Ben Frederickson Live

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




  • Hello, all. Sorry for the delay this morning. Had to get a new password to log in due to forgetting my old one. It was not Eckstein1234. I'll tack some time on the end to make up for my delay. Let's get things rolling!
  • I hope Mo is playing poker and will still make that late move signing either a proven starter or closer on a "pillow" deal. My hope is waning as each day passes. Do you think that might still happen? Worst thought is that Cubs will sign Holland and that will seal the division (if Darvish didn't already).
  • Kinda seems to me like Cubs sealed the division with Darvish. Cardinals seem aimed for wild-card, which could very well happen. I think the Cardinals are in better shape than the Brewers, as things stand today. Now if the Brewers go grab a top-end starter or two ... But reports out of Milwaukee spring training suggest those moves, while hinted at before, might not be coming. I know people get tired of comparing the Cardinals to the Cubs, but it surprises me how some seem to have become accepting of the idea of the Cardinals not going round for round with the Cubs in terms of building a contender. That talk of not conceding an inch to the Cubs doesn't come up much these days. Now it's about getting into the postseason and once you're in, there's a chance. It used to be about winning the division. Is another move coming? The Brewers and Cardinals are both wondering the same thing. I'd lean toward Brewers more than Cards, though. That starting pitching makes the Cardinals' look secure.
  • Are you still looking into the SLU situation from the Title IX? Seems to be a lot of unanswered questions and Frank's interview with the Goodwins brought up even more questions.
  • Yes. We are in the process of reaching out to everyone involved. We can't make someone talk if they choose not to, but it's important each person involved gets that opportunity. I can tell you that the families of the players involved in this are not happy with how it was handled and how it ended.
  • It makes me sad that Wainwright hadnt been close to the same since his Achilles injury he was killing it before then. Do you think he has another solid season or 2 left in him? And if he does well this year will the Cards bring him back next season for a little less money?
  • Until I have reason to believe differently, I think this is Wainwright's last season with the Cardinals. I think he and the team hope he goes out on a nigh note, and the team will give him chances (perhaps too many) to do that. But he would have to pitch pretty well to consider an extension. Maybe he transitions into broadcasting or coaching after some time off? Just speculating but it would be hard to imagine him pitching for another team after the Cardinals, wouldn't it?
  • Should the Blues stand pat at the deadline? Making a deal won't suddenly make them Stanley Cup contenders.
  • They're not one player away, that's for sure. The goalie situation remains ... unsettled. Need another scorer. And now there's chatter about the dressing room not singing Kumbaya after every game. Army usually looks for upgrades, but I wouldn't bet on him forking over some of the top talent for a rental. This team's hot start doesn't justify its current state. They just might not be good enough.
  • Compared to the SLU mess how do you think Mizzou has done handling the Philips situation, especially now that he too is off the team?
  • Tough question, because while these were both Title IX cases, they seem to have been very different types of investigations.
    Phillips was accused of multiple women -- the paper talked to most of them -- of behavior and actions that ranged from creepy to downright abhorrent. He was accused of physically assault as well.
    The SLU situation included four players and three women, and -- according to a statement from the women to the paper --  seemed to boil down to a photograph/video, and whether that image was taken with consent.
    This is not making light of the SLU situation. I hope that's not how it is interpreted. Sexual violence, assault and intimidation have too long been ignored or written off. That is ending, and it should have ended a long time ago. 
    That said, not every Title IX investigation is the same, right?
    Mizzou suspended Phillips as soon as the team was made aware of the investigation by the Title IX office. 
    SLU had more players involved, and those players received various levels of suspensions. By letting one player (Jordan Goodwin) play and holding out the other three, they opened themselves up to criticism from both sides.
     
  • What is the status of Daniel Poncedeleon? How's his recovery? Seemed to take Stanton two seasons to overcome his beaning so I'd not be surprised if DP's recovery is still incomplete, if it ever will be. He seemed to pitch his best when he was in the spotlight. I hope his career will be able to continue with this being a brief interruption, only.
  • Great question. It was a pleasure to catch up with Daniel at this year's Baseball Writers' Dinner. We awarded him the Bob Bauman Award for physical comeback. His dad was there to see him accept. He gave a stirring speech and the crowd gave him a round of applause when it learned he's going to try to make a full comeback. He's at spring training. Could appear in STL this year, if he performs. He will be pitching with one of these new protective inserts in his helmet moving forward. Perhaps more should consider the notion. Thanks for asking about him. A truly great comeback story, no matter how it ends career-wise.
  • I like the new look bullpen...darkhorse closer candidate is Tui! I still am worried about the rotation though. I love the plentiful amount of capable young arms but to rely on so many < 25 year olds to guide your team to a division title or wild card berth seems a bit foolish. At this point (IMO) we have one for sure starter (Martinez). Wacha has not proven to be over the injury bug, Waino is aging and we are frankly unsure how much is left in the tank, Mikolas could be the sleeper signing of the winter but could also be a flop, and then you fill in the back two spots with two unproven young guys (eventually slotting Reyes into one of those spots). I love the idea of giving our young guys opportunities but for a fan base that has missed the playoffs for 2 years in a row, this seems too risky. Thoughts?
  • Yadi gave a pretty ringing endorsement to Tui as he rolled into camp. That means something. And he's out of options. I would not be surprised at all to see him rising to that role. Good pick for sleeper candidate.
     
    I too think another veteran starting pitcher would be a wise move. A lot of what-ifs in the rotation as it stands today. It could work out great. But here's the thing. Someone almost always gets hurt before the season starts, and sometimes the young guys have growing pains. Oh, and there are decent veteran starters still available.
     
     
  • Whatever happened to the idea of the Cardinals pursuing Alex Colome? Or for that matter, Chris Archer? I am assuming the asking price from the Rays was too high or they wanted to package them in a trade. Any insights?
  • The Cardinals have distanced themselves from interest in Colome.
    That interest was in Archer.
    Trading with the Rays continues to be one of the more challenging things in baseball. They have so many front office people with a say in the process, things often get stalled or shut down.
    Too many cooks in the kitchen, some would say.
    The Cardinals aren't the only team that couldn't pull off a trade for Archer.
    For what it's worth, Archer himself told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that the GM told him he's not going to be traded in 2018.
     
  • In retrospect, do you now believe that the whole Stanton saga was all a ruse? I believe that Mo had a deal with the Miami GM to go along with the whole thing to make the Cards not appear cheap, while they knew all along that the deal was never a possibility. It was just a good opportunity to get the sheeple excited and get them buying Xmas season ticket packages. After all if Dewitt is too cheap to give Odorrizi 6 million a year, do you really think he would give Stanton 300 million?
  • That's not true, so why would I believe it?
    Your theory is flawed: Mo sets up deal with Marlins to flirt with Stanton so the Cardinals don't look cheap, and in doing so allows Stanton to publicly snub STL AND talk at length about how his view of the Cardinals -- and the view of other players in their prime right now -- no longer matches the view the Cardinals have of themselves.
    That seems like a lot of work to set up a situation that ends in the Cardinals looking worse than cheap.
  • Have you heard of any teams showing interest in Holland? The farther into ST we get, the more optimism I have that he may fall into our lap...is my optimism warranted or should I just accept that the 9th inning is Gregersons to lose?
  • I would be surprised if the Cardinals caught Holland at this point.
    They have added a bunch of bullpen arms, some with closer-type profiles. They seem determined to throw arms at the job until something sticks. 
    Maybe Holland sinks so low they go pillow deal, but I get sense ship has sailed there.
     
  • It's refreshing to hear someone from STLPD admit that the Cardinals seem to be hunting wild cards instead of division titles. I get that the games haven't been played yet and everyone is tied for first, but is the feeling that the arms we have in the pipeline are that close to helping and are going to be as good as the front office seems to think? When you have legit Cy Young contenders and winners available on the free agent market (Darvish, Arrietta) and the trade market (Archer) and you have the capital to get them but don't, you must have extremely high opinions of those pipeline arms.
  • I respect the Cardinals for looking from within when opportunity arises. Seriously. It creates a trickle-down effect in the organization. Guys show up to Springfield knowing they could be shining in the majors tomorrow, because perhaps the guy next to them in the clubhouse did just that. When young players know they're going to get a fair shot, it leads to good things.
     
    That said ...
     
    It is fair to ask if the Cardinals are higher on their internal options than outside teams would be. Recent examples like Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk make that a question that's popular to ask.
     
    Pitching seems to pan out better for the Redbirds. And that's where they need a youth boost this season, so we will see.
     
    We're in agreement that the rotation could have used one more outside boost.
  • Ben, I think that until we get a true leadoff man we cannot compete with the Cubs. I have a great idea that the fans would love and perhaps it would take some of the pressure off Cards management. BRING BACK JON JAY!!. He could be a great leadoff man, .300 hitter, great OBP, and could man right field with his gold glove. That could allow Cards to trade Fowler or Pham for pitching help. He would also give us a solid, gold glove outfield. What do you think?
  • I think the Cardinals have a true leadoff man. His name is Matt Carpenter. Just let him be instead of moving him around.
  • Has the police investigation relating to SLU basketball been concluded yet, or is it still technically ongoing?
  • Last I checked, it was still open. That's not unusual in situations like this. Often, these are just left open. For a long time. We will continue to check.
  • These chats always have plenty of talk about what is wrong with the Cards. Tell us what can be considered their strengths.
  • Well, they might have the best outfield in the National League.
    And their position group is pretty good: MLB Network's Shredder projection system thinks the Cardinals have a top-10 starter MLB-wide at every spot but third and second base.
    Carlos Martinez has to be on the list of Cy Young candidates entering the season.
    Marcell Ozuna hit more home runs last season (37) than any Cardinal has since Albert Pujols hit 37 in 2011.
    They're not the Reds.
     
     
     
  • Are you enjoying the Winter Olympics? If so, what are your favorite sports?
  • I kind of keep one eye on it at night, but I have not been consumed with it.
    I'm tired of hearing the word "twizzle" because it makes me hungry. Like a mix between Twizzlers and Twix.
    I saw a Japanese ice skater fall, pick himself up then still win second. 
    I saw a luge participant flip his sled over as he crossed the finish line because he wanted to shave an extra fraction of a second by ducking his head and flying blind.
    Those moments have been pretty cool.
    I also saw the awful story about the dog farm not far from the facilities and some of the not-so-shiny parts of the process, like the removal of a ton of trees. 
    I wrestle with Olympic guilt.
     
  • With all that SLU has been through this year it doesn't seem like Ford has gotten the credit he deserves. He has done a remarkable job.
  • You bet. Winners of seven of their last nine -- with so many opportunities for complete collapse. Since the investigation began, Travis has preached laser focus and togetherness to his team. It's working. I suppose you can say, hey, the investigation -- in some ways -- is on the coach. He recruited the players, right? OK, I guess. But the specific, confirmable details of the investigation remain so few and far between that I'm not going to go there without more information. People don't realize how much these coaches are removed from all things Title IX. It's out of their hands, for good reason. I'm not sure why Travis didn't make that more clear from the beginning. It could have cleared up a lot of confusion. But, I'm rambling. He's done a great job coaching in a really tough season. His guys don't quit. He works his tail off.
  • I have high hopes for this season (as I always do). Can you rank the likelihood of the following events:

    Martinez wins Cy Young
    Reyes win the Rookie of the Year
    3 players have at least 30 HR's (I'd say Ozuna, Pham, DeJong)
  • From most likely to least, I'd guess 1 (Martinez), 2 (Reyes), 3 (3 with 30)
  • I understand the PA and management have agreed to limit mound visits to six. Is their some run that prohibits electronic equipment, such as a QB uses with the play calling coach? Seems to me they could find a bluetooth device in which the pitching coach could communicate with the pitcher and catcher.
  • I think this is the year Wong puts it all together and has an all-star season. Agree?
  • Sure. If he stays healthy, he can make that type of noise. I think last year was a very important one for Kolten. He's comfortable. He's settled in, in a good way.
  • All the talk about missing the playoffs and it will cost Mike his job. If we miss this year how could this not be on MO and the front office. This would mean those tight pockets moves did not pay off. Is this not clear?
  • You write as if there is a box to check at the end of a failed season. Should blame go on a) manager or b) front office. It goes on both. It's shared. That said, Mo isn't going anywhere anytime soon unless he wants to leave. He just received a promotion, remember? There will be heat on Mo this year if the moves he made flop. You bet. But let's not confuse outside criticism with lack of job security.
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