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.

    Ben - Am I crazy for seeing the Cardinals starting pitching situation as one of the worst we've seen in years? Every candidate is being counted on to be the best version of themselves, and in some cases better than they've ever shown they can be. For example, Mikolas has had one above average season in his career and hasn't played meaningful ball in 2 years, yet we're writing his name in pen at the top of the rotation. Matz has seen his ERA balloon at times, with its lowest point in the last 5 years settling at a 3.82 and we're expecting him to be a workhorse. Waino is 40 years old, there isn't a whole lot of history showing pitchers performing at a high level this late into their careers. flaherty is hurt with an injury that looks likely to plague him in some capacity in continuum.

    If we've got our rose colored glasses on, sure a few of these gambles may hit and we might be halfway decent, but if the org keeps talking about their world series aspirations they may want to treat the situation more pragmatically.
    World Series talk is common during spring training.
    But there's a pretty proven track record of recent World Series winners finding ways to drastically improve their teams as the season progresses, and opinions about how the team is prepared for it become replaced by facts about how that team is performing, or not.
    The Cardinals will have those chances to adjust before the trade deadline and during it, if they want to deliver on the optimistic outlook offered this spring, and most others.
    Is the new MBB coach a good recruiter and who is going to be on his staff?
    He had a good rep for helping Florida State recruit high-level talent during his time as an assistant there. But he was not the head coach and Florida is not Missouri, so we will see. He had good results recruiting junior college transfer-up guys at Cleveland State. He's got some connections to some heavy-hitting assistant coaches known for recruiting. Jerrance Howard was one name speculated about. That would be a big get, if he can make it happen. He was a top recruiter at Kansas under Bill Self for a while. At Texas now.
  • Ben, the Cards finished 5 games behind Mil last year despite a 17 game win streak that won’t be repeated. With an injury riddled rotation that doesn’t impress and limited minor league pitching depth, what has the front office done to reduce the gap with the pitching rich Milwaukee Brewers? Pardon me, but more evidence that the Cards mantra is win more than you lose, make playoffs with at least a wild card, and strike lightening in a bottle to win a title. Yea, I’ve been to Pittsburg and they would love to have this goal. But it’s running stale in St Louis where 2011 was 11 years ago and fans hold the team to higher standards. Thoughts?
    The team views their pitching potential and additions in a more favorable light than you, is the best way to put it. We'll find out. As for what fans demand, I expect a sellout on opening day. Meaning, a lot of fans are excited about Cardinals baseball in 2022. And they count, too.
    Not sure I have been this excited for mizzou in years football has weapons all over the field and a college football beat writer said best group of receivers since 2013 and drink will finally get to run his full offense. Starting to believe we could win 7, that would be fantastic. Basketball I have been reading everything I can find about the new coach. This guy can recruit , his Cleveland state team this year top 30 in team assist top 75 in fewest turnovers and top 80 in scoring 76.5. Also top 35 in fg % 47.6. They only avg 12 3s a game so they must attack the basket very excited to see how he changes this roster. Iowa state 2 wins last year new coach and a complete change of the roster and they are in the sweet 16.
    The quarterback uncertainty at Mizzou is not something to gloss over just yet. Brady Cook looked good at the spring game, and he's the leader in the QB race for now, but Drinkwitz openly chasing transfer QBs all offseason makes me wonder about what he thinks truth-serum style of the current QB upside on his depth chart entering year three. Someone has to throw Luther Burden and his pals the ball. 
    Gates could be good. He deserves a full and fair shot. Hope he gets one. One thing that would help him would be having the same athletics director who hired him stick around a while. The last two hoops coaches have been hired and fired by different ones.
    Hello, Mr. Frederickson. Thanks for the chat.
    1.) Now that the Blues have acquired a veteran defenseman in Leddy, can they please make Scandella a healthy scratch for most of the remainder of the season?
    2.) People talk about how replays are slowing down MLB games, but it's nothing compared to the NCAA basketball tournaments. The officials are reviewing everything! Its like they're relying on video replays to call the games.There was one game where it took almost 30 minutes to play the last 2:06 minutes of the game! How would you fix this problem?
    Scandella and DeJong have become top seeds in this March's edition of Angst Madness
    I fully understand the Cardinals lack of urgency in regards to the central division being markedly winnable, but does the hope of catching lightning in a bottle in the playoffs really hold up when so many more teams will be in this coming year? Each of the other divisions are loading up and while I understand that doesn't necessarily equal success, the collection of talent that some of the these teams has will likely have an impact on the "luck" some teams have in October, right?
    My advice would be to factor in the expanded postseason into the amount of credit given to teams for making it. As always, it's most important where you end. If a team goes from barely sneaking in to making a run, that's what matters, the destination. But if a team barely gets in and then gets knocked out upon arrival, fans shouldn't buy great-season selling points from a team that was supposed to have a legitimate chance. The Cardinals want us to believe they have a legitimate chance. Their current state of things is not all that convincing, but not as bad as some here make it seem. With a full season to go and many decisions to make along the way that can and will help or hurt their chances. That's baseball. But I'm going to go ahead and say now that immediately getting pushed out of an expanded postseason is not something the Cardinals should try to force-feed their fans as success. Because no one should buy it.

    I know there are a lot of comments about the rotation here, but as someone who watched us set the modern record for runs walked in last year, I think Mo is right: Strikes matter and we seem to be stockpiling strike throwers. We certainly don’t have Scherzer and DeGrom, but those guys don’t have 5 gold gloves behind them either. This team seems as well positioned to avoid the disastrous 2 months it experienced as it does to repeat a 17 game win streak and frankly, I’d give up the 17 game streak any day if it meant getting those 2 months back.

    Mo certainly seems to have cost the team by not acting sooner last year, but I do have to give him credit for building up a lot of options this year, so I’m willing to wait and see.

    Do you see this as the lens the team looks through as well?
  • As mentioned earlier, the trust-the-depth approach causes some flashbacks to last season but the throw-a-ton-of-strikes approach was adopted and built upon this season. The Cardinals got rid of a lot of those walkers, and replaced them with zone pounders, to feed the defense. They want to see how that works before making big changes. I get it. It's how quickly and aggressively front office will adjust to performance issues that can't or are not being filled from within that I'm a lot more interested in. Those questions can't be answered now, as much as everyone loves to predict.
    How do the Cards stack up with the rest of the NL with the DH? Do you expect it to help or hurt the Cards?
    I liked the idea of a more old-school big bopper role for this team's DH, considering the scrutiny on the offense and the ability to maximize power and not sweat defense for one spot in the lineup on a team that hopes to put the best defense on the field and makes playing decisions built around that, for good reason. The Cardinals are going the other way. Chances for young at-bats. Maximizing platoons and match-ups. Giving regulars like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado a day off of defense here and there, as research shows a week or more of consecutive starts can lead to some sag in players. A lot of NL teams are taking this approach. The Nationals took a different approach. They grabbed Nelson Cruz. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the idea of Cruz crushing baseballs for the Cardinals.
    A subset of the Best Fans in Baseball is ready to write of Juan Yepez' season after less than a week of spring training ABs?
    I'm more concerned about being force-fed the idea that a hitter who was not asked to help the major league offense at any point last season, even in a pinch-hit role, despite great numbers in Memphis is now suddenly supposed to be counted upon as  big factor in the DH lineup. That's a big leap, and it could be hard to land.
    Ben -

    What do you make of Marmol telling the press his expectation for the year is a World Series win? Is this the type of blind optimism that mozeilak was not receiving from Schildt that led to his release? Looking at our starting pitching, it’s beyond optimistic to expect us to compete against even a scherzer-less dodgers starting rotation in a 7 game series.
    The Chat has short memories.
    Shildt said the same stuff.
    Here's a quote from him in 2018: 

    "We say it because you have to have a team goal, and I don't know what else a team goal should be in a competitive environment, like we are at the highest level, other than winning championships," Shildt answered. "If you communicate that this is what the expectation is, then everything works off of that."

    Are there any FA pitchers out there that you have your eye on? Would Chris Archer be a good depth move despite the injuries?
    Unless the Cardinals get more bad injury news on starters or starter candidates, I think they are going forward with what they have. The market is limited, and they don't want to trade Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, Jordan Walker to get a starter -- at least at this time. Two of those guys (Gorman and Liberatore) should help this team at some point this season, and that's part of the reasoning.
    Small sample sizes, but how much has Edman's poor ST and Gorman's good ST (he was so good last night) changed the plans for the 2B spot? If it continues to go like this for each of them could Gorman force Edman into a utility/platoon role?
    Today is game four. Deep breaths. Adding Dickerson, a former Gold Glove winner in outfield, helps Cardinals keep Edman in infield, where he won Gold Glove last season. But yes, Gorman could be there eventually. First he will need to hit well enough to be a DH factor. That's his first challenge.
    Time to jet, folks. Gotta go get some interviews knocked out. Recap headed to the site later. Same time and place next week.
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