Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Ben Frederickson answers your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    The past two managers the Cardinals hired had no major league managing experience. In fact, Matheny had no managing experience at all. Shildt very little and no major league experience as a player. If and when the Cardinals have to go search for a new manager at some point will they continue to look within the organization, say someone like Stubby Clapp or Ollie Marmol, or go outside the organization? I’ve heard Skip Schumacher’s named bandied around as a possible candidate, but again he has no managerial experience. Which direction would you go in?
    I think the Cardinals have a pretty good manager right now. Good enough to win a manager of the year award and receive votes in another. Not in the minors, either. In the majors. I think Shildt could use an improved roster, more than the Cardinals could use a new manager. Shildt's not perfect, and no manager is, but his problem areas this season have been more related to the roster problems than his mistakes. Correct me if I'm wrong?
    Why do people in the Cardinals organization continue to insist on telling fans they aren't seeing what they are seeing? it's insulting
    Fair point. Curious to see what attendance will be if the trend line continues to point down. People showed up for their Yadi tumblers, but are they going to fill the park -- or close to it -- for a team that fell apart and got no help from the front office?
    Having Rick Porcello or another FA starter would have been nice right about now. I would think one of those guys could have been plugged into the rotation by now if the depth would have been addressed immediately after Flaherty went down. Now, it may be too late. Do you think it's still worth going after a Kyle Gibson? Even if he doesn't end up being the difference in this years team, he still has another year of control so you can bank on him being in the rotation next year. It seems maybe "retooling" the roster at the deadline makes the most sense to gain some momentum at the end of this year and heading into 2022.
  • Hard to argue with that thinking. The Cardinals have to be wondering. The hesitation to add starting pitching depth as it started crumbling during spring training and after that is, I think, the biggest mistake the front office has made this season. The Cardinals, even with this lagging offense, tend to win when they get quality starts. They are not getting enough. They have not added enough. 
    I asked about Gibson yesterday. "Would you include Gorman in that?" was the response. A hypothetical conversation, but one that suggested the asking price for Gibson, in part because he is more than a rental as you mentioned, is high. Gorman? Probably not. But just about anyone else not named him or Liberatore, I'd be tempted. Because the Cardinals could still use another proven arm for next season.
    I'm also not buying Scott Boras saying Max Scherzer would have to get an extension offer in order to waive his no-trade clause this season. If a team going places wants to pick up Max, I think he'd go compete for a ring before he entered free agency. But the problem there is, the Nats are wining again. Drats.
    Did Wade LeBlanc suddenly become a candidate for Cardinals HOF for only walking one batter from the mighty Diamondbacks last night? Even if unlikely it’s nice to see a Cardinals starter not named Adam Wainwright pitch a decent game.
    And it shows you how low the bar has fallen that a 4.1 inning start is decent. 
    For this team, it was excellent.
    Which says a lot.
    I think the whole John Nogowski thing seems weird. He made the team out of ST as arguably the best bench piece and was even auditioned as an OF last week of ST. Then, poof! Feels like there is a story behind the story.
    He never really got it going again after his injury. Was just one-for-18 at major league level. Shildt never seemed to trust him in the outfield, and Paul Goldschmidt is gonna play a ton. He was going to have to click as a pinch-hitter to keep his spot and it didn't happen. The good news for him is he'll probably end up hitting 30 homers for some other team in two seasons, if the Cardinals' current bad luck on players they turned away from too early keeps up. When the roster demands churn, someone's gotta go.
    One of the strengths of the Cardinals over the last decade has been their seemingly limitless supply of pitchers they could call from the minors to utilize at the major league level when needed. This was as a result of a purposeful drafting strategy that prioritized pitching above all else.
    A number of years ago the Cardinals decided that despite the sustained success they were having with drafting pitchers, they would soon face trouble with their lack of position players and so Randy Flores was brought in to usher in a new age focused on drafting promising young hitters.
    I believe it probably remains to be seen whether that shift in strategy pays off as most of those hitters are still developing in the minors. The lack of offense as well as the robust supply of pitching we are accustomed to at the major league level is simply the void leftover from making that shift; ie. we no longer have the limitless pitchers and we don't yet have the hitters we've been drafting over the last few years.

    I would be curious what you (and the rest of the Post Dispatch staff) think of this perspective. Am I way off base? Furthermore, do you think the Cardinals expected this lull based on everything I've laid out or is this going more haywire than foreseen. In your opinion do you think the Cardinals were correct to shift their draft strategy or should they have stuck with a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality?
    I don't think the Cardinals have lost or their touch on drafting and signing pitchers who can be good or better as much as they have had to tap into that resource pool to seek trade help -- sometimes on trades that more or less backfired.
    Zac Gallen was drafted during the Flores scouting director era.
    Him, along with pre-Flores picks like Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Austin Gomber would all look like pretty big helpers right about now, if available.
    Dakota Hudson too, if healthy.
    Some of those trades (Gomber for Arenado, for example) made sense and worked well.
    Others, like Alcantara in the Ozuna deal, made sense but have not panned out so well. He's an opening-day ace. Ozuna had two average at best seasons with the Cardinals before departing.
    The Cardinals had to tilt their focus toward getting and developing some hitters who could help in the future, because there was too long of a track record of them not emerging.
    The pitching has not fallen off a cliff as much as it's been traded away.
    I would certainly look at trading DeJong for a #2 starter and a high AAA pitching prospect. DeJong has value. I don't know that it is that important the your SS be a power hitter but someone that can get on base and play solid up the middle (i.e. Ozzie Smith). Your power should come from your corners. Got give something to get something. Not sure what the fascination with DeJong is.
    Which one is it? He has value -- or you don't understand the fascination. A #2 starter and a high class AAA pitching prospects are big asks for a guy you don't see the value in.
  • Ben, the manager would do more good in his post game comments by saying we stink, need to get better, and then get off the stage. His sugarcoating may placate the players and front office but the fans are growing weary of it. Your thoughts?
    He'd get crushed for saying that, too, probably by some of the same fans who asked for it.
    Personally I think he should start showing up to the post-game Zooms with a "send help" sign.
    Hi Ben, thanks for the chats. Does anyone in the organization stand out as a possible interim hitting coach to you? Ryan Ludwick? Any idea what Mark McGwire is up to these days?
    If the Cardinals were to reassign or fire Jeff Albert this season, I think it would most likely be an internal promotion until the offseason. Again, team has suggested it's not interested in that, as late as yesterday. Doesn't mean it won't happen. Matt Holliday and David Freese would be names on my list if I were looking for a former player to have in the dugout talking hitting.
    BenFred,

    Do you know when a decision will be made regarding the Rams baseless request to dismiss the lawsuit?
    Not yet. The STL side gets a chance to respond to the Rams version, though I think that will be under seal. As the Rams docs should have been. Stay tuned.
    BenFred I hope I am wrong but I am afraid the Mikolas extension will be ultimately regarded as more damaging to the team than Carpenters. Miles surprised me this year when he pitched a solid 4 innings because I thought he would be rehabbing the entire season. Now supposedly he is on track for another return. How likely is that and odds he will finish the season as a starter? That scenario sounds even too rosy for the ever optimistic Mike Shildt. Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    I don't want to predict injuries but I'm going to need to see MIkolas make multiple starts at the major league level before I'm convinced he can do this moving forward. The Mikolas signing looked great. The rushed extension, not so much. Agree that it has the potential to be a very bad one based on current trend lines.
    I don't understand how this team was so unprepared to handle the inadequate starting pitching. Honestly the only given heading into the season was Flaherty. Did the front office really feel that confident in spring training or was it just smoke and mirrors?
  • There hope was not to have the starting pitching collapse before the All-Star break, if that's what you are asking. They were very confident, over confident, in spring that the KK and Mikolas injuries were no big deal. They were wrong.
    Have you noticed that Mo does a heck of a lot of talking without ever really saying anything? He should be a politician the way he attempts to spin answers in a long, roundabout vague way that doesn’t respond to the question! He says doing a trade will be “tricky” and the Cards “will have to thread the needle”. Other teams get deals done. Why can’t the Cardinals?
    Fair question. The Brewers did. They've taken off like a rocket since trading for Willy Adames in a rare May trade. Now they're leading the division despite a landslide of injuries to their team. I doubt the trade was easy, but the Brewers got it done. Baseball in general is a hard sport. You hit it three times out of 10 and you're great. So, I don't think the Cardinals are going to get much sympathy by describing how hard trades are at the deadline. Again. For the sixth year in a row.
    Woodford hasn’t fared well this year so why are they stretching him out to start instead of Reyes? I feel like the FO is going to waste Reyes’ talent by relegating him to the bullpen.
    That's a bit of a tough read on Woodford. He's allowed no earned runs in eight of his appearances. He's allowed one earned run in six others. And he's only made 17 appearances altogether. He was not really being used in the role that he's best suited for -- starter or long relief, so the front office sent him out to get work. Reyes has a role, and an important one. He's become a very successful closer, and it's hard to move a guy out of that spot once he's in it, during a season. It's what I feared from the beginning when they made this decision -- that he gets stuck there longer than he should be.
    Ben,

    What do you make of the decision to have the reliever bat last night and just take three strikes? Is that about as obvious a tank job as you have seen by a team in the MLB?
    Apparently they have no pitching. Another reason to not throw a parade for beating this team. Not only are the Diamondbacks bad, they are not competing.
    Everything has a shelf life. Do you think DeWitt has a secret list of replacement candidates for POBO and GM in the event the season continues to go south? Since a strike is imminent wouldn’t it be a good time after the season to make either front office or some coaching changes?
    I think any owner or manager, baseball or business, better have an idea of where he might want to go for targets in case a big position opens up. That said I don't think DeWitt is shopping for front-office replacements at this time. Mozeliak is not going to do this job forever, whether he leaves on his terms or someone else's terms, or pivots to something less day-to-day down the road.
  • Could you clarify or provide a link to the article that has DeJong commenting on Ludwick helping him? I'm lost as to what was being referenced earlier in the chat. Thanks!
  • You bet.

    A chat with Ludwick helps Cards' DeJong clear his head

    STLtoday.comStruggling shortstop homers as he tries to dig out of his season-long slump.
    Another soggy day in Mid-Missouri. At least they've been able to get the games in.
    I'd love to heap some blame on DeWitt, but every time it's brought up in the chats the PD staff counters with the above 500 teams and playoffs.
    Dewitt wears this colossal failure as much if not more than Mo and the gang. They were more than happy to take the Arenado signing and all of the good will it brought from fans then do nothing to bolster a clearly weak bench and lack of depth. Rondon and Moroff signings were needed, but hardly moved the needle.
    This is also the Dewitt and Mo duo who made no moves the last 5 trade deadlines, even with huge cracks showing and clear to everyone something needed to be done. Yep, they made the playoffs, but how many meek showings did we watch with full confidence they weren't going anywhere.
    I know the Cards are a big part of the downtown St Louis economic engine, but I'd rather see a significant lack of fans to send a signal this is unacceptable.
    Had to get that blame the media shot in there :)
    What about the fans who show up in mass for Yadi tumbler night?
    Where's the outrage directed to their acceptance of this team?
    I get in trouble when I bring that up, and I'm told to not suggest fans should not be fans.
    Fair enough.
    Then please do me a favor and don't suggest that journalists shouldn't be journalists -- and consider the team's track record under the ownership and front office while forming opinions.
    There are plenty of reasons to be frustrated and even downright fuming about the Cardinals, but the ones that attempt to make first-world problems sound like the apocalypse are going to get some push back from me.
    Fair enough?
    If they trade for a starter I hope it's one with some upside and is signed past this season
    I did my part. I reminded Mo yesterday that Kyle Gibson is a good dude who showed up this winter to help pass out COVIID prevention supplies and groceries to STL families during the Players Alliance stop here. You're welcome, everybody.
    There have been comments made in columns about lack of talent on this Cards team. Yet, this team was predicted to win 90 games. Losing Flaherty hurt, Mikolas and Hicks hurt. But under performance appears to be a bigger factor, CMart, Dejong, Edman, Goldschmidt, Helsley, Webb, Kim, Gant, Whitley and RF. So is it lack of talent or under performance? Is under performance coaching, lack of trust the players have in each other or just a fluke?
    I've only made comments about their lack of pitching talent -- as the injuries have mounted.
    At spring training they lacked certainty but had many options.
    And then the options started taking hits. Mikolas. Kim.
    Carlos went from being a guy who needed to prove himself to all of a sudden being a sure-thing starter, but not through his performance.
    Gant went from being a guy who could fill in, to a rotation guy, which was always going to be a ticking time bomb.
    Ponce didn't succeed.
    Then Flaherty got hurt.
    The Cardinals looked like a team in need of a starter leaving spring training, and then their opening-day starter went down, and no help other than some lightning-in-the-bottle moves have happened to bring in help from the outside.
    That's why I bring up the talent
    .Not on the offense side. 
    A team with Goldschmidt and Arenado should not be one of the worst in the NL in offense.
    A change of pace SLU question: Have either or both Jordon Goodwin and Hasahn French definitively done something that ends their eligibility at SLU? Something like signing an international contract etc. I don't see either as NBA quality but I see both as, at least, second tier international league material. But, I would, selfishly, love to see them come back too.
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