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 all of your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Greetings, chatters. Like Lance Lynn beating the Cardinals, I can promise you this will be one of the most satisfying chats of your career. Well, maybe not. But here's hoping. Some news out of this morning that might be of interest. David Perron talked today and said he was vaccinated before landing on the team's COVID list during the playoffs. For what it's worth. I guess that makes him a Yankees-like situation, where he was a positive test post-vax. Anyway, let's roll.
    Diaz, Arenado bad extensions for Micolas and carpenter. I don’t think Mo is doing too well for the team. Diaz has similar numbers to Arenado for about 35 million less
    Mo's got a lengthening list of bad calls from the Cardinals front office growing under his oversight. No doubt there. The veteran relievers who didn't pan out, the latest under the microscope being Andrew Miller, who starts his rehab in Memphis now and needs to be able to help this team's troubled bullpen. The Mikolas extension looks brutal right now; I don't know how anyone can be expecting good news there. But Arenado? No, I don't see that as a bad deal at all. Perhaps this is some trolling? Aledmys Diaz is not anywhere close to the player Nolan Arenado is, and I like Aledmys quite a bit.
    I like Jeff Gordon’s piece this morning in tip sheets. I think you guys are starting to finally see what we could all see all long that Mo makes terrible decision to extend and to who he lets go
    He’s good with minor leagues and pitching but at the major leagues he can’t tell top talent from average
    The Cardinals getting sideways with Lance never made sense. I wrote entering the 2018 season that they should figure out a way to keep him. I'll find the link and include below. So, I'll push back on the idea that we were all asleep at the wheel or something as that was playing out. And I'd ask that before you go with a blanket "you guys" statement, you revisit some of the writings around that time. There weren't many calling for a Lance and Cardinals make-up  back then. The Cardinals -- and plenty of their fans -- assumed they would be just fine without him. 

    BenFred: If Lance Lynn falls, Cardinals should move to catch him

    STLtoday.comCould the ongoing free-agent freeze ultimately result in some team adding the veteran righthander on a deal that, at last season's end, would have been considered a steal? Could the
    seems card have been in a funk since Padres series. is it due to injuries or just long days?
    Injuries have not helped.
    Neither has a bullpen that is suffering from a baseball version of bipolar disorder.
    The big three relievers are good.
    The others? Woof.
    When you can't keep tie games tied and close deficits close without burning up your best relievers you need to hold leads an secure saves, you are in trouble.
    As Shildt has said, perhaps talking to the front office as much as the media, you can't pitch the same three guys out of the bullpen every night. If you do, you won't have much left from your best by the most important part of the season. The bullpen needs help, whether from inside or out.
    I am putting the over / under on no hitters this season at 7. Which way are you leaning?
  • Well, there are 6 already in the bag, and we are barely past 25 percent of the season.
    So I'll go over.
    And I count seven, because I'm ignoring baseball's play-it-both-ways to tell us seven-inning doubleheaders count as legitimate games in the standings but not to a pitcher who doesn't allow a hit in one.
    FO needs to go get the manager some trusty relievers. Webb and whitley and elledge and Fernandez are not good. can't work with relievers that walk too many
    Let's rank them in terms of most concerning at the moment.
    Webb is at the top of the list. He looks like he might be done. Relievers like Webb have a certain shelf life, and he's starting to look expired.
    Whitley was a guy I thought could really help the team exiting spring. If there rotation had been more set, I think he would have made the opening-day roster. But he does not look ready at this time. Four appearances without a strikeout. Two without an out. That can't play in the majors. He needs more seasoning.
    Elledge got jumped by the Cubs but he has not been terrible before then. I think he's getting lumped in a bit unfairly.
    Fernandez has pitched one bad inning in the messy San Diego series. I'm not ready to make a ruling off of one inning.
    Webb looks done until he proves differently, and he may not get that chance depending on how Miller responds to his rehab assignment. Looks like Shildt is hiding him a bit now, and that's understandable. Whitley doesn't look ready. Elledge and Fernandez are TBD, to me.
    With an umpire the cards had the other night with the ridiculous strike zone, are they graded by the league and if found to be lacking are they disciplined by the league?
    Umpires are graded, yes. How they do determines who gets assigned certain postseason games. The grades are not publicly available, but it's getting easier and easier to find external grading systems that are pretty accurate. Calls are checked and reports are filed. Teams can weigh in as well. There is accountability, but it's not nearly as public-facing as it could be, and should be. Sure seems to me the calls for robo umpires are growing. I fear the unintended consequences of that, but I realize that is starting to sound like fearing electric cars or something. It's probably just a matter of time. Erich Bacchus was the home-plate umpire you're mentioning. He's relatively new. His zone was very big. But I do think he called it both ways. Both teams' pitchers were pleased. Both teams' hitters were mad. Consistency is the big thing when the human element is involved. At least until it's removed.
    I guess we are learning what this offense would look like without Arenado (2 for his last 20) and it isn't pretty. And during his 5 game lull Edman/Carlson/Goldy have all been hitting, which means this team clearly needs more. You need to look no further than the average runs per game against Mil/SD/ChiC/CWS - 2.6! Another playoff miss or early round exit because the bats went quiet is not going to fly this year. Not when the writing is on the wall in May.
    It should not be very surprising the offense is flashing warning signs at the moment.
    Two of the team's top-two home run hitters (Tyler O'Neill and Paul DeJong) are out with injuries, and the home-run leader (Arenado) has hit a bit of a skid.
    Carlson hasn't been hitting. He's been sitting. Just got back from the back scare.
    The last few lineups have been pretty rough because of who is available and who is not.
    This looks like an offense that can find ways to do enough when healthy.
    It does not look like an offense that can do enough when Molina is hitting cleanup and the production falls off a cliff after that due to multiple homer-hitting bats being hurt.
    As much as people like to bang on O'Neill and DeJong, they hit home runs and this team tends to win when it hits home runs. The Cardinals have just one in their last five games.
    And yes, the Cardinals are going to struggle if Arenado struggles.
    Ben, with Bader likely to join others in the medical office, the Cards no longer have depth to cover an array of injuries. The minor league prospects that have so far auditioned on the major league club have not impressed. And Gorman and Liberatore still can’t make the club. If this team can’t get healthy and stay healthy, they will be chasing Pitt and Cinc in the NLCS rather then Chic and Mil. Would you agree?
    I think that's a bit of a dramatic take at the moment.
    O'Neill and DeJong are progressing toward returns, it sounds like.
    I don't think Arenado is going to be cold forever. Do you?
  • Who do you think this line up misses more right now, O'Neil or Dejong? I am kind of surprised that I think it is O'Neil. We just have zero threat after the 4 or 5 spot with him gone.
    O'Neill has been the much more impactful hitter since he returned from the injured list the first time around. Slugging .625 during that span before his regrettable headfirst slide broke a finger. Hand injuries can affect grip strength. Sometimes they sap power. That would be bad news for the Birds.

    Who do you think is the next outfielder the Cardinals will trade that will become a star with another team? Lars Nootbaar?
    At this rate Jon Jay will make an MVP run or something.
    Randy Arozarena's had a stronger May than April.
    Adolis Garcia probably hit three homers while I answered this.

    I don't want to beat the dead horse into a bloody pulp, but Shildt keeps putting Carp in spots in the lineup that makes no sense. The offense is struggling again and it certainly doesn't help that there is a black hole in the 5th and 6th spot when Carp is there. When will this insanity end? I understand he has the contract and will play when there are injuries, but why not bat him 8th or 9th (with the DH)?
    I mean, this last homestand Harrison Bader was batting fifth.
    Shildt's options are pretty limited.
    This is not a pro-Carpenter statement. It's a look-at-the-healthy-options statement.
    Hello Ben. Please rank the needs in order, and the percentage likelihood that the needs are met: Upgrade Bench Bat/OF, Starter, Middle Reliever? Thanks!
  • Adding a starter would help the bullpen by default and make the Cards' playoff rotation look a lot more dangerous. I think that's at the top of the list and there probably needs to be more bullpen maintenance beyond that. The lineup is scraping a bit now because of injuries. That's not as much the case for the pitching, especially the bullpen.
    Let's see what the offense looks like as the lineup gets healthy. Before this stretch of injuries, the group was powering up and providing runs. I think the Cardinals have liked the results from O'Neill-Carlson-Bader in the outfield. But if O'Neill isn't going to stay healthy, there does not seem to be an every-day answer in Williams or Thomas. Both look more like fourth outfielders so far, at best.
  • Has the Pujols trade lower the teams morale, since it’s happened the team has seem flat and has got swept by the Padres lost 2-3 to the Cubs and now lost the first one to the Sox.
  • No, I don't think that is a factor.
    Do you consider the Grizzlies to be St. Louis's NBA team? I think they should be on TV more here and would enjoy them playing a game or two at the Enterprise Center.
    I do not. STL NBA fans I know are all over the place. Many follow their favorite players, not so much their favorite teams.
    Do you see Lance Lynn being a possible candidate in free agnecy this offseason? would be a good fit for a team that needs innings (just like every other team does). I know he said he relished last night's start, but money talks....
    For the Cardinals? No. Lance attributed some of his motivation for last night to, and this is a direct quote, "hatefulness." I don't think there will be a happy reunion down the line.
    Ben, Has the Blues player personnel changed into a team that Berube is less adept to coach? Could the Seattle draft be a opportunity for a quickened reboot to free up some money quick with a surprise move to get back on track?
    The first one is tough to answer with the lack of chances the team had to develop on-ice chemistry this season. The best the Blues played, in terms of that look Berube wants his team to have, was honestly when some of the biggest contracts were on the shelf with injuries. It seemed the healthier the Blues got, the more they lost their edge. There were blips of strong play, but the signs of a Berube-coached team were not sustained as the team got healthier. That's frustrating and it forces GM Doug Armstrong to decide what is better for the team moving forward. Does he lean toward the coach who won the Cup and go about giving him a team that can play that style better? Or does he lean on the coach to tweak his expectations? Army has to pick a lane so the Blues don't get stranded in the middle. The answer to the second one is easy. Yes. I'm one of the few who would not mind the Blues leaving Vladimir Tarasenko unprotected. I think it would send a message to him and also the team -- that seeking scoring alone is not going to fly on this team, and disappearing when you don't score is not acceptable. Hoffman wasn't a fit, but him departing is obvious. Leaving Tarasenko unprotected would be a clear message that Berube's way is the Blue's way.
    Will StL ever have a true closer again?
  • It's becoming a more versatile job in these modern times.
    That said Reyes is 14 for 14 in save situations so far.
    Looks like a true closer to me, when he gets the shot.
  • Hot take - I'm fine with the runner on second rule. The Cardinals also got a runner on second base, it's not like the Cubs had an advantage the Cardinals didn't have.
    I never said the rule is unfair.
    It's still a bad rule.
    And when it affects a game like Sunday's, it totally changes the tone and feel of the entire game.
    A Cubs player had not been on second base the entire game.
    The first one got there because the 10th inning started.
    I’ve seen many comments saying that the mikolas extension was another failed contract by Mo. That seems a bit harsh to me. You should almost always expect injuries to a pitcher but I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the series of injuries that mikolas has gone through.
    Part of the reason it is being criticized, and fairly, is that there was no real need for it. The Cardinals could have let things play out a bit more. A lot more. Mikolas was still relatively unproven when they handed him the extension. It was Carpenter-like in that the Cardinals were not leveraged into it. They just handed it over. And now it's biting them.
    Week after week you have chatters on here bashing Mo and all his inept player decisions. While most are accurate he has made some good deals as well. I'd rather be the Cardinals right now that the Pirates or Rockies. That being said though, Mo does need to get better at his craft. What roll in all this does the forgotten man, Michael Girsch play? Mo is his own worst enemy when it comes to signing foolish contract extensions.
    Girsch is involved in the decisions. The front office makes most calls as a group. There are not moves made in silos. They share the wins and losses. Mozeliak is the top executive in the front office and has been around the longest, so he is the face of the front office under ownership and therefore most chatters and fans direct roster criticism -- and sometimes even praise -- his way.
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