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 great start. I'm in the saddle for a few hours here, so fire away with any questions/comments you've got. We will go where the conversation takes us. Let's roll.
    Would you give Horn some snaps in the Vandy game. Not sure we can beat Vandy , but I wonder if Horn could give our offense a boost.
    I would, yes. I wrote about it last week. It doesn't sound to me like, at least entering this week, that Sam Horn is outperforming Brady Cook in practice often enough to jump over him as the starter. But he can still play. Give him a series. If he responds well, give him some more. Cook is all-team toughness but the fact of the matter is his performance has not suggested he's capable of being a winning SEC starter. Horn has to be that if Drinkwitz is going to succeed. So, start getting him ready. If he takes to it well, then you can revisit the starter conversation. My understanding is Horn has made some really encouraging plays in practice but hasn't been all that consistent. He has to work on that but this is not a team that can ignore the potential positives of expediting the learning curve for the freshman.
    Don't worry Cards fans, everything will be alright. DeJong will have a comeback player of the year type-year, O'Neill will stay off the IR list, and Gorman will learn how to hit a fastball. No need to spend any money or trade any of our minor leaguers who will never amount to anything!!
    I wouldn't buy that if I were you.
    Already hearing Some Cards fans saying Yankees won the Bader trade, when this was a great trade for both teams. Without Montgomery Cards probably do not win the division.
    That feels like a reach but it's possible it was a good trade for both teams.
    That's what good trades often do -- improve both sides.
    The obsession about "winning" trades has caused some to lose that point.
    I'm happy for Bader.
    He heard a lot of negativity when Montgomery was thriving in St. Louis while he was still healing up.
    I'm not sure how well he will be able to manage that plantar fasciitis issue moving forward. Speed player with chronic foot injury is bad combo. But, when you are making Yankees postseason history it's pretty impressive.
    Bader and Montgomery both have a year left on their current deals. 
    I could be wrong but Mizzou basketball should be very competitive. Not sure how many SEC games they can win, but I think they will be improved over last year's team. The non conf schedule has a lot of winnable games. Kansas, IL and Iowa State might be the only non conf games they lose the other 10 Mizzou could win. Win those 10 and 7 SEC games the NIT is a possibility.
    The non-conference schedule is a cake walk.
    Smart design by Gates.
    Should be a good amount of wins there to gobble up despite a team that is still figuring out how to play together.
    Illinois, Kansas, Iowa State, Wichita and UCF are good games.
    Penn could be a sneaky good game.
    Competitive is a fair expectation.
    NCAA Tournament team feels like a reach in year one, but some are talking themselves into it.
    Good morning BenFred and thanks for the chat. Question on Toropchenko as there is a good story on STL-Today about him. His original timeframe was to be back by November and yet he is out there banging away at 100%, a month early. Isn't that a concern for a player whose game is about being physical ? It sure seems risky! Thoughts?
    I guess he got a better shoulder operation than Tarasenko?
    Maybe those doctors the Blues work with are not so terrible after all?
    If you pass the tests and get the clearance, a player is good to go.
    What's impressive is how willing he is to play his style.
    Sometimes guys look tentative after an injury. Not him.
    Thanks for your chat Ben Fred
    The teams remaining in the playoffs also have some of the highest payrolls. Will the Cardinals ever get away from economical/get lucky hope and prayers management style? Bader being a star in New York brutal following Arozarena
    Bader's having a great postseason so far, and that's great for him and the Yankees. Wrote about that for today's paper. But let's not turn three homers into an All-Star season just yet. The Cardinals' outfield uncertainty is real whether Bader is here or not. But Bader did lead the team in center-field innings played every season dating back to 2018. If the Cardinals have reason to pause about O'Neill, Carlson, Nootbaar or others (Walker?) filling that gap then the can prioritize CF this offseason. Starting pitching, shortstop, catcher also can have cases made. Which way they lean, and why, will be interesting.
    The Cards need to quit dumpster diving for aging veterans for their outfield and trade for one that can actually hit. We need RBI's not gold gloves. Gold gloves will not win a world series. Hitting does
    Avoiding the tempting (and safe) middle shelf of free agency in general would be a good move for the Cardinals. Because they tend to produce internal candidates that can beat out those kind of additions -- if contract politics don't come into play. Corey Dickerson and Steven Matz are the latest examples.
    Thanks for the chat Ben! Ask this question to the Commish yesterday and wanted to ask to you for your thoughts. There are 4 areas that I feel need addressed this off season: C, SP, Shortstop & DH/OF. As for catcher, I'd love to see Sean Murphy wearing the Birds on the Bat or maybe make a run at Vazquez. Would like to see Santana back and go get a #1 or #2 starter. Can't have enough starting depth. These 2 areas are areas that need to improve heading into 23 that I think we will see something get done. As for SS, I'd love to see the club make a run at Turner as we would solve the SS and leadoff hitter issue. With the season that Donavan had and the play of Edman at SS, I think this will be what we see at those positions for next year along with Gorman at 2B. DH/OF- It would be nice to get another batter here but see this being a revolving position with several players getting a shot. Thanks!!
    That's a healthy shopping list. The Cardinals don't usually check that many boxes in one offseason. I'd prioritize catcher at the top of my list. The Cardinals for seasons have stressed the importance of a starting catcher who can lead a pitching staff and coordinate a defense. Trending away from that would be a big change. Adding some offense at that position would help the lineup as there hasn't been much offensive lift from the position in some time. I like Willson Contreras and don't think his defense is as rough as some do. He is a leader and plays with fire, something this team could use in the absence of Molina. And he would thump at the plate.
    Ben, when did Harrison Bader morph into David Freese?
    He had a lot of motivation to fuel up on during what was a rough re-introduction to his hometown. Good on him for swinging away. It's also a good example of the benefit of having a defense/speed center fielder you don't have to rely on for offense because others in the corners of the outfield provide it big time. So, when that guy comes through with three homers in a series from deep down in the order, it's a very pleasant surprise -- not an expectation. One of the minuses of the state of the Cardinals offense over the past seasons became guys like Bader and Paul DeJong being thrust into roles that were probably asking too much.
    What really happened to Paul Goldschmidt down the stretch and into the playoffs? Otherwise, fans are left to speculate between a horrid season ending slump, fatigue from a long grinding season, back flare up or some other injury, Pujols mania which overtook the club in Sept, MVP and playoff pressure.
  • I imagine he will have some answers on that after some time to reflect and dig in.
    The team has not talked since the Cardinals were eliminated.
    Maybe they have some answers.
    BenFred, how 'bout them Vols? Unbelievable how this team has turned around.
    Pretty remarkable. Credit to Josh Heupel. I was not sold on his offense but he's got the right QB and receivers to make it work, and it's working as well as any offense in the country. It's exciting and has to be appealing to recruits. What is it with former Mizzou assistants? Ryan Walters leading a fearsome defense at Illinois. Tony Vitello crushing it with Tennessee baseball. And now Heupel.
    I find the Bader angst among Cards fans funny for a couple reasons. First, look at the situation he is in with the Yankees, it is the exact situation the Cards always claimed to want for him, a line-up where his defense is his weapon and anything he does at the plate is found money. The Cards never built that team around him, so his bat was always scrutinized. Secondly, prior to Saturday he was 2-for-15 with 4 Ks through 4 games, we already have a roster full of outfielders who can put up those numbers. Let’s pump the brakes on bashing Mo for that trade and save that anger for his Japan League signings.
    I think the freak out about Bader -- if there is any -- has a lot more to do with the unstable Cardinals outfield than anything else. It's easy to see why the Cardinals made the trade. Also easy to say, right now, that there's no guarantee the Cardinals did not trade away one of their four best outfielders in the trade. A good way to solve it would be improving the outfield from the outside -- or being right that it is improving by just letting the current options improve. You can also do both!
    I’m mentally preparing myself for the end of the year presser where DeWitt and Mo tell us how magical the season was but how they are also disappointed with how it ended. They will reinforce their desire to win a World Series and then allude to, but not commit to, making moves that will better position them for 2023. Fans and media will take these comments as some secret messaging that they will finally be aggressive this winter and we will gin up fantasy signings and trades… and then they will sign the Steven Matz of bats to a 4-year deal, regale us with tales of Jordan Walker’s winter league power, tell us how they love their roster and O’Neill and Carlson are due for a bounce back, blah, blah blah. How do I avoid getting disappointed again?
    I hate writing this but 41-year old Adam Wainwright is a redundancy in the 2023 rotation. Matz is a left-handed version of Waino, maybe Montgomery too in terms of expected results. We don’t need 3 average pitchers, an injury-risk potential ace, and #2/#3 starter. That is way too much hoping for a team that says it wants a 12th ring.
    If Adam Wainwright wants to pitch next season, he will be back with the Cardinals.
    Let's not waste our time discussing the pros and cons of it.
    We all know how this plays out.
    Cardinals want him back. If he wants to come back, he's back.
    That's the territory he's in, and that's the team track record with players of his stature.
    Wainwright was often this team's most reliable starter this season -- before he fell into the September slide.
    Was the only starter along with Mikolas who got close to 200 innings.
    He's your fifth starter, and his deal doesn't stop the team from improving the top-end rotation -- unless it wants it to.
    BenFred, no real question or smarta** comment yet, simply saying thank you in advance for helping move my Tuesday along and get me closer to first pitch of this MLB doubleheader.
    Cards had a high number of being shut out. Good pitching can do that. But the hitting adjustments from Jeff Albert didn't move the needle. The hitting philosophy is strategic but not game specific tactical, or so it seems. The Cards are invested in analytics. But Albert's result in major league level are mediocre (not counting Goldschmidt and Arenado who are elite). Is Albert the best the Cardinals can do?
    Jeff Albert has achieved a rare status in the Cardinals organization. Any question about his performance is labeled by the team as either a) piling on an unfair person to blame or b) the byproduct of misunderstanding his very complicated role. He's behind the Mozeliak Shield, and there are no signs of cracks.
    The Cardinals have had a lot of injuries on the rotation and it has been unpredictable to say the least. Right now Mo has Mikolous, Flaherty, Montgomery, Matz and hopefully Quintanna and Waino. If Mo can pull a rabbit out of the hat and get a #1 starter would it be plausible for Matz to be the LH reliever they need?
    The Cardinals trying to bring Matz back as a reliever this season was related to his injury and the timeline. Their plan -- unless it has changed -- is for him to return next season as a starter. He signed a four-year contract here with that in mind. I think that's how they view him moving forward, in the rotation. At least for now.
    Was there a reason that you could put your finger on as to why the Blues went from a dominating 1st period, defensively, the other night against Columbus to being so sloppy in the second period? They tightened up a bit in the third, thankfully. But boy was that second period a head-scratcher.
    Berube seemed to think it was mostly attributable to first-game stuff. Blues were last team in the league to launch. That things improved in third was a good sign. Play got tighter and more direct.
    I’m listening to Maggie Johnson on TMA as I type this. She said you played football for her dad. I am shocked you played football…you seem like an AV dork to me.
    A Blues Question:

    Once again, Bettman and his lackeys have managed to create a non-sensical schedule for the Blues......by creating unnecessary downtime at the start of the season, the Garbage League has managed to create a competitive disadvantage for the Blues, right from the get-go......can't the Blues at least file an official complaint with the league (not that it would do any good!)?
    I blame the Cardinals. If they were still playing, the Blues barely playing to start the season would have been preferred. I do think the team tries to avoid as much as it can the idea of overlapping home games with potential Cardinals playoff games.
    Don’t you think Joc Pederson would be a good fit for LH DH and occasional OF duty? He would have more power than Dickerson. And I think C Vasquez might be a better value overall than Contreras, given his excellent defense. Do you think either of them are in play for the Cards?
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