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.

    Greetings, chatters. Hope everyone is having a good week so far. Could get better tonight, right? Plenty to discuss. Let's roll.
    The Dodgers have already lined up Scherzer to pitch the wild card game following his final regular season start on Wednesday. The Cards will pitch a well rested Wainwright who is less effective on extra rest. Why not move Wainwright back a day or two to prevent rust? His last outing was on six days rest and he wasn’t sharp. These pitchers are like machines and most effective within their set routines.
    The numbers are worth checking out.
    A start four days since last start: 14 starts, 93.1 innings, 2.70 ERA
    A start five days since last start: 13 starts, 84.2 innings 2.66 ERA
    A start six days since last start: 4 starts, 22 innings, 6.04 ERA 
    Combine last season and they are this.
    A start four days since last start: 20 starts, 135.2 innings, 2.92
    A start five days since last start: 15 starts, 97 innings 2.78 era
    A start six days since last start: 6 starts, 33.1 innings, 4.59
    Ultimately, though, I would defer to Wainwright.
    He knows his body and his arm better than anyone.
    He's earned a say in those conversations, and then some.
     
    Were you surprised that the Cubs didn’t knock Bader or O’Neil off the plate on Sunday after their heroics and gamesmanship in the series? I suspect another team with veteran pitchers would have taken a different approach.
    If we have the DH in 2022 and we stay with the same position players but add Schwarber as DH would that be enough of an upgrade to offense? He can back up at first and play outfield, then use extra money on pitching.
    A left-handed hitter who slugs righties would be a good fit, and he checks that box. I think the DH quest, if there is one, should be based on the bat not backing up first base. Goldschmidt plays almost every day. The DH coming to the NL, and there is little debate about that it seems, might create more interest in Schwarber.
    Did I miss where Mizzou won an Alabama worth of National Championships and therefore can want to fire their coach still rebuilding? Mind blowing.
    Drinkwitz isn't getting fired any time soon. This is straw-man stuff.
  • What do you put the odds of Lester being with the Cardinals again in 2022?
  • He's gotta want to pitch again, first. When I asked him about the idea a while back he made it sound like he's gotta have the talk with family and see before deciding to play anywhere, whether that's in St. Louis or elsewhere. He kind of sounds like he might be ready to hang it up. If he's up for another cheap one-year deal, Cardinals should really consider bringing him in for rotational depth. He's found some good things working with Molina and Wainwright and seems to be a good fit. Would he be The Answer for the rotation? No, but Cards have learned this season how valuable quality depth can be.
    BenFred I am firmly on the Cardinals speeding train and heading to Busch tonight to see if Waino can pitch the team into another playoff.

    So, I apologize for going so far off topic. I am becoming increasingly disgusted with how pro sports has attached themselves with professional gambling in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. It wasn’t long ago that pro sports (at least on the surface) distanced themselves as far as possible in order to avoid even a hint of impropriety.

    I can now turn on virtually any sports programming including my favorite teams and be inundated with gambling odds, sure thing bets from experts and encouragement to win big.

    Fortunately I learned long ago that I was a REALLY lousy gambler so it doesn’t really affect me. But there are people out there who will be tempted to win big and certain they are intelligent enough to do so. Gambling addiction is a real thing. I can think of at least 3 people who caused extreme damage to their lives and their families. Perhaps most of us can. One man I know quite well not only lost everything he had but conned his 75 year old widowed mother into losing her PAID off nice brick home and spent her remaining days in a Section 8 apartment complex full of screaming kids and drug dealers.

    If nothing else I believe MLB needs to not be phonies and get the all time hits leader into the HOF. If you’re going to jump in bed with these people jump all the way in.

    Sorry for the book and thanks for the opportunity t to express my opinion.
    Message received.
    Yet same point can be made about pro sports embracing alcohol to the degree it has, and no one blinks about that.
    How many lives have been ruined because of booze?
    Moderation is key with everything, or abstaining if that's not an option.
    (There's a reason I don't drink!)
    Pro sports is big business, and it goes where the money is. As sports gambling trends toward national legalization the sports world is going to chase those dollars.
    It would be nice if a part of the big checks teams are going to make through gambling would be steered toward help with those who need it.
    I won't hold my breath.
    Do you imagine Stroman of the Mets is likely a person of serious interest here next year and beyond? Noteworthy Marcus accepted a qualifying offer this year so no draft compensation pick to forfeit, induces ground balls and fields his position exceptionally well...
    Any groundball pitcher should be dying to pitch for this defense.
    It makes them look good.
    Not sure what the Cardinals' view of Stro is.
    I like him.
    Ben this morning on MLB Quick Pitch they had a filler piece on the storied Dodgers/Giants rivalry. I am guessing Manfred and his cronies will not be overly pleased if the Cardinals decided to crash the party! I honestly think they can do it.

    My question is should the Cardinals take the foot off the gas if/when they clinch or keep pushing? Is it possible to lose this momentum as quickly as they found it? Thanks
  • I don't think Major League Baseball minds when the Cardinals are contenders.
    It's been 10 years since the last World Series but they've got 11 of them, you know.
    We're not talking about the Pirates here.
    The Dodgers-Giants angle is going to get a lot of play because both are 100-game winners, and the idea of one of those mammoths losing in the wild-card is fascinating, and also because the two rivals never have met in the postseason.
    But the Cardinals brand is still quite strong.
  • Mr. BenFred,

    Thank you for today’s chat!

    Kyle Hendricks (under contract through 2024 at 14M, 14M & 16M) would fit nicely with the outstanding Cardinal defense. I know Cardinal-Cub trades are rare, but…… who would STL have to give up to get him?

    Woodford + Burleson or Plummer + Z. Thompson?

    Your thoughts………
    I wouldn't trade with a division rival. Maybe the Pirates, but that's it.
    Ben,

    It is awesome to see that you are going to be on the conduct detrimental podcast to talk about the Rams lawsuit. Did you get a chance to listen to the episode with Oakland lawyer Jim Quinn? If they can get the federal appeal overturned for the anti-trust lawsuit, that would be a major blow to the NFL. They could be fighting a battle on two major fronts. Love to see it! Keep up the amazing work on this.
    I just wrapped up a podcast appearance with Dan and Daniel before the chat started. It went great. I think they're going to drop it Wednesday or Thursday. It was interesting to hear their view on the Oakland topic after we stopped recording -- it wasn't what they wanted to talk to me about, and I haven't followed it as closely as they are -- because they made it seem like that appeal has some real legs to it. Remember, that's the lawsuit the Rams/NFL lawyers made front and center for their unsuccessful request for summary judgment. So, if it crumbles, that's bad news for the league. Dan and Daniel are more optimistic for STL about the idea of an expansion team than yours truly. We'll see.
    Mr. BenFred,

    As a former High School Baseball Coach, it amazed me to learn the 2nd base umpire was unaware of the 3rd base umpire infield fly rule call Sunday. He said he did no hear it.

    Keep in mind, all 4 infielders are all looking up at the ball and the only way they know the infield rule has been called is to hear it. When one umpire sees the signal of the call or hears the call, they are to verbalize it and signal it as well. But only 2 of the 4 umpires did so.

    The question is what was the 2nd base umpire thinking about when the ball went into the air. He should have been A) making the call or B) watching the 3 others umpires. The 2B umpire claimed he did not hear the call, but the 3rd base umpire signaled infield fly rule, as did the HP Umpire.

    He obviously was not paying attention. (Major Mental Siesta on the part of both the 2B & 1B umpires-they embarrassed themselves and their colleagues)
    As Mike Shildt said, they "fudged" it up.
    That was clear despite the CYA explanation that came later.
    Water under the bridge because the Cardinals won.
    Disaster if they didn't.
    If Wainright scuffles again and Mikolas has another strong outing do you consider starting him in the WC game as this might give the team the best chance to win?
    The Cardinals would not be here without Wainwright. I would have to see something very concerning to not hand him the ball in the wild-card game. I'm dancing with the date that brought me.
    How do you for see Alex Reye's role will likely settle in at especially should an extended postseason run be in the cards?
  • It's kind of funny, because the role he has now is more like the one the Cardinals envisioned before he became locked in as the closer. He lost that role, and Gallegos has grabbed it, but now Reye (and really Jack Flaherty) can be used in more of an X-factor spot. They're not tethered to an inning or situation. They're not tethered to one inning, or two. Their absence of a set role could be a strength, if used properly.
    Ben,

    I appreciate the coverage of the Tarensenko saga and the questions the media asked him. I know the answers weren't 100% satisfactory, but I do think he can be a productive piece until his eventual trade. If Rodgers can do the same in Green Bay, I think it can happen in STL. If he does perform well and they can trade him for some assets, rather than give him away, its a brilliant move. The risks are there, of course, to fragment the locker room. So far that doesn't seem to have happened. Are you seeing any signs of it?
    I just thought his answers were kind of weak. He continues to suggest the idea that this story is not one that he and his agent made, and that he is the victim in the situation. It's not true, but his fans buy it. It's strange. Anyway, they've played just two preseason games. Hard to tell much if anything from that. Tarasenko sounds motivated and his teammates sound forgiving and all is well on the No. 91 front. We will see how long that lasts, and how long he is on the team. Rodgers, for the record, laid out exactly what his beef was before he started back up with the Packers. He cleared the air and then turned the page. Tarasenko wants to pretend he's not the main character of his own self-created drama. Some buy it.
    Mr. BenFred,

    Great work on the Rams legal issues!

    Many seem to believe Sosa + DeJong makes Seager, Correa, Story, and Semien unnecessary.

    If so, would an Adam Duvall (RHH OF/1B/DH) signing give the Cardinals the offense that one of aforementioned SSs would have provided? He would give Arenado protection hitting 5th and is solid defender.

    The move would permit Nolan Gorman to ease into a big- league role without having to be ‘The Guy”. Duvall would also be far less expensive than SSs above and fewer years of commitment.

    Your thoughts……..
    I don't think the Cardinals should declare themselves as out on the offseason of shortstops that is coming, so I'll start there.
    Nootbaar is looking like a solid option at fourth outfielder as the season goes along, and seems to have the right mentality for it, one Lane Thomas, who is now thriving with the Nationals, could not quite seem to capture.
    Duvall doesn't scream must-have DH to me. He is stronger against right-handed pitching than he is left, which would help his case considering the Cardinals struggles against righties this season. But if I'm DH hunting I would probably want more proven power.
    My prediction is Arenado, O'Neill and Goldschmidt will each respectively be voted in for gold gloves at season's end. Beyond that Yadi, Bader and Waino figure to be at least in serious consideration as finalists for the coveted award this year too. For the fun of it please take a stab on how many cumulatively and who else has the best shot beyond the trio already listed.
    I think Harrison Bader has a real shot. He's +15 in Defensive Runs Saved, leading all NL center fielders at this time.
    Yadier Molina has an interesting case. He's at +6 DRS and caught nearly 1,000 innings more than the competitors in front of him.
    Jacob Stallings (+20) has been great but he's at 865 innings compared to Molina's 988.1. Willson Contreras (+9) also is ahead of Molina in DRS this season. But one should never underestimate the respect Molina has among peers.
    Zack Wheeler is going to make it hard for Wainwright to win. Phillies starter is +5 in Defensive Runs Saved to Wainwright's three.
    Tommy Edman (+6) is worth mentioning but is going to have a hard time getting in front of Adam Frazier and Kolten Wong.
    I'd say Bader is your best bet after the ones you mentioned. 
    Hey Ben! Thanks for chatting with us today. Will you be at the St. Louis BBWAA virtual trivia night? I'm excited for the event and am recruiting a team as we speak, should be a great time!
    Planning on helping in any way I can. Benjamin Hochman and Brenden Schaeffer have done all of the heavy lifting on the event. Kudos to them. Should be a fun night.
  • Has Dejong's recent 2 games w HR's made you think he could come back next year and be the starting SS if he hits lower in the lineup where the expectations and pressure of batting 4/5 won't get to him?
    If the Cardinals do decide to press redo on their shortstop situation again next season -- and I don't necessarily think that is their plan -- then at the very least it should be an open competition between DeJong and Sosa. DeJong opened up the door and Sosa ran through it and closed it, only opening it back up with this late injury. I'm not convinced DeJong is limited to the player we have watched for most of the season, but I have wondered if this has reached the change-of-scenery point of a relationship between a player and a team. If the Cardinals do decide to keep DeJong, let him battle it out with Sosa and keep lanes open for Nolan Gorman knowing they can move Tommy Edman to shortstop if need be, then they really, really need Sosa to sustain his 2021 success or DeJong to make a massive rebound. Both are rather risky bets, aren't they?
    What IF the Dodgers and Giants finish the regular season tied, who ya' got going to the bump for LA then for that game to decide the division?
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has said Scherzer is being lined up to pitch Game 163 if required, or the wild-card game if not .Cardinals should be praying to baseball gods that they get Scherzer-less Dodgers in wild-card game followed by series against the Giants, a team they are probably better equipped to beat in a series. They're 2-0 against the Giants in series this season.
    I have seen some of the always negative Cardinal fans complain that this winning streak doesn't mean anything if they just lose the Wildcard game. I disagree with that thought. This streak brought some fans back and for sure made this season a fun one to remember. What do you think?
    I think some people are twisting themselves in knots trying to justify their decision to declare the Cardinals dead before the math said so.
    It looked grim, no doubt. And the run would not have been possible without the Padres lighting themselves on fire, no doubt. But the Padres did light themselves on fire, and the Cardinals got hot at the right time. And now their destiny is in their own hands.
    The Cardinals celebrating their 10th anniversary of their last championship by getting knocked out of a one-game wild-card is not something to throw a parade about.
    That doesn't diminish history made with this winning streak. It's a hard thing to do, to make history for the Cardinals. Because most of the big things are already taken up by championship teams and Hall of Fame players.
    Both things can be true.
    I thought the Cardinals should win this division. I think the front office was late to add pitching help, but it did eventually add some and it has worked really well, so you tip your cap. Winning the division was out of reach but playoff success overshadows all, and this team is going to not only get in, but will get in having played some of the best baseball the organization has ever witnessed. It's OK to say the team was playing bad and it was frustrating but also now admit that the trend changed and things are interesting and even fun. Heck, Adam Wainwright said as much.
    When you try to grade a season before it's over, you risk backing yourselves into a corner. Those who gave it an F were premature. Those who are trying to pencil in an A now are just as premature. Let it play out and measure when complete. That's the best approach. But not as fun, I know.
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