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.

  • i have a question which i dont thin will ever make this chat but here goes:has anybody taken a look at the organizational win percentage of the Cardinals for 2021? what it shows is that as a organization the Cardinals are 29th out of 30 clubs in win pct.---isnt this also a reflection of the POBO in charge?
    The record of the minor league teams come up weekly. I have a hard time reading into them too much for two reasons. One is a lot of these guys were not playing at all last season due to COVID. Two is that a lot of the teams have younger players on them due to some aggressive promotions. A third would zoom out and suggest that as the minor leagues continue to shrink and as younger player climb faster than ever before things like the win-loss records of minor league teams are going to matter less and less. That's not necessarily a good thing, but it's going to be a thing. My concerns would be more individual than team based. Like, why has Zack Thompson struggled so much this season? Other examples, like a Nick Plummer, are much more encouraging. So, it's a mixed bag. And a hard time to draw a hard line on what minor-league results mean. There's plenty of concern about the win percentage of the major league team, and that's the one that matters most. Always.
    Speaking of Busch Stadium and being a hitter park, do you think there's any serious consideration to move the fences in? Along with possibility of making the stadium play a bit more neutral, could add a few extra rows of seats whenever people come back to the stadium.
    That gets a lot of traction with the fans but I've not heard anything about the team seriously considering it. Whatever changes would be made would benefit the opponent as well. The Cardinals have had slightly better averages at home than their opponents this season, but not by much. Maybe it would lead to more scoring, but would it lead to more wins? No guarantee.
    Waino is a competitor who will finish in the Top 10 of the Cy Young race And while I don't know the dynamics of his home life I do find it odd that he is hedging about returning in 2022, a year this owner/FO are supposedly "focused" on. If a player who has had a career resurgence and has a spot carved out for him is unsure about it, shouldn't fans be worried too about what this team will really do to be competitive in 2022?
    He has said he wants to talk it over with his family.
    He has obligations there and another season means another big chunk of time not spent with his wife and girls.
    I read it more as, he doesn't want to announce anything until he and his family have had that annual talk. And I get that.
    BenFred, is it safe to say now that not picking up Wongs option was a mistake? He would have been an above average lead off hitter, along with his excellent defense. Now he is leading the Brewers to a division title.
    I think the Cardinals made a cost-saving move and got burned for it, yeah.
    Whether they were overconfident in Edman's ability to handle such a massive workload so early or trying to claw back some of the cash misspent on Carpenter's contract extension, they saw a corner they felt they could cut to get to their preferred budget and it bit them twice. One because what Wong could have offered has become a problem area for this team, and two because he's now doing those things for the team running away with the division.  The Cards set their budget and someone had to go. I get it. It's business. But what I don't get is talking about the budget as if it's a salary cap. Some do, and that is confusing to me.
  • What's the best path to finding a DH for next season if the league implements it? The DH/Corner Infield/Corner OF market seems to be littered with aging hitters, many past their primes who should give the Cards some pause with the type of contracts that have hamstrung them over the past several years.
    I'm probably alone here -- and that's OK -- but I'd like to see some entertainment value added into the equation. Nelson Cruz signed a one-year deal for something like $13 million this season. The Rays traded for him after that deal. I don't think you give an aging bopper a mega long contract, but a short-term add for a guy who is a clear DH could bring some needed offense to this lineup -- perhaps more so than just rotating the position around. It's a spot that lends itself to be all about the bat. The Cardinals have a solid defense. They could use it to go get an offensive specialist. That would be my vote.
    I guess I’m in the minority in not being heart broken that wong wasn’t brought back. There is no guarantee that he’d be having the same offensive season that he is right now. He’s playing half his games in a ballpark that he has always hit well in. His best year in St. Louis was a .788 OPS and 109 OPS+ in 2017. Very good player, especially defensively. But the mistake wasn’t choosing to not bring him back, it was choosing to not bring in anybody else to fill that leadoff position and keep edman in a reduced role.
    Wong's been better on the road (.860 OPS) than at home (.769) for the Brewers, which is ironic because his numbers did jump out at Miller Park.
    I'm not sure the Cardinals could have added someone not named Wong that could have been a better fit for what this team needs right now, especially when they could have had him without competition for $12.5 million.
    Or they could have talked to him about turning that contract into a longer deal with a smaller per-year amount of money. He would have been open to having that talk. It didn't happen.
    Ben, I think the question was is it MLB or the Cardinals decision on having live post game interviews? Do you think Shildt prefers it this way?
    Shildt hates the Zooms as much if not more than we do.
    You can't have normal, natural conversations in that setting.
    Most teams that I'm aware of are doing pregame in person and Zooms post-game.
    There is not some conspiracy theory. Hopefully it's back to normal next season.
    Access will be part of the many things discussed in the upcoming CBA negotiations as well.
    Speaking of entertainment value, do you think that Cards being such a vanilla team has an impact on what we are seeing in regards to fan attendance/excitement around the team? Do you think if they just win more, it will be enough to generate buzz again? The Padres and White Sox seem to be reaping the benefits of having exciting, young rosters, but they are also winning for the most part. Maybe not the Padres at this moment...
    Winning is exciting.
    A winning team is rarely if ever described as boring.
    Business-like maybe, but when you win that is a strength.
    The Cards upped their star power in Arenado. He plays with a passion and a fire that is almost unparalleled. He's the opposite of buttoned-up Goldschmidt.
    But the malaise remains, because the team is hovering around .500. Winning cures all. 
    (But Bryce Harper would have helped too!)
    Trevor Story’s OPS+ this year is only 100, exactly league average. That’s quite a drop from the past few years. What’s up with him? Has he been injured? Once the Cards are interested in a player, they tend to remain high on him even when circumstances might suggest he’s not that same guy anymore. I hope they don’t automatically assume he will return to his previous level.
  • It's a great question. His average, on-base percentage and power are all down from last season. He hit the injured list with a right elbow injury in June. It was his first time there since 2019. He's also been playing under the weight of an unknown future, similar to Arenado last season. He sounded pretty convinced he was going to be traded an was publicly frustrated it didn't happen at the trade deadline. Story has had two prominent slumps during his contract season. It could affect his value a bit, but he's still a two-time All-Star with strong defensive numbers who is going to be a free agent entering his age-29 season. Might not be the top of the SS class, but he will be up there. A change of scenery should do him some good, and we have watched firsthand that home-road split worries are not as concrete as people sometimes assume when a player leaves Colorado. Arenado has proven that here in St. Louis this season.
    Time to jet, folks. Thanks for interacting. The recap will be up later today. Cheers.
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