change they made, but his bat has answered all questions. Yes, as Fowler plays better, he becomes (other than the no-trade) theoretically easier to move. And the Cardinals have less incentive to move him. Those things go hand-in-hand.
    it appears that MCarp is beginning his annual "snap out of it" but now the Q is, when will Paul G do it?
    Probably right around the time Marcell Ozuna and/or Paul DeJong fade. That's how it works, right? We were having this  conversation in the press box last night. The good thing about his offense is it has enough firepower to put up good numbers without every cylinder firing at the same time. Lineups of the last few seasons felt so thin. A weakness here became a tear that tabled runs. This lineup has the ability to carry under-performing pieces. To pass the baton a bit. Carpenter is coming on. If Goldschmidt does while the others stay hot, look out. That's the lineup you hope for in the postseason. No room for the opposing pitcher to breathe.
    Is there any significance to that hand gesture that Jose does when he reaches base?
    The rodeo thing? They all do it. Some more graphically than others.
    Do the Cardinals have the best infield tandem up the middle in the NL now? DeJong and Wong have taken some big strides this season, can they keep it up are they playing over their heads?
    Careful, ESPN will interrupt this conversation to praise Javier Baez for an hour -- despite the fact Paul DeJong has been as good if not better this season.
    No, I don't think they are playing over their heads. Wong's defense is the standard now. It's expected. As long as he's healthy, he will make the kind of plays he made last night.
    DeJong's range might peak as he ages, but he's playing smarter, position-wise, which is really helping him. And he's only 25. These two are going to stop a lot of hits for years to come. Throw Goldschmidt into the mix, and that's pretty, pretty good.
     
     
    I wonder if Bishop throws on a throat guard tonight. I know they can be annoying to wear but do you agree more than likely if Bishop has on a throat guard then he doesn't get hurt? I live in Dallas and a lot of fans are livid. They feel like the injury was so serious to where the whistle should've been blown immediately. Thoughts? Bishop did get up and keep playing.
  • I have to think he will be wearing as much protection as possible without limiting his range of movement. Just point the fans toward the rules. If the goalie can stay in the game and start the next one, then it was the right call to not stop the game. They are interpreting the rule with green glasses on, I'm afraid.
    Ben, the Cubs have more stars, a deeper bench, and better starting pitching than the Cards. Arguably, this might be a better Cubs team than their 2016 championship team. Barring injury to at least one of the Cubs many stars and/or the Cards acquiring a top of the shelf pitcher for their rotation, Cards fans should look forward again to another wild card chase. Thoughts?
    I'm not yet convinced they will have more All-Stars than the Cardinals this season. At least not yet. And while they have had better starting pitching to this point, they might not over the course of the season either. We agree that the starting pitching is the biggest weak spot for the Cardinals at the moment. I can see why they are letting it play out, though. The addition of one top-level starter could send this rotation over the top. That has been the case before the season began. Make sure one does not emerge, and then there can be time to go get one if the need remains. I know that's not the approach the fans want. But it's the one the Cardinals always seem to take. Exhaust all internal options -- sometimes waiting a bit too long -- before going out and filling a need. What the Cardinals do at the trade deadline will be key this season. No more lateral moves. As for the wild-card, that's where I picked the Cardinals to wind up. Problem is, there might not be one up for grabs in this division, because the teams are going to beat up on one another so much.
    This may sound cold to some, but if I'm the Blues, I would be intent in shooting up high on Bishop early and seeing just how healthy that shoulder is. It's done in every sport. If a guy looks to be hurt, you test him early and see just how hurt he is. Legend has it that Bill Russell was furious with Wilt Chamberlain and the rest of the Lakers for not being more aggressive in testing Willis Reed when he limped onto the court for the 1970 NBA Finals. Thoughts please?
    It's a tough sport, so play it tough. I agree 100 percent.
    I look forward to a year of just good Cardinal baseball. Please no squirrels, cats or salsa this year. Lets just play good clean baseball and see what happens.
    So, you were not a fan of the Rally Duck?
    I watched the ESPN telecast last night. Its crew was raving about DeJong and seemed to be fully aware of what he was doing. Bellinger and Yelich understandably got a lot of earlier attention, but if DeJong keeps playlng like this, he'll get plenty of attention. Besides, why worry what the national media thinks? if the team is winning and your guy is playing great, who cares?
    Nice to know he got out of the Javy shadow for a moment. His late homer against the Cubs seemed to remind the broadcast team the shortstop in STL was playing pretty well, too. I'm not worried about it. The question earlier was about people not realizing how good he has been. So, I pointed out that part of that is dictated by what the national media and MLB itself -- through its massive social media reach -- directs eyeballs toward. DeJong has, for whatever reason, been left out for the most part o the chatter about all of the league's rising young shortstops, despite numbers that say he's one of the best of the bunch.
  • It seems Goldschmidt strikes out more often than usual. Hard contact outs we rarely see. His swings when striking out look awful . What do you think could be the problem. He seem to be having difficulty in seeing off seep pitches. Your thoughts please.
    Goldschmidt, you have noticed, is in a bit of a bad spell that is trending toward a slump. Between 2012-17, Goldschmidt hovered around a 20-23 percent strikeout rate. That jumped up to 25 percent last season. It's at 27 percent right now. So, yes, you are noticing a gradually increasing trend on the Ks. Meanwhile his walk rate is also down about 3 percent at the moment, so that's likely drawing more attention to the strikeouts. We are not seeing him on base much. His OBP is down quite a bit because of the strikeouts and lack of walks, down to .329 from a career average of .396. His power was masking this for a while, but he has not homered in 13 games and counting. Some of this might be luck. Goldschmidt has a crazy-high career batting average on balls in play. It's .353. Right now, that's at .299. The good news is a) it's Goldschmidt; he will likely get it figured out and b) that hard-contact rate you wondered about is actually UP. His 52.1 percent hard contact rate is a career-high per FanGraphs. He will hit out of this, I imagine, but the power (for now) is no longer covering up his lack of OBP.
    Should Goldy be moved in the batting order? I know he's been struggling but it seems like he isn't up with runners on base as often as he needs to be.
    Carpenter stirring from his early-season doldrums should begin to change that. I don't think you will see Shildt change that part of the lineup beyond the occasional off day unless the team hits a pretty significant skid.
    Happy Tuesday Blues Fans and BenFred. Love the chats!

    Chief has done a fantastic job performing the hockey equivalent of the Heimlich maneuver on the Blues. In fact, he may have done such a good job other teams might try to sign Berube to a huge contract once the season has concluded. Is chief under contract as an assistant past this year?

    Army may have made a mistake by not signing him at the end of the season and before the beginning of the playoffs. If Chief’s contract ends at the end of the season the blues may have missed a golden opportunity to site to lock him down for years to come.
    Hey Barry, hope the sun is shining down there.
    I'll take the other side of the argument on this one.
    I like that the Blues did nothing to change a team that was rolling.
    Leave the carrot out in front for Berube and his players.
    Now, when the season ends, get a deal done ASAP.
    If Berube wants to use this run to leverage a jump elsewhere, then is he the guy the Blues should lock in long-term?
    He knows these players. He coached many of them before. The fit is not just one-way. If the Blues move to make him the head coach on a competitive salary, I don't think there should be any problem here.
    Yes, the Blues have invited competition. But they should also be first on Berube's list of places he wants to be the head coach. At least I would hope.
    Which Blues player has the most pressure on them tonight to perform (excluding Bennington)?
  • It would be nice if your leading goal scorer could find the net in Game 7.
    Looking at you, Vlad.
  • Ben, I saw some reports this morning that the XFL is not getting a rights fee from ESPN and Fox, but it also is not having to pay anything. ESPN and Fox will pay for all the production costs and talent and will also actively promote the league. That seems a big step forward from the alliance, which we have learned was paying to get its product on and had little presence on ESPN or Fox. That seems to be a decent step forward for the XFL and it does seem to be better funded. Not predicting long term success, but it looks to me that when it comes to startup leagues, St. Louis at least got in the right one.
  • Well, considering the Alliance league lasted about as long as a packet of deli meat turkey, yes, the XFL should have the upper hand in terms of sustainability.
  • I mean in fairness, Baez is 4th in the NL in WAR so it's not like he's crazy overrated, DeJong is 2nd
  • Don't get me wrong. Baez is damn good and deserving of attention. I love watching him play. It just struck me as the most Paul DeJong thing that a broadcast spent singing the praises of Baez ended with a Paul DeJong homer that seemed to remind the booth -- oh, yeah, that DeJong guy is building an MVP argument as well.
    Is it a jynx to play Gloria the day of a game?
    No, but it is bad to play such a bad song.
    Shouldn't they make every effort to prevent Wacha from facing the Cubs?
    Someone has to start against them there, and I'm not sure it's the best message to send to your starter and the rotation to skip starts in the first series against the biggest rival. Jack Flaherty has a 5.40 ERA at Wrigley dating back to last season. Adam Wainwright has a 6.00 ERA there during that span. Wacha is now at a 7.20 there in that span. Again, someone's gotta start.
    Does Jake Woodford's success at Memphis earn him a start this year, or does his not being on the 40-man make that unlikely?
    I would not be at all surprised to see him get a shot this year. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak has specifically praised him multiple times. You can see why. Had a great spring camp. Since, he's got a 1.30 ERA in six starts at Class AAA. Opponents are averaging just .171 against him in 34.2 innings there. The Cardinals are saying they are trusting their rotation as is, and the offense is scoring enough to buy more time, but the longer the rotation searches, the less time there is to wait. The Cardinals are proud of their depth. At some point, you have to tap into it with guys like Ponce, Gomber and Woodford to determine if you need to go outside for help. Right now, it's holding pattern. If every starter comes out like Mikolas did last night, then it's the right call. But seven turns through the rotation is not nothing.
    Because so many hitters are sitting on the high heat, staff's all over baseball are throwing fewer fastballs than ever this year. This has created a situation where guys like Wainwright can arguably be even more successful by having the ability to "pitch" rather than throw. Could the change we're seeing in how teams pitch this season make a guy like Keuchel more appealing when the Cards go searching for rotation help? Pick him up after the draft, pitch him in the minors for a month and you have an impact acquisition you need in July that cost you nothing in prospects or draft picks.
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