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.

    Hey gang, hope your week is off to a good start. Cardinals are flying high, with a chance to drop the hammer on the sinking Brewers and take this division. Football camps are underway -- though there is much more focus (sadly) on the TV wars that are shaping conference realignment. Today's shoutout goes to Serena Williams, one of the best to ever do it, on her retirement from tennis. Who else drops a retirement bombshell with a Vogue cover? Baller. Let's roll.
    Are you at all surprised that the cards haven’t found a spot for Burelson yet this season? I thought with Bader dealt we may try and give him a little run in right. I have been very unimpressed with Nootbar at the plate this season but the last week + he had been turning it around.

    How do you see the RF job playing out ROS?
    If Lars was not taking off like he has, Burleson could be here now. But Nootbaar is doing exactly what the Cardinals hoped he would do by taking advantage of an opportunity. He's making game-changing defensive plays in right field, he's averaging .313 with a .391 on-base since the trade deadline, and he's checking that energy box the trade of Harrison Bader left open for someone else to fill. So, for now, he's in. And the Cardinals rightly want to give Yepez a chance to contribute to the right field equation when he's healthy; he's earned that chance. So, that's how I see it playing out for now, but understand how quickly things can change. One injury changes things. One slump and/or slide does too. Burleson is next man up. But something will likely need to happen to create that opening. Something beyond his control.
    Liberators was absolutely overwhelming in his last start, he is the ace in the hole for 2023.
    And his one before that one, against the same team, was pretty rough. Needs more consistency. How teams not named the Cardinals viewed Liberatore at the trade deadline -- they weren't beating down the door for him -- could have been a bit of a wakeup call for both the Cardinals and Liberatore. This was supposed to be the season he took advantage of opportunities to force himself into the picture. The opportunities were there. He has not looked quite ready, at least not yet.
    Ben, I'm a baseball purest and would hate to see the robot take over the strike zone. However, after that debacle against the Yankees....WOW. That was incredibly bad. Angel Hernandez and this man should be put on the bench for a while. Just my thoughts.
    If the umpires are not going to be more proactive about weeding out the worst offenders or at least keeping them behind the plate, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them when they get replaced by automated strike zones. The sad truth is a few guys are really bad, and most are pretty good. But the few guys who are really bad do a lot of damage to perception and sometimes games. I'm more in favor of an automated zone now than I have been in the past, but just know that there will always be consequences to something like that. Pitchers and catchers will find ways to distort it, and it opens the door to questions about whether the automated zone is right or distorted, and so on. It won't stop ball/strike arguments. But if it brings more consistency, it's hard to argue against.
    Hi Ben!

    Every time this week, seeing Aaron Judge, I can't help but think that the Cardinals passed on drafting him and instead picked Marco Gonzales.

    We would have a power hitting superstar in our outfield, at least till arbitration ended for him, but would be a force for years.

    We would never have had to make the Ozuna trade and Alcantara would be our Ace.

    To me it's the biggest blunder since the Steve Carlton trade.

    Any other Cardinal "blunders" come to mind?

    It's hard for me to label not taking a guy in the draft a blunder.
    Mike Trout was drafted 25th.
    Judge was drafted 32nd.
    Mookie Betts was a fifth rounder.
    Ten guys were taken before Max Scherzer when he was coming out of Mizzou.
    No one knows how these guys are going to be playing, for sure, years after they are drafted. It's about measurable skills, certainly, but a lot of it is health and what's between the ears, too.
    Baseball is a sport built on failure and responding to it. Some guys have never really failed before they are drafted, and no one can truly predict how they will adapt and evolve while learning how to respond to it.
    I think not signing Luis Robert was a blunder. The Cardinals could have done it. The pack was thinned due to the timing and what other teams had spent elsewhere internationally. He would look really good in this outfield and lineup.
    What kind of contract would have been needed to sign Max Scherzer for the Cardinals?
    A three-year deal would have been a must. He got three years and $130 million from the Mets. Not sure if he would have taken a little less to pitch for Cardinals, but three years was a must. He would have liked to pitch for the Cardinals. He was out of the range of the budget, I was told.
    I had read that if Bader does not recover from his injury that the Cardinals have to give a player to be named later. If this is the case, how does it work and who would that be?
    From what I understand, Bader's injury status will determine if there is more in the deal or not. If he's unable to play this season the Cardinals could have to include some cash or agree to another player going New York's way. A player-to-be-named-later usually is decided by an agreed-upon list of players at the time of the trade that the team receiving the player later then gets to pick from after the fact.
    Hello, Mr. Frederickson. Thank you for your time. I have few questions, please:
    1.) When Yepez comes back, who gets sent down (at least until rosters expand)? Nootbaar is playing well and Dickerson finally is performing a little like what the Cardinals expected. Would the team dare send down a seldom-used pitcher like McFarland and keep the extra bat?
    2.) As Hudson continues with his control problems, why doesn't the team send him down to Memphis to correct the problem (similar to what they did with DeJong), and bring up Woodford -- who's pitching well and has been reasonably effective in the majors. If I'm Woodford, I have to be wondering what's going on. Is Woodford trade-bound this offseason?
    Thank you.
    On Yepez, there's no need to decide it now. He's gonna be rehabbing up to a week. A lot can change in that amount of time.
    On Woodford, I'm as confused as you. I get the Cardinals are not thrilled with his pitch data and don't think it translates well to what they're doing. But the results have been very  good at the major league level. Three of his last four starts at Class-AAA were strong. I assumed Woodford could be moved at the deadline. He wasn't.
    Marmol has been quite blunt about Hudson needing to work faster. If he doesn't respond to that, there will be a situation created where the Cardinals have to either do something about it, or acknowledge that all of their tough talk about demanding it doesn't mean much in the end.
    Maybe Woodford gets his shot that way? 
    I figured he would have had a better one by now.
    I hardly ever make comments during the chat sessions but usually read them all. Sometimes the comments are right on the mark and other times just plain crazy. My comment today is that during yesterdays chat with DG most of the comments were positive and thoughtful and informative. These chats give us readers and fans some place to vent our concerns and pass out our thoughts about the FO and management, both good and bad. All of the PD writers have good insight on the subjects and keep the chats informative and entertaining. I for one think you all do a very fine good and for the most part do not show prejudice towards the paper you work for or the team you are covering. Thanks again to you and your co-workers, most of us appreciate the time you put in during the chats and enjoy the opportunity to chat, vent, or just read.
    Thanks, Jim. These are usually fun to do. Some knuckleheads try to ruin it for all but I try not to give them oxygen. There's a line between tough love and fairly voiced frustration and . . . well sometimes some of the stuff is just crazy -- and that's the stuff you all don't see. Thanks for being a part of the party.
    If Bader hadn't been on the IL and playing well would the trade had been made?
    Doubtful. See what the Brewers just did? Traded a performing part of their division-leading team, and now the wheels are off. You have to be careful about trading performing pieces. It can mess with the equilibrium of your club. The offseason is usually a better time to make those kind of deals, not the trade deadline. The Cardinals have viewed the deadline as a chance to address needs for now, preferably by trading pieces that for various reasons are not key to what the team has going on. Bader, through no fault of his own, was in that spot due to his injury. Carlson has been playing quite well in center. Pitching was the need, and Montgomery was available due to the Yankees acquiring Montas. Plus he has an additional year of control. If the Cardinals were shopping with a healthy, performing Bader, I don't think they would have been nearly as willing to trade him.
    Ben- Kudos to Mo for a couple nice deadline moves for starting pitching without giving up the farm. Quick question. What did the Cards see in Chris Stratton that made him a desirable piece of the trade? Doesn't look like he's been great over the last couple of years and he got pounded on Sunday. Is he a groundball guy who this defense will make better or is it something else?
    They think they can make some changes to his pitch usage and mix that makes him better. Easy to say. Harder to do. We'll see. But they were insistent that it was not just a throw-in reliever. They saw stuff (spin, mostly) they liked and felt they could get better use out of immediately. He was open and agreeable to that plan. Also appealing was his ability and willingness to pitch all the time. He will take the ball every day. The Cardinals needed some of that durability to this pen. Granted, it doesn't help if it's not effective. His first two one-inning, low-leverage appearances went well. Stretching him beyond that seems risky.
    Crocodile tears being shed in my household for Jason heyward, even if he seemed like a good guy.

    Question is what is the point of the Cubs making it public that he will not be part of their plans next year? Does he just sit on the bench the rest of year? Does he head home? Why not just DFA him now?
    Speaking of spin, how about the spin rate on that messaging out of Chicago yesterday?
    Heyward, the front office told reporters, was such a good leader that the team wanted him around the rest of the year -- but yet they are paying big money to not bring him back next season and would rather pay him to walk.
    No doubt he's a good guy, but it's about performance and he hasn't been getting it done for some time.
    Announcing it now takes some pressure off the situation, I guess. It lets teams that could be interested in a rehab project know he will be available; if he doesn't retire. It defuses things and lets Heyward and the team maybe do something to celebrate him down the stretch -- he's still a World Series contributor. It's eyewash mostly.
    Meanwhile two key members of the Cardinals aging core keep chugging along.
    Given both of their family backgrounds, upbringing around the game, and career arcs, do you see both Matt's, Holliday and Carpenter, ending up hitting coaches somewhere in the next decade?
    That would not surprise me. I think Holliday will be managing eventually.
    Brewers finally outsmarted themselves, eh? Normally, I see that Front Office as running circles around the guys in StL, both in roster creativity and flexibility in season; however, I must say once I got past the Soto-spree stuff, I'm relatively pleased with how this front office approached the deadline (and ownership group perhaps?) as opposed to getting cute with debatably the best relief pitcher in baseball while dealing with salary stuff potentially dictated from on high....?
    Sure seems like it. If you're going to make that move, you better be in the clubhouse immediately after it explaining to guys (convincingly) why it makes sense. The message didn't get through, and it showed. If Soto would not have moved at the deadline, Cardinal Nation would be thrilled with these Cardinal deadline moves. Soto clouded everything. I tried to stiff-arm the distraction but no one wanted to hear it. It happens. I get it. The Cardinals made their most aggressive moves in years. Their deadline moves are never going to be as aggressive as the team like the Padres, at least this version of the Padres, because the Cardinals care about prospects and the Padres don't. Comparing the Cardinals' moves to the Brewers' should open some eyes. The Brewers dealt a key piece of their team for a guy they hoped could fill the void. The Cardinals added two pieces that made their weakest link (the rotation) better upon arrival, and improved the bullpen as a result. And the team has taken off while the Brewers have derailed, at least for now.
    I’m fine with the fact that Mo didn’t overpay for Soto and I am happy with what he did do. What I am not okay with is that this is two years in a row that this team has side-stepped adding a super star because they didn’t feel like it would make them a contender. Why is this team so far away from being a contender each season? If the addition of a Top 10 player can’t be the deciding factor in a possible World Series run, maybe roster construction is an issue?
    I don't think they stopped short on Soto because they did not feel it would make them a contender.
    I think they stopped short on Soto because they didn't want to pay the talent price Washington wanted in return.
    The Cardinals have added superstars recently. The last two added look likely to split NL MVP votes. The difference? Arenado and Goldschmidt were added on the Cardinals' terms and during the offseason.
    They tend to treat their trade deadlines more as fixing holes in the current team, not drastically reshaping their team. That's what offseasons are for. And yes, they probably were too tame this past offseason. That was mentioned at the time. 
    Hey Ben, interesting article pointing out the clubhouse impact of Milwaukee dealing away Hader, and I've read similar sentiments regarding the Yankees shipping out Montgomery. I'm curious about the clubhouse impact of Bader being dealt away from St. Louis, though. I always got the impression he was a popular figure and helped to energize the team, but I haven't yet read anything about a personality hole left in his absence (quite the opposite, in fact, with other-Ben's article about Nootbaar's contagious energy coming out yesterday). Do the Cards just have more cohesiveness beyond any individual player, or is some of this the result of him already having been away with his injury and so the trade is less stunning in the moment, or perhaps is there something else?
    Bader was well liked in the clubhouse and he brought a verve and energy that boosted the club.
    But you can only really bring that if you are healthy, and if you are playing.
    Bader had been out since June 26. Teams move on. They don't have a choice but to try. And how the Cardinals adapted, with Carlson looking strong in center, changed the vision.
    Carpenter got his just due from fans and media last weekend, but Bally's went a little overboard on the telecast on Friday. When Carpenter hit that ball to the track in the 7th Danny Mac sounded like he was ready to storm the field in his Yankee jersey to offer Carp his congratulations. Carp was a fine Cardinal but Bally's would have had you believe they brought Musial back to life to face the Yankees. Just a little much.
    Eh . . . I don't think Danny Mac led the multiple standing ovations offered up by Cardinals fans who were eager to thank him and wish him well.
    BenFred, I like the optimism in your last article, but the Cards usually play down to their competition. Do you think this team has the killer instinct it needs?
    They are not doing that much this season. They're doing a decent job of beating bad teams. It's the good teams they have been off against. We'll see if the Yankees sweep unlocked an answer to that.
    Ok, so I thought Matt Carpenter’s presser was telling. First, he emphasized that he has worked hard all along to get back to where he was, signaling to Card fans that he was not slacking when with the team. Second, he admitted that one of the reasons for his turnaround was there were “new eyes on him” and “a different perspective.” Sounds like a slap at Albert, don’t you think?
    It's easy to hear it that way if you choose to, yes.
    But there's also the side the Cardinals know, and it's one Carpenter acknowledged while he was back at well.
    He wasn't in the best place to receive help when he was here, struggling.
    There were things the Cardinals were trying to do to reach him that were not received.
    Now, you can say that's on Albert too, for not knowing how to reach a guy who is resistant to help, and there's some truth in that, some truth that gets back to some of the questions about communication issues we have heard in the past.
    Bottom line is the Cardinals didn't feel like they could get to Carpenter, and Carpenter had shut down during his slide. It took whatever happened after the buyout of his option to get him to rediscover a side of him that was open to doing some things differently. Clearly, he was more willing to hear some of that from non-Cardinals coaches. 
    So, it's a two-way street. And there was a clear stall that was going nowhere. I'm sure Carpenter, looking back, wishes he had done some things differently and likewise for the Cardinals on being able to reach him and help him.
    Unfortunately for Carpenter he just broke his foot. Brutal.
    I was happy to see the reception Carpenter received on his return and I was sorry to read about his injury last night. But please tell me there is no sentimentality brewing in the FO for a reunion.
    With all of the talk about the use of metrics (or non use by Shildt), Marmol has admitted that he uses the human factor when making decisions. Take, for example, him keeping DeJong in to bat against a rightie in the Yankees series and he won the game for us. Also batting Pujols against a right hander occasionally. Do you think he will be fired for these decisions? (Sarcasm)
    I appreciate the sarcasm. It always takes a blend, and that's one of the reasons why anyone labeling that manager change as analytics-based only is fooling themselves. Shildt was not anti-analytics. Maybe he wasn't as open to some of the stuff as Marmol, and maybe the Cardinals FO wanted him to change that stance some, but it's not why he was fired. Not being able to get along with the FO and a blowup that happened between those parties was.
    Do you think the possibility of an Arenado opt-out at the end of the season significantly (or even at all) changed the moves the Cards made at the trade deadline this year? We saw his comments a few weeks ago about wanting to win a division and it feels like Twitter has been in constant fear since then that he was threatening to leave. However, even without his opt-out clause the trades seemed intent on addressing the current needs of the club (quality innings) in the middle of their best window for contention. And they did it without giving up the big prospects. In my opinion it does not seem like the opt-out "forced MO's hand." Curious if you see something differently.
    I've been pretty clear that I don't think Arenado is going anywhere, and I don't think the notion of him holding his opt-out over the front office's head as a threat is as realistic as some fans think.
    I have been studying the rosters of the SEC Teams , Mizzou has upgraded in certain areas but still lag behind most SEC teams. Trying to find 6 wins, it will take extreme good luck and great play to get 6 wins. Don't want to be negative but expectations for Mizzou football have to be realistic. 8 win team any year will be incredible.
    Six wins would be an optimistic and realistic win total for the Tigers this season. No reason to pump sunshine. QB uncertainty. RB uncertainty. New defensive coordinator. Lots of moving parts. The Tigers need to get better as season goes along and need a legitimate answer at QB to emerge fast. The big year for Drinkwitz needs to be year four, and moving forward from there.
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