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, may your voting lines be short and congratulations to all -- right, left, lost in the middle -- on the brief reprieve from constant political advertisements. I'm here for the next few hours, talking all things STL sports. Whatever is on your mind, fire away.
    So happy they extended drinks contract. It would be insane to start all over. He defense is good and they will build on that. He will bring in proven offensive lineman. A proven QB will come here because they will see they will play. Horn isn't the answer or he would of played some, plus he will miss spring ball. Thanks for the AD for showing patience. Mizzou 5 and 6 vs Ark 5 and 6 to go to a bowl game. Mizzou basketball, it is going to be a huge struggle , can't play with high school size vs SEC size. We can score but we will struggle big time defensively against the bigs. Feel bad for Kobe he will be in foul trouble. If we had a 6 10 defender we would be decent. The 2 big recruits played zero seconds last night.
    Mizzou didn't have to extend Drinkwitz to keep him, though. I don't think there were any programs out there right now that were desperate to hire Drinkwitz away from Mizzou. If he wants to leave for Georgia Tech or something like that, you let him. That's a downward move. But common sense and coaching contracts no longer exist. If you're not getting bought out, you're getting an extension. Agents have athletic departments in full arm bars and athletic departments and boosters that support them refuse to push back. Mizzou isn't going to be the program that breaks the trend. The details that matter here are the buyout numbers, and they have not been provided yet. If Mizzou made it a lot more financially damaging to fire Drinkwitz if he doesn't put a much improved product on the field in year four, that would be an unforced error, because year four is going to be the make-or-break year regardless of his contract. Reed-Francois knows contracts and I bet she didn't make that mistake. We'll see when the details of the extension come out. 
    Mizzou hoops is in a transition period. No way around it. The energy is up and the tempo is more enjoyable to watch. The SEC is pretty wide open after the top five spots. If Mizzou could finish in the upper half, that would be great and bode well for the second season. I attempted to pump the brakes just a little bit on the Mosley addition when it happened, but no one wanted to hear it at the time. Him not starting surprised me.
    Good morning, Mr. Frederickson. Thank you for the chat and your time.
    1.) I think the title for this year's Mizzou football team should be "Good enough to lose." Now that Coach Drink has a new contract and a raise, maybe he can get a new offensive line coach and some linemen who don't treat the line of scrimmage as a "No Blocking Zone." Coach Drink is confident he will turn things around, saying "the results will come." Well, Mizzou fans likely are saying, "let us know when that happens."
    2.) By my count, the Cardinals have eight left-handers in their organization that, at one point or another last season, the team said they fit a role with the club: Montgomery, Quintana, Cabrera, Liberatore, Matz, Thompson, Packy Naughton, and JoJo Romero. Plus, they seem enthused by Connor Thomas' pitching in the AFL. I can't imagine the team carrying more than five left-handers (and more likely, only four). I know Quintana is a free agent, but who from that group stays and who goes? Is Liberatore trade bait? Are the Cardinals tired of Cabrera's inconsistency? How do they see Montgomery long-term? Does it make sense to re-sign Quintana?
    1) Attendance had been pretty strong at games, and that is a factor decision-makers consider when agreeing to an extension and raise. If attendance had cratered after the Kansas State game, for example, probably not seeing this kind of extension. So, I think some Mizzou fans are willing to be patient. But yeah, it has to come together in year four. If not then, when?
    2) Wainwright back makes it harder to re-sign Quintana, I think, because both are similar in that the represent (when healthy and right) sold middle-order arms. The Cardinals need a better than solid addition to the rotation, the kind who they feel good about starting a postseason game and can elevate the swing-and-miss profile of the rotation. So, that's why I'd let Quintana go into free agency and wish him well in doing so, then target a bigger/better addition. With Matz and Montgomery locks for rotation, I don't think they will prioritize a lefty starter if they add one. A right-hander is probably wiser. One who can strike guys out. Or, you could trade Montgomery if adding a lefty. I'm not sure the Cardinals can count on him to be as good next season as he was during a portion of one in STL. The Cardinals could deal from their current pitching options if it helps them add a catcher, high-end bat or high-end starter, sure. Dakota Hudson is a guy who could be in or out of the rotation depending on how things shake out, and maybe another team sees big value there. I'd be reluctant to trade him due to down numbers one season  after Tommy John, because he could bounce back and I think he will be better with the pitch clock not worse, but he's one potential name.
    Watching Schwarber in the World Series was difficult, as I wanted him on the Cardinals. He fills what the team now says they want, a lefty bat who could protect Goldschmidt and Arenado. Since he is not available, who are the best free agents to fill that need?
    The Cards have not specified they want a lefty bat to be that lineup protection. It would make sense, sure. But If it's a right-handed hitter who has good splits against both left and right-handed pitching, why rule that out? I wouldn't. There are many ways the Cardinals could attack this need. It could be done in part by adding a catcher with plus offense. It could be done by adding a hit-heavy shortstop. It could be done by adding a big bat who plays outfield, or amplifying the power of the DH role, one big bat for lefties and another for righties. There are all sorts of ways to go about it, and the good news is the Cardinals a) have cash to play with and b) have flexibility on their returning roster to make additions fit and adjust accordingly.
    Interest article about why Houston is in deep playoffs every year in St. Louis is not. It comes down to trading elite talent away. That is Galen , Alcantra and Arozarena, without much in return, and being married to contract, such as carpenter and PDJ Not only that both World Series shortstops were former Cardinals. Both BlockeD by Paul DJ That’s the unvarnished truth and why!
    Small fact check: Aledmys Diaz wasn't blocked. He was an All-Star for the Cardinals. Then he crashed in Paul DeJong fashion. Your argument fits for Sosa. He earned the job and was the playoff starter in 2021 but then had it taken away from him again. I don't know if he's an every-day shortstop in the majors but he's more than the seldom-used role that the Cardinals kept assigning to him, and the Phillies benefited from seeing that.
    Hi BenFred, two questions. Will Matt Holliday help DeJong find his swing back, in the way he helped Carpenter last off-season? And you have to build a talented team first before you hope the team get hot in October. Agree or disagree?
    At this point it's not a guarantee Paul DeJong will be back with the Cardinals next season, as he could be traded this offseason in deals the Cardinals look to make. But if he is, maybe Holliday can help DeJong in a way he wasn't getting in the Jeff Albert Era. With Carpenter, it should be mentioned that the Cardinals did a lot of things to attempt to reach and help him when he was spiraling. He wasn't always open to it. He was more open to help when he was trying to prove he could still play, after the pressure of his contract with the Cardinals lifted. Sometimes a change of scenery causes a factory reset, in a good way. Maybe that is what's best for DeJong? We'll find out eventually, one way or another.
    If your MLB team's new bench coach is also available to pinch-hit, does he count against the 26-man roster?
    Let's not give Rob Manfred any ideas
    BenFred, does adding Moises Gómez to the 40 man, presumably to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, mean that the Cards see him as a trade chip or a possible call up in 2023?
    The biggest thing it says is the Cardinals didn't want him to get away for nothing, and that's wise considering all of those home runs he clobbered last season. The DH exists. He should either get a chance to help this team in that capacity, or could be a valuable trade chip to a team that is trying to address that role. He would have been taken had he gone unprotected.
    Ben, do you know if there is something physically wrong with Ryan O'Reilly because he just looked terrible in last night's game. I thought he was responsible for the last two goals with the penalty and the turnover. Someone I was talking to said he thought ROR had not looked the same since he got COVID. Could he have Long COVID or just still feeling the effects of the disease? He has played really badly this year and does not seem himself. I hate to see someone who has been a great player for the Blues, maybe, go out this way. Thanks, Ben.
    He was pretty candid last season about how COVID affected him for longer than he thought it would, but his play -- erratic and unlike his norm during that stretch -- improved quite a bit toward the season's end. I don't think this is related to that. Right now it would be easier to name the players who are playing well -- mostly just Binnington -- instead of the ones who are not playing well.
    BenFred thanks as always for your chats!! I watched the entirety of the FallStars game Sunday. The national announcers were falling (pun intended) all over themselves with their effusive praise of Jordan Walker and only slightly less of Masyn Winn. The team and it’s fans may be happy they were hung onto at the trade deadline. My question concerns Connor Thomas. He started, threw just 1 inning but looked efficient. Has he played himself into consideration for the Cardinals or is he more of the same of what they already have? Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    Thomas' performance in Arizona is being noticed. He will certainly be a name to watch come spring. Walker should have a chance to make this team out of spring training, and I would not be surprised if he does. Winn isn't quite there yet, I don't think, but he's climbing fast. One of the takeaways from the World Series is bullpens are crucial, but I'll still argue that paying for "proven" relief is a good way to get burned. The Cardinals have some seriously nasty stuff in young arms they already have, and I think they should continue to lean more toward letting young guys fill big spots with special stuff over paying "proven" guys who are closer to breaking down. Hicks and Helsley. Thompson forced his way into the group. Thomas is turning heads. Tink Hence is turning heads. Let the young guys do their thing in the pen, and they can always go from there to rotation if they grow into it.
    When young people need to save money one of the first pieces of advice they receive is “stop eating out so much, make your meals at home.” We all want the Cards to spend big money this winter, but it would be easier for them to do if they started making more meals at home, particularly with starting pitching. Three of their five highest paid players (Mikolas, Matz, Montgomery) are all hired gun starters from outside the organization and none of them are an ace. This team prides itself on drafting and developing but has just one pitcher (Flaherty) in the starting rotation that they have developed in the last decade. In the past, Matz’s $11m/yr #3 starter role would have been filled by an internal riser like Wacha or Lynn. And the back end of the rotation wouldn’t be a $7.5m 41-year old, it would be at least 1 if not 2 young arms. Then that $18.75m goes toward a true ace, instead of paying five mid-rotation starters.
    Flaherty's turbulence and Hudson's rocky 2022 clouded the picture, for sure.
    Makes it harder to ignore what traded-away Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen have done and are doing elsewhere, too.
    The Cardinals' biggest problem in this ear has not been forgetting how to develop starters as much as it is finding themselves in a spot where they could really use two of the ones they deemed tradeable.
    Why are Springsteen tickets so expensive? He use to be the champion of the working man but no longer.
    Because too many people are afraid to state the obvious -- he's overrated.
    Will we see Sam Horn play in the NM State game?
    I spent a good chunk of Saturday watching Horn on the sideline. This is not a scientific study, granted, but nothing about his body language suggested he was ever even thinking he might play in that game. Even when Cook got roughed up a couple times and looked like he was going to have to be helped off the field -- he didn't and stayed in -- Horn never put a helmet on, never made warm-up throws other than when he was helping Cook have someone to play catch with, and never seemed to have the look of a guy who knew he was one play away from being in there. So, I kind of doubt it unless things get rather lopsided fast.
    I love how quickly free agency expectations have devolved from Arenado's opt-in to today. Last week we fell into the usual trap of believing that a monster move was coming and so far this week every beat writer covering the team has done nothing but douse those expectations with cold water. A middle aisle off-season of Cristian Vasquez, Brandon Nimmo, Rich Hill here we come!!!
    It's November 8 and the GM meetings are just getting going in Vegas, with Winter Meetings to come in San Diego next month. Nothing has devolved because barely anything has had the chance to start evolving. If you want to ride on the crazy carousel, go ahead, but beware the bumpy landings. The Cardinals have money to spend and will use it. Turning that fact into an assumption they're getting Trea Turner? Probably setting yourself up for disappointment, considering the team's history with elite free-agent pursuits and the contracts those kinds of players receive.
    I'm interested to see MU defense against TN offense this week, especially if the offense can stay on the field long enough to give the defense time to rest between series. Will Mizzou keep it's streak of 26 points or less for SEC opponents alive?
    I don't think so. Vols back at home and determined to bounce back after a tough loss at Georgia. What was a tough game for Mizzou just got tougher.
    BenFred, I get why you favor Contreras, but his framing, baserunning, and overall defense is only so so. A 4-5 year contract worth $80-100 million would be a huge overpay, and using him to DH would likely block a younger player who can hit. Don’t you think Vasquez would be the better play, as he would cost more than half less and would sign for 2-3 yrs, giving the Cards more time to develop the next catcher in the minors? He had a 2 WAR, which is a 2.5 improvement over this year. And he just caught a WS no hitter from several pitchers !
    I think some of the takes on Contreras' defense are a bit overbaked. He's got a great arm and impressive pop time, two key factors in controlling the run game. His pitch framing is not elite, but that's likely a non-factor as soon as 2024, when the strike zone is expected to be automated. The Cardinals are not going to have a marathon catcher moving forward. Most team's done. In a DH world where timeshares are more common at catcher, having a bat that boosts the lineup is a benefit that should not be minimized. Vazquez's work during the World Series was impressive. He's more in line with what the Cards traditionally value at the spot. He's also has a career adjusted OPS of 85, which is 15 percent below league average. Just comes down to what you want in the role, at a time where the position is changing.
    Ben, I know the Blues would never consider this, but I think Kyrou needs a reboot at Springfield. If the Blues lose five of their next six games before returning home against Washington, do you think Army will have to start pulling the trigger on revamping the team? Have locker room cliques developed again, similar to 2019 that is dragging the team down?
    The Kyrou extension always worried me more than the Robert Thomas one. Thomas does a lot of different stuff. Kyrou can disappear when he's not scoring. And he's not scoring. And yeah, there is going to be some grumbling when a guy gets a big deal like that and doesn't produce. He's at a minus-15. Meanwhile captain Ryan O'Reilly is at a minus-12. When your veteran captain and newly extended hotshot scorer are both massively struggling, that's a bad sign. I think Army has time and will give it time. He doesn't have much other choice. He's sent a message to the room that the coach is not the problem. Next step could be sending a message with a trade to alter the balance in the room. If that is needed and still does not work, no choice left but to start thinking about the future way earlier than the Blues normally have to.
    Do you think the cardinals make a big splash?
    Everybody has a different definition of what a big splash is.
    I'm in the actions speak louder than words camp and invite you to join.
    Hey Ben, I'm super excited for STL City's debut. Now that we're signing players, are there any names to know around big FAs that we might sign? Or are any of the players we've already signed expected to be stars? Just trying to figure out who our Goldschmidts and O'Reillys are going to be on the soccer team. Thanks!
    Roman Burki is name number one to know. He's the highest-paid goalie in MLS. 
    The team has been built to prioritize the "spine" -- similar to strong up the middle in baseball.
    Klauss, Lowen, Nilsson and Burki are all parts of that core, and paid accordingly.
    Hey Ben, I get not wanting to trade a player when their value is low, but I'd suggest that approach with Hudson risks another PDJ situation in the rotation. Dak had 240 pretty productive innings for the Cards before his TJS, but the underlying numbers spelled impending regression - his FIP was 1.60 higher than his ERA, his K/BB rate was just as troublesome as we've seen since he returned, and he actually led the league in walks when he finished 5th in ROY voting.

    We've heard for years that the Cards wouldn't deal PDJ for pennies on the dollar, but his bounce-back hasn't arrived and his role is still a question mark after 3 years of decreasing returns; why would the FO take the chance on another guy they've committed a key spot to hoping for a breakout, when they could instead lock that rotation spot down with a proven producer like Quintana or Montgomery, both of whom have career FIPs ~1.5 runs lower and K/BB ratios twice that of Hudson's?
    Check out some of the numbers from pretty good pitchers during their first season back from Tommy John surgery. You will see there's some risk in overreacting to that first season back when determining long-term potential. Montgomery is on the team and under control for another season, so he's in the rotation unless his performance drops him from it. Quintana is a free agent, not under control, so the Cardinals would have to beat the market to sign him and get him back, likely on a multi-year deal. With Wainwright back, the Cardinals should shoot higher than Quintana when adding to the rotation, and I agree they should add. Hudson is not guaranteed a spot in the rotation moving forward. He's gonna have to earn it. I'm just suggesting not to be surprised if he does.
    How much longer until the Blues start clearing out the roster and building for the future? A quarter of the way through the season? Halfway through the season?
    It's November 8. NHL trade deadline isn't until March 3. Army has sent his preliminary shot across the bow. He has to give it some time to see if it lands. If not, another message will come. But now is still too early to put up the for-sale sign.
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