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.

    Greetings, chatters.
    I hope you are taking the trade-deadline anxiety in stride.
    I'm here to help you deal, vent, wait, hope, whatever.
    We'll chat here until I have to head to the park. A big series begins tonight, perhaps you've heard.
    Away we go.
    The Cardinals continue to not be in the trade conversations on any of the national media platforms. Is that because they aren't really buyers like they would lead us to believe, or just because the Dodgers and Yankees are viewed as more important?
    The Cardinals rarely have a place in the national media rumor mill when it comes to trade-deadline chatter. That is not a good measure of if they are looking to make moves, or what kind of moves. They keep things close. Often, when something does "leak" to a national media type, it's either old or wrong. Example: Jon Morosi's outdated mention of Charlie Blackmon being a player the Cardinals could be interested in. Old, outdated news. The Cardinals don't play the media game like some teams. It's neither good nor bad. Just is. Because of their silence, it seems they sometimes get attached to things that don't seem right. They could clear those things up, but usually choose not to unless it's after the fact. You might remember Mozeliak once stiff-arming the Brian Dozier trade talk as, "fake news." What we know: The Cardinals want to add pitching. They have specifically mentioned left-handed relief. They see, like we see, a need to improve the rotation. They don't want to deal from their major-league roster when it comes to performing players. Additionally, Arizona seems like a rather compelling trade partner (again) as the Diamondbacks continue to slide toward seller. Arizona has pitchers of interest to the Cardinals, plural.
    There’s a lot of quality pitching still out there. Some will be duds and some will be good additions. Reading the tea leaves, do the Cardinals trade for a quality pitcher who’s pitching well this year or a reclamation project or a scrub pitcher or nothing?

    I was flabbergasted that it took last week’s run to convince them to be buyers. Was there any doubt that they could not punt or be idle? It makes me really wonder if they truly understand how important this season is to the fan base. Because if they did, there would have been zero doubt on what they should do.

    I hate the idea of trading with the Indians because they usually rob us (Mercado, Mark DeRosa, etc), but I think you go all-in for Bauer. The cost will be huge, but if the farm is thin and you’re going to thin it some more, you might as well get what you need because if you miss here, there won’t be enough prospects left for another trade. What’s your preference?
    I've been pretty consistent that a) the Cardinals need a starter and b) not just a starter. They need someone who can be the best pitcher on this staff, who at least competes for that title. They need more innings, but also quality innings. Bauer fits that description, for sure. I know Cleveland would like to maximize his value by trading him now, but I still can't quite wrap my head around dealing such an important piece of a contending team.
    Some media outlets including CBS Sports are saying Cards will not make a move, that Mo likes to make his moves during the off-season when he has more leverage and won’t be held ransom for a July move. Thoughts?
    If the Cardinals do nothing, the fan base should feel cheated.
    With all due respect to your article today in hopes that the Cardinals management captalizes off of a Cubs down year but did you give the Cubs headline fodder to come out swinging tonight since you called them flawed?
    I don't think the Cubs need any motivation from the Post-Dispatch.
    You should see what the writers in Chicago are saying about Maddon's team.
    Hi Ben. Thanks for the chat. Two questions:
    1. Where do the Cards stand in trade negotiations with AZ for Robbie Ray.
    2. If they aren’t able to put together the winning package for Ray or Greinke, do the Cards see a guy like Tanner Roark as a reliable plan B?
    As said below, the Cardinals are interested in Arizona's pitching offerings. Ray among them. As far as specifics in how far that has gone, I don't know. I'm not convinced Roark is all that different than what the Cardinals can already offer opponents. He's right-handed, so there would be no benefit of adding a splash of southpaw. He has a 4.80 ERA since June with two quality starts in those nine starts. Only one of his past five starts have gone past 5.0 innings. Is Daniel Ponce de Leon or Michael Wacha worse than that? If so, by how much? Roark is a rental, and should be relatively cheap, but perhaps less so when an in-division team is trading him. In short, I don't think it's the pitching splash the Cardinals need.
    Do you think the Cardinals have a more traditional fanbase compared to most other MLB teams? It seems like the front office always goes for "blue colar" guys and never go for guys who show flair. Also the Cardinals, who supposedly have a large fanbase, never do well in all star voting.
    Can "blue-collar guys" not "show flair?" 
    Yadier Molina seems to do both.
    Carlos Martinez, Harrison Bader and Kolten Wong "show flair."
    Not sure I'm picking up what you are putting down.
    As for All-Star voting, the Cardinals fans turn out when they feel there is a player who is deserving.
    That's been hard to find the past two seasons.
    Ben, not sure the Cubs are as flawed as you describe. To that point, if you were Joe Maddon, name all position players you would flip with the Cards. Assume Ozuna and Molina are back in their positions and Zobrist back at 2b with Cubs.
    If having the National League's worst road record is not flawed, what is?
    The manager is on the hot seat.
    One player is away from the team while dealing with a personal crisis.
    Another player is away from the team because he struggled on the field after a domestic-violence situation off of it.
    The bullpen is on tilt.
    Lineup's good, but this is the most flawed, catchable, beatable version of the Cubs the Cardinals have encountered in some time,.
    Not taking advantage of it would be a mistake.
    If we can get a stud starting pitcher or 2 I think we have a very good shot at making a lot of noise. Our defense and base running is so much better and if Ozuna, Goldy, O'Neil and Dejong that could be as good of a middle of a lineup as there is. Do you think we will resign Ozuna?
    Have said it before, but will repeat it again here. There have been no signs from the Cardinals that suggest Ozuna will be back. If you remember, the Cardinals made it quite clear they were coming after Goldschmidt with an extension. The recruitment started the day he arrived. The Cardinals have not made those kind of comments toward their left fielder. With Tyler O'Neill, Dylan Carlson, Lane Thomas and others on the rise, the team seems more interested in turning the page at that position after this season. Unless things change. Things can always change. I just think we would see some signs of it by now if the Cardinals had "extend Ozuna" near the top of their wish list.
    For the teams inquiring about Greinke, do you think he’s already been asked at this point, “hey, would you accept a trade to _______” so teams don’t waste time building a trade that won’t happen? Or do they wait until the finish line to ask him?
  • You have to have a sense if you are the Diamondbacks, but you also have to have an understanding of how those senses can change. Justin Verlander is a good example of that. He changed his stance and wound up in Houston, with a ring, as a result.
  • What offensive impact would you expect from the returns of Molina and Ozuna with hand injuries often taking a lot time for hitters to regain their form?
    Great question. Tough to answer. Usually it's the power that takes a bit to return, even when the hands are healthy. Timing comes back. Then power, after a period of time. It's different for each guy, and we are talking about two guy who are not new to this. It's good, especially for Molina, that the agreement he and the Cardinals came to kept him from the usual, which would be rushing back to play injured, without a competent backup to fill in. I think the performances of Wieters and Knizner have made it easier for the Cardinals to push Molina to get healthy and return to make an impact as opposed to rush back and try to scrape by. And perhaps the performance of Wieters and Knizner have made that time easier for Molina to take as well. It would not be the worst thing in the world for the Cardinals to take the Carpetner approach with both of these guys, making sure they  can stroke before plugging them back in, but I doubt that will be the case. When they're ready, they'll be back in. They also were not as bad as Carpenter before they were hurt. Ozuna still leads the team in RBIs. Molina has value behind the plate even if his bat is slow to launch.
    Are we really supposed to buy that Lane Thomas, Bader, O'Neill, and Carlson are supposed to be the answer to losing a legit All Star OF like Ozuna? Three of those guys haven't overly impressed at the MLB level and Carlson is unproven. Fans shouldn't be okay with that. It doesn't have to be Ozuna but they should absolutely get proven power to roam the OF or this offense is going to be really sad.
    My opinion, but fans  should be more concerned about what the Cardinals are doing to get this team to this postseason, not who starts in left field next season. The Cardinals could try to replace Ozuna from within. They could go get something via free agency or trade. They could go on run that makes them want to bring Ozuna back. What happens between now and the end of the season is going to alter this conversation, so we can't really have it yet.
    who is making the calls to Arizona, New York, etc: Mo or Girsch?
    I realize this is something that people obsess over, but it really is a group project.
    The Cardinals decision-makers hole up in a meeting room and talk things over, crunch numbers, make counter offers, etc.
    Different members in the group have different relationships they can rely on, so that might be the difference in who takes the point on different targets and with different teams.
    All phones ring and make calls.
    All ideas are shared and discussed.
     
    Would the Cards consider trading Wong to mix up our lineup? He could bring back a high quality starter with others in a package deal.
    The Cards have said they're not interested in trading performing pieces of their MLB roster, so we will see if that changes.
    That would include Wong.
    My two cents: Trading Wong makes no sense.
    He's the best defensive second baseman in the league, and his numbers are fine for his position.
    The Cardinals' defense has become a strength once again, and Wong is a massive part of that.
    Oh, and one more thing: Wong is averaging .344 with a .419 on-base percentage and a .469 slugging percentage since July.
    That's pretty good, folks.
     
  • Do you think cardinals will actually land quality starter with so many teams interested few options there are.
    I think they should.
    Will they?
    I don't know.
    And I don't know what their answer will be if they don't.
    A convincing one will be hard to find.
    John Mozeliak said 2019 matters. Bill DeWitt Jr. said the team was built to win the division. Well, Wednesday's the trade deadline, the Cardinals are tied for first place in the division, and every sign is screaming that the Cardinals need to add a very good starter.
    Explaining how other teams got them and the Cardinals did not, in a year that is all about ending the postseason-less skid, is going to be a hard sell for this front office to its fans.
     
    If the Cardinals made both a major league ready center fielder in Bader and a top pitching prospect in Woodford available, would that be in the ball park for what the Mets would insist in dealing Thor?
    No.
    Mets will want a mountain.
    A center fielder who just got optioned because he can't hit and a starting pitcher who has not been given a shot while the rotation has struggled is not going to cut it for Thor.
    Ben, why is Arozarena not batting lead off for us right now? I understand he has to be placed on the 40 man roster but you send O'Neill out in a trade of send him back down to Memphis. This kid is lightning in a bottle. I don't get it. If someone is batting .367 by God I'll find a place for him to play.
    The Cardinals' handling of Arozarena has been interesting.
    Mozeliak singled him out for praise during the All-Star break, which hinted that he could be in St. Louis soon.
    Then the Cardinals continued to slow-play the Bader demotion, for what, I don't know.
    And now Ozuna is nearing his return, which would limit playing time for Arozarena.
    The Cardinals have said they don't want to bring him up to sit.
    Another thing: He's not on the 40-man which factors into trade scenarios, so keep that in mind.
    Sorry, computer is glitching on me. Had to re-start. Onward!
    Diamondbacks look like sellers. Could Robbie Ray be the boost this rotation needs?
    Yes.
    For many reasons.
    Let’s go through a few.
    Ray would raise the talent level of the rotation significantly. He would be in competition for the title of best Cardinals starter if he walked into the clubhouse today. Ray’s nine wins, if you care about wins, would trail only Dakota Hudson’s team-leading 10. His 3.91 ERA is practically the same as team-best Hudson’s 3.88. His 12.07 strikeouts per nine innings bests rotation leader Jack Flaherty’s 10.3 average. And get this. Ray’s 173 strikeouts are second-best by a National League starter this season, trailing only Max Scherzer’s 189. Ray has swing-and-miss stuff the Cardinals starters lack. And that’s not the only thing he would be adding to the rotation.
    Ray is left-handed. The Cardinals have had all of two starts from a southpaw this season, both belonging to Genesis Cabrera. Austin Gomber, who might have ascended as the new lefty of the rotation, has suffered a lost season due to injuries. This is not a new absence in the Cardinals’ rotation. Gomber’s 11 starts in 2018 were the only ones by a Cardinals southpaw. Marco Gonzales’ one start in 2017 was the only one by a Cardinals southpaw that season. You should be sensing a theme by now. It’s been a long time since the Cardinals had a reliable left-handed option in the rotation. You have  to go all the way back to Jaime Garcia’s ups and downs, which ended in 2016, to find one. Since the start of the 2017 season, 16 left-handed starters across MLB have made 70-plus starts. Ray’s 75 rank eighth. And among that group of 70-plus, his 3.52 ERA trails only Patrick Corbin ( 87 starts, 3.49), Chris Sale (81 starts, 3.00), Blake Snell (75 starts, 3.15) and Clayton Kershaw (71 starts, 2.60). Compared to that same group, Ray’s opponent average of .214 trails only Sale (.203) and Snell (.212). This would not just be adding a lefty for the sake of adding a lefty. This would be adding one of the most reliable, productive lefties in the game.
    Ray is limiting left-handed hitters to a slash line of .219/.270/.368 so far this season. That’s an on-base plus slugging percentage of .639. Compare that to the Cardinals’ right-handed heavy rotation. Left-handed hitters have a .472 OPS against Daniel Ponce de Leon. That’s great. He’s limiting them to a slash line of just .145/.309/.164. This makes Ponce de Leon, who has struggled as a starter, even more intriguing as a bullpen option if the Cardinals do upgrade the rotation. Left-handed hitters have a .748 OPS against Michael Wacha this season. They have an .808 OPS against Jack Flaherty. They have an .857 OPS against Miles Mikolas. They have an OPS of .870 against Adam Wainwright. They have a .933 OPS against Dakota Hudson. These last few are staggering. Southpaws are slashing .304/.402/.531 against Hudson, who has arguably been the Cardinals’ best starter. So, yes, a lefty in the mix of the rotation would be a nice change of pace for the Cardinals – especially in a National League Central that features some feared left-handed litters on contending teams, like Anthony Rizzo and Christian Yelich.
    Ray is dealing recently. He has gone at least six innings in something like 11 of his last 12 starts. He has allowed more than three earned runs in just three of 11 starts since June.
    And, finally, Ray is not a rental. He can’t reach free agency until after next season. So, the Cardinals would get Ray for this postseason, next season and next postseason. Despite debuting in 2014, he is still 27 years old. That’s appealing. It also means the Diamondbacks can and should ask more for him. One wonders what interest the Diamondbacks might have in Nolan Gorman, and if they might covet him more because he’s from Phoenix. Trading him would hurt, but the Cardinals have some high-ceiling prospect depth at third base.
    A lot of folks are wondering how the Ray market might be affected by the Marcus Stroman trade. It seemed the Blue Jays could have received more from the Mets than their fourth and sixth-best prospects from a depleted farm system, based off the past few seasons’ deadline deals for strong starters. Any team pursuing starting pitching should attempt to use that deal as the foundation of their deal. Any team dealing starters should dismiss what the Blue Jays accepted as a precedent.
     
    Any chance we gauge Washington's interest in Adam Eaton? Last time I looked, they had 4 good OF's and Eaton was being squeezed a little
  • The Cardinals are hunting pitching, not position players.
  • Do you see Randy A as a legit ML talent. We have had others who did well at AAA and not in the majors. Some have performed poorly in AAA, got promoted and did well at the ML level. It's hard to equate the two levels and project success.
  • Impossible to know until he gets a shot
    Who will the beat writer for the XFL?
Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform