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.

  • Not that I know of. They have until July 7 to withdraw from the draft. There was a Twitter report of French perhaps signing with a team in Greece, and Stu Durando reported recently that he had some sort of a workout for the Titans as he considers the football route. There was some hope that Goodwin was going to be invited to the G League combine in Chicago but he wasn't on the invite list when it came out.
    Shildt sure pulled LeBlanc quickly after one mistake. He could have finished the inning, at least. Had he hit a pitch limit?
    LeBlanc said he knew of no limit.
    Will they let Edman get close to a microphone anytime soon? Was he speaking for the team?
    He was speaking, I think, for the guys on the team who are out on Albert. And there are some.
    Ben: I get frustrated quite a bit with the messaging that the Cardinals put out because so often it seems contradictory and makes me feel like they think fans are stupid. The latest example: When asked about moving Woodford to the rotation, the answer was that it was hard to see how they could find a way to do that given the time it takes. AND YET, how many times have we seen them rush back players/pitchers from minor league rehab before they were clearly ready or before they had built up innings stamina, etc.? Am I wrong about this, or do the Cardinals often talk through both sides of their mouth?
    I think you are seeing the Cardinals talk their way around the front office wanting to see Woodford used in longer outings than the manager and the pitching coach have provided.
    It seems like the FO only actively pursues a fixed and limited number of trade targets with certain teams rather than considering all the options available. Do you get that sense?
    Not really, no.
    But I do think they're pretty regimented on what they are not willing to give up at the deadline -- like top prospects for rentals -- so they find themselves dealing with the teams that identify as realistic trade partners.
  • Ben, thanks for the chat. I think the Cards poor hitting and the Ric Flair "wooing" may be intertwined. Thoughts? And perhaps the Blues should have brought back Pat Maroon after the Cup win. I know it's only one game, but he's on his way to three Cups in a row. Anything floating around about the Blues right now? Sure looking forward to a full regular season.
    That's the spirit. What if I make up a stat that says the Cards are 50 percent more likely to lose if fans whoo? Think it would work? Worth a shot.
    Happy for the hometown hero. What a run he's on. I would love to see him back here, but can't imagine why Tampa would not want to keep him if he's interested in continuing. They did miss his grit and edge this year, even if he alone would not have been the difference-maker. He makes his teams better. No doubt there.
    With Carlson playing well, could we package Bader and a prospect to the Rangers for Gallo? He would look good in RF and in the cleanup spot.
    Probably best to package Bader for pitching if Cards are going to trade him. Gallo, I can't figure out. His OBP was terrible last year. This year, he's a walk machine. But he's only slugging .445. I just can't figure out how to project him, really. He's a mystery. Here's part of what I mean. Gallo has certainly outslugged Bader since Bader's first full season in 2018, but he's been below him in average and about the same in on-base percentage. Each of his seasons, it's like he's a different hitter. I think what the Cards really need right now is someone who can provide steady on-base percentage more so than big power potential. That's Gallo this season, but is it real? I don't know.
    Ben I am not certain you can comment on this but I am getting more and more concerned that Danny Mac might move on to greener pastures after this year. Not sure how often you actually get to watch the telecasts but it’s pretty obvious he is frustrated to no end with Bally Sports for not being allowed to travel with the team. He is also getting sick (like most Cardinal fans) of broadcasting really bad baseball night in and night out. It’s starting to show in his performance. While still a relatively young man he has broadcast Cardinals games for half his life and I would miss him but not be surprised if he moved on.
    Well, he's in the final year of his contract and has been approached in the past with national-type opportunities he's turned down. I think he has his dream job, but it has changed quite a bit, one in the ways you mentioned and another in how Sinclair Broadcasting handled its people during the pandemic. Maybe he looks around with more interest when those other opportunities come this year? I don't know. I just know it's hard to call games when you are not there in person on the road, and the fans lose out because the product is not as good as it should be. I sense that bothers him when it happens. Understandably.
    Ben: I've been a huge Carlos Martinez fan and have felt he was ready to regain his form as a solid starter . . . until these last few starts. It's clear to me now that he just has no confidence anymore. After his injuries, I think he never did fully regain the confidence that he could throw his fastball in the mid-90s as a primary pitch for 6+ innings without getting hurt, and the transformation to a pitcher who pitches to contact and saves the big fastball for key moments just isn't working. It's time to move him to the bullpen and let him air it out for one inning at a time. I think he still has value there. It's been hard to watch this version of CM. Do you think he could still be a weapon as a reliever?
    I do. Every piece of evidence we have since 2018 with Carlos in the bullpen suggests he can be effective there. He might not like it, but his performance is calling for it. There's also a potential benefit of Carlos showing up to the ballpark every day not know if he's going to be called upon to pitch. It keeps him a little more locked in, and before people get mad about that please remember this is a pitcher who almost always says his performance is tied to his focus. That said, I would not be picking up his option after the season. Time to move on.
    I understand the criticism of Albert--he clearly hasn't made much of a positive impact in his time here. One thing I would say is that I don't put the OBP issues squarely on him. If you look at the roster as constructed, it literally had no one you could reasonably expect, coming into the season, to be a .350+ OBP guy other than Goldschmidt. Even with the Arenado deal, I thought the team was an off-season away from really putting together a great lineup because they needed to go get some more consistent OBP. I didn't think it would be this bad, and maybe DeJong is finally coming out of it, which would be huge, but this lineup was created as an all-or-nothing lineup as it lacked proven depth of hitters who could get on base consistently.
  • The Cards were 8th in NL in OBP (.323) last season without Nolan Arenado and have dropped to last (.298) with him. That's hard for me to wrap my head around. I didn't expect the Cardinals to be a word-beating offense. I did think they could be able to take the good things they did last season and dial up the power some. Instead they've become worse in almost every category while their 14th-ranked NL .371 slugging percentage from 2020 climbed to . . . an 11th ranked NL slugging percentage of .375 in 2021. They're not powerful enough to not do anything else well. I do think a lot of that is on Albert. You have to build your approach around the talent you have, not vice versa.
    I love to read BamaBob's posts.
    I'd be okay if the media and Shildt never used the words exit velocity and launch angle ever again. I don't care about BABIP. I don't care if Matt Carpenter hit the ball 110 mph. When it goes in the 2B/short right fielder's glove it's still an out. Nothing else matters. It just took him less time to make this out than the dribbler to the 1st baseman, that was still an out.
    Let's stick to box score stuff. I don't care about spin rate. That's for the commissioner's office to worry about. I'd rather watch Waino pitch than someone to tell me the spin of each pitch.
    Mike Shannon hasn't used these terms in 50 years and it's great to hear him call a game.
    It's easy to hate what you do not know. 
    It happens a lot, in all areas.
    And some of these metrics have been made the enemy by people misusing them, or misunderstanding them while trying to use them accurately.
    Use batting average on balls in play to get a sense if a player or team is catching some fortunate breaks or on the wrong end, if you care about that.
    It doesn't matter how hard you hit it if you hit it directly into a shift -- and don't believe anyone who tries to tell you different.
    Spin rate can be a hint about all kinds of things -- a mechanical problem, a mechanical success, a pitcher who is using the bad goop or something else. It's a clue, not a stat to be stated like ERA or wins. Someone going on and on about spin rate without the context of what it is achieving should be ignored.
    The problem with some of these stats is that people who don't understand them are using them to attempt to sound modern or hip. Blame the people, not the numbers .That's my advice. 
    Why not move some of the pitchers that were good starting pitchers in the minors but the Cardinals made them relievers when they came up, move them back to the starting rotation?
    I know it would take time to build them up to 7 innings. Let 2 of them pitch 3 to 4 innings in the same game and let Reyes close.
    Yes keep Reyes as the closer.
    If the starting pitchers could pitch 7 innings we would not need as many good relievers. Sign some free agent pitchers and make them relivers.
    Why would this not work?
    NO do NOT bring up Matt Liberatore! Let him play for the Olympias. He is not ready for the MLB. See what is happening to Oviedo.
    Do you agree with this? What is your idea?
    That's what they're working on with Woodford, and piggybacking is on the table, per Shildt. If you're going that route, why not consider Reyes in the mix? He's going to miss his pitch target this season if they keep him on the shelf as a closer who rarely pitches. 
    The front office could also step in with some proven major league help. That would be my idea. They've delayed it too long as it is and turned down too many chances to do it earlier.
    I would be surprised if Liberatore pitches in the Olympics. The Cardinals can't really afford that right now. 
    The hitting coach is being unfairly targeted for 2.5 years of bad hitting, as well as that everybody seems to do better both immediately before and after being under his tutelage.

    Is a comment that insulting made because the executive thinks we’re all stupid or because he is confident that the local media will cover for him, or both?
    Based on what you hear from baseball wise men, what is the likelihood of a strike at the start of next season ?
    They all agree it would be terrible to have a strike, a lockout or a work stoppage at any time.
    Yet no one seems willing to say they're convince the players and owners agreeing on that fact will keep them from driving things off the rails.
    ESPN's Jeff Passan reported recently that there is an understanding a deal will have to be made.
    I hope he's right.
  • In one of your previous chats I asked about the low attendance. You said that the Pirates series would be a better gauge. I saw a lot of empty seats on Sunday. Poor play doesn’t explain it all. Other flawed teams are filling up the stadium. Do you believe a portion of the fan base, that pays to attend games, has started to realize the current Cardinals model isn’t good enough anymore?
    I think it's a combination of things at the moment.
    The opponent draws have not been very desirable yet.
    Some of the corporate sales that led to big blocks of seats (and suites) were lagging due to the pandemic.
    I've heard from a decent amount of people who have concerns about going downtown due to the state it's in post-pandemic.
    Others still have COIVD concerns.
    But yes, the team's play is a big part of this. The Cardinals have been stinking out loud since pandemic restrictions were lifted. Fans who are on the fence can come up with reasons to not go. The promotions are still drawing people in, as witnessed with Molina tumbler night, and the big series against the Cubs and Dodgers will be well attended I'm sure, but the team certainly has to be missing out on fans who are not inspired by the team to make getting to the ballpark a staple so far this summer. Wrote about it here earlier this month: 
    I'm firmly planted in the injuries are no excuse camp. A good roster overcomes them and a bad roster doesn't. The 2021 roster was weak when camp opened. Why is Mo trying to rewrite The hitting Coach situation? When Budaska was fired it was one voice, one vision we don't want to send a mixed message to hitters. Yesterday complete reversal. I expected something in the paper about that.
    Fair stance. Especially when other teams, like the Brewers, have been just as beat up and have not let that stop them. I'm sorry, but I can't write a column about Jeff Albert every day. I wrote about him last week and laid out all of the reasons this is not working. Mozeliak's defense of him continues to prioritize things that are not showing in the results of the offense, and that's a hard sell. My column in case you missed it: 

    BenFred: It certainly is fair to question hitting coach Albert's influence in Cards' sputtering attack

    STLtoday.comIt is not outlandish to expect the Redbirds to field at least an average National League offense this season. So far, they have not.
    We'll hit the season's half way point between your chat days. Who's your Cards mid season award winners?
    Starting pitcher - Waino (he's the winner even if you combined all of the other starting pitchers together)
    Relief pitcher - Gallegos (too many walks by Reyes) fewer walks and seems to always come in with people on base
    Fielder/hitter - Arenado (but no one was clear cut)
    Rookie/newcomer - Carlson
    Feel free to add any I've missed. I have some negative awards, but let's hold off on that talk.
    Good list. I'd pick Reyes over Gallegos because of the injury unknown that surrounded Reyes and how he has excelled. He's in a pass-fail job, and he has passed 18 out of 18 times. It's not his fault he hasn't pitched more often, though the team should have thought about this predicament a little bit more, because it was easy to see coming.
    Hi Ben . Hope your having a great Tuesday. I find it hard to believe that Mo said 2021 doesn't matter. Especially since he talks like Alan Greenspan ( former head of the federal reserve) . He pontificates in sentences that says nothing . But was clear about this year. Not great leadership. What do you think ?
    I think he's saying a lot of confusing things, none of which will mean more than the actions he makes or does not make at the trade deadline. He didn't say 2021 didn't matter. He said the team won't be judged by it. That's of course not true. He also said the team is in win-now mode, but not at the expense of the future. Which means . . . I don't know. The actions leading up to the trade deadline will tell the story. My advice: Fans should be ticked if the Cardinals don't get after it to improve this team.
    I still go back to last year and Carlos' insistence on starting. No one was willing to put on their big boy pants and do the right thing for the team.
    And I go back to when he got popped for his mask-less music video during the offseason, when Mozeliak laid down the challenge that he would have to earn a spot in the rotation. Then spring started, and it was as if Carlos had been penciled in as the starter the whole time. Bizarre. His struggles and the way they have undercut the team were relatively predictable and very much ignored.
    I feel I need to get a non-Cardinal question in the queue for my own sanity. Are you an Olympics guy? Are you looking forward to Tokyo? I enjoyed STLToday's coverage of gymnastics over the weekend – much more fun to read than the Cardinals' game reports.
    I've become more interested in the Olympics as I've realized what an impact the STL area makes on them every four years. It's really impressive. It seems every sport has some sort of tie to an area high school or college. I'd like to cover one some day. Hopefully that's in the cards. Covering the gymnastics trial was a blast. I told myself when I saw Simone Biles here five years ago that I'd never miss another chance to write about her again if given one, so I wanted to be there at the Dome. Perhaps the coolest part, and I'm biased because we have a niece who loves gymnastics who was able to attend one of the two women's days, is seeing the impact on young girls the superstar women's team makes. Truly inspiring. Thanks for reading the coverage -- and hopefully ignoring the multiple times I botched the language of gymnastics.
    In years past, when a future hall of famer would announce retirement, each city would give them a parting gift or at the least make an acknowledgement. I don't see this happening with Albert Pujols. Am I missing it? is it yet to come? or is it just not going to happen?
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