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.

    Sorry I meant Garcia not Diaz. He’s having a great year in Texas for 35 million less than Arenado. I agree Arenado is a better player overall but look at the salary differential. Like I said Mo can’t tell great from good players
    Got it. Thanks for clearing that up. Did not mean to opine about the wrong player. But if your argument is that Arenado is not a great player, we are going to have to disagree. Garcia is having a great start. We don't know if he's a great player. Every team in baseball passed on him when he cleared waivers with the Rangers. No one saw this coming.
    Have there been any internal discussions about needing another starter at the deadline and if yes who?
  • The Cardinals have looked like a team that could use another proven starter since they left spring training. Which starters will be available before or at the deadline are still being sorted out. The obvious what-if is Max Scherzer. Contract year. Nats are last in their division. I'd love to see it.
    BenFred, do you think this team could win the Central?

    Arozarena LF
    Wong 2B
    A Garcia CF
    L Voit 1B
    B Miller 3B
    R Grichuk RF
    C Kelly C
    DeSalsco SS

    Rotation: Lynn/M Gonzalez/Gallen/Alcanatra/Gomber/Weaver

    Not a bad team Mo has either traded away or released
    There is some reaching going on here.
    Outfield, for sure. Fire away. This season the Cardinals committed to proving the outfielders they banked on can be better than the ones they didn't. Arozarena and Garcia are making that look impossible.
    Kolten Wong, you bet. He's hitting well this season, as predicted, and Edman could be used to improve the outfield if Wong was still here.
    Carson Kelly and Luke Waver were traded for Goldschmidt. I'm a big Luke Voit fan, as you all know, but I'd rather have Goldschmidt than Voit. (Sorry, Luke.) 
    The Randal Grichuk madness must stop. He is the same hitter in Toronto that he was here, and fans wanted him gone. Far too many are not being honest about their revisionist history there.
    Miller and Descalso? I'll take Arenado and DeJong over that any day.
    Without trading Gomber, there is no Arenado.
    The pitchers traded for Ozuna? Fair game, because Ozuna did not work out as expected. But I understood why the Cardinals made that deal. They had to have another bat. Ozuna didn't perform here like he did before and after. 
    You have to give something up when you make trades.
    You have to sell short on some talent when you are trying to be good year in and year out.
    If the Cardinals took a no-trade policy where they never dealt off excess to fill holes, fans would flip. It wasn't that long ago that chatters were bemoaning prospect hoarding, remember? Making good trades is the key. Lumping good trades (like the ones for Arenado and Goldschmidt) clouds the waters. There are enough regrettable ones to focus on.
    Is Tyler O'Neill beginning to take swings in his rehab?
    Shildt provide any reason for Carp at 1B rather than Goldy. One error and one possible catch missed were major contributors to the poor defense behind KK. Looked like another feeble attempt to justify a roster spot rather than putting the best defense on the field.
    Can I offer an alternative theory?
    Goldschmidt has started 45 of the Cardinals' 47 games and has played more innings at first than all but three first first basemen. It was a chance to keep his bat in the lineup while giving him rare little bit of rest. And yes, the difference between his defense there and Carpenter's burned the Cardinals. But it's not the manager who determines who has a roster spot. It's the front office. He is using the roster he has, and that's the spot where you put a bench player who can play some first base when you're trying to steal a half day of rest for a first baseman who plays all the time during another gantlet of games without an off day. 
    Hi Ben. Who is on your list of Blues untouchables? Also do you sign any of the three UFA? Sub.500 since the pandemic with two first round exits is trending the wrong direction. Thanks
    I think there are nine guys you have to protect from the expansion draft: Brayden Schenn, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, Jaden Schwartz, Colton Parayko, Torey Krug and Jordan Binnington.
    Faulk maybe. Not sold on Tarasenko as mentioned earlier.
    I think the Blues need to figure out how to get Schwartz back. 
     
    When everyone is healthy, the Cardinals look pretty good. But that isn't realistic. I don't see much in Memphis that is really any better than what is on the roster now, in terms of depth guys. You can swap some out, but it won't make any difference in the big picture. Do the Cardinals have the assets to acquire a legit 4th OF, one or two middle relievers and a 2-3 Starter?
    I don't think adding a bench outfielder, and using assets to do it, makes for much of a big-picture change.
    There are always ways to trade for or acquire bullpen depth and that will likely be a must along the way.
    They do have enough to add an impact starter, and that conversation is inevitable whether it comes to fruition or not.
    What do you think the Blues will do with Schwartz? We have fallen way behind Colorado and Vegas so a retool - but not a rebuild - is in order. Letting Schwartz walk would give you some cap space to try to pull off a trade, but the Blues are thin on LW without him.
    It kind of goes back to the question we had earlier about the Blues picking their direction. If they are going to double down on the Berube plan and having players who buy all the way into it, it's harder to find a better player for the model than Schwartz. Most indications during the season were that they want him back and seem determined to find a way to get it done. If there's a shift away from the style, then perhaps that emphasis fades.
    Ben,
    You need to tighten up your game, you've walked at least 5 or 6 chatters since this started
    I was surprised to see Mo get his extension two years ago. He’s not brought any championships on his watch. He has a series of poor extensions and unfortunate signings. He’s had a large payroll to disperse and he’s dithered away a lot of it.He’s made star players for other teams traded for almost nothing.
    Making the playoffs as good but it’s not the goal which seems to be his Objective rather than winning it all.
    I know 2011 seems like a long time ago -- and for the Cardinals 10 seasons without a championship is no small thing -- but I vaguely remember something good for the Cardinals happening under Mozeliak's watch back then.
    No one values sustained success more than Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr, the man who greenlighted Mozeliak's extension. People forget sometimes that Mozeliak has a boss. And Mozeliak's boss likes his body of work.
    Hey, Ben: Despite all the pitching concerns lately with the Mikolas injury and the bullpen problems, the offense is the thing that is the overarching problem. They have internal options for pitching. Offense? Not so much. This team has scored 3 runs or fewer in 23 games. That's nearly half! The issue isn't injuries, it's that tge lineup is so one dimensional--overly reliant on the HR. O'Neil and DeJong are perfect examples--when they come back they'll hit HRs, but those are unpredictable and tend to go in streaks. Will they get the runner home from 3rd with less than two out? Evidence says no. Same with Bader. The team needs a high OBP guy, and someone who is more in the Yadi mode of situational hitting with RISP. That player is not in the organization right now. Will the FO make a move to bring more consistency to this lineup? This team has the potential to do damage in the playoffs IF it adds what it needs, but that hasn't happened during the season in years. Will it this year? W
    I would not overlook the pitching problem. The Cardinals have been at their best when they are stacking quality starts one after the next. The bullpen is becoming a glaring issue outside of the top three relievers. The offense, when healthy, has been average or even a bit better -- which can be good enough for a team that pitches well and plays great defense. That's kind of the model for this team. It was not built to be a titan of offense, and it won't be. The homers are helping more than hurting, by a lot. The Cardinals are 22-9 in games where they hit a home run. They are 13-3 in games where they hit multiple home runs. Part of the reason the lineup is lagging now, specifically, is because two of the team's top-three home-run hitters are not playing due to injuries. Molina, more than anyone, has decided to hunt for power. His slugging percentage is on pace to be a career high. Same for his strikeout percentage. Ideally, yes, the Cardinals would like to be able to do it all. Who wouldn't? But their uptick in power and their ability to put the ball out of the ballpark, is an improvement compared to the last two seasons, not a step back. They are around the middle of the pack in terms of OPS with runners in scoring position around the league. They can definitely improve at situational hitting. No debate there. But more than learning that this offense is inadequate for the kind of team the Cardinals want to be, I think we are learning that its adequacy is very dependent on the team being healthy. There is a real lack of offensive depth at the moment. The Cardinals are going to have to decide if they are going to make changes to boost that depth -- or make a change that adds a bat that makes a current player a depth player instead of a regular -- or cross fingers and hope key contributors are all healthy come playoff time.
  • Ben, while the overall results have been good, there are still glaring deficiencies in the Cardinals' roster - outfield, left-handed hitting, starting pitching and now, relief pitching. Do you sense management sees this and will take an aggressive and creative approach to fixing these multiple issues this year or just (again) continue to deny reality, do a minor in-season tweak (if any) and call it good? This storied franchise and devoted fanbase deserve better, IMO. Thanks.
    The outfield of O'Neill-Bader-Carlson has been pretty good when it's played together, which hasn't been much. At this point O'Neill's injury history is as big of a risk as his streakiness. I don't think the Cardinals will add an outfielder unless they can't get this group together regularly and don't think they will be able to.
    The Cardinals have long looked like a team that could upgrade with a starter at the deadline.
    Bullpen maintenance is a need.
    As for what will happen, we'll see. The Cards are not talking about their trade deadline plans yet. No teams are. At least publicly. But I've said it before and I'll repeat here, this is not the season to be anything but determined and proactive at the trade deadline if the team is in its current place. Bringing in Arenado and making a big deal about what could be the final season of Molina and Wainwright then sitting on the fence would be a big bummer, and I don't think fans would respond well. And they shouldn't.
    The Diamondbacks are going nowhere in the near future. I'm heading to Phoenix this weekend and will scout Peralta. And we know the Diamondbacks aren't overly fond of large contracts when the team has zero chance of contending for the next few years - so maybe we could work out some kind of trade for both Peralta and Madbum?
    I like the sound of Peralta more than Gallo, the more I look at those options.
    Both left-handed hitters, which would be nice.
    Peralta is only owed $7.5 million next season. That's part of what could make him appealing to the Cardinals, but it could also make the Diamondbacks less interested in trading him. I'm curious to see if he can stay healthy all season. That's been an issue for him in the past.
    I think the Cardinals are hoping they are not shopping for outfielders.
    Some of that will depend on how O'Neill swings it when he's back, and how messed up Bader's rib situation really is.
    As bad as Matt Carpenter has been he's not blocking anyone but if he starts next 2 games and goes hitless maybe he should be DFA.
    Carpenter’s on-base percentage (.320) and slugging percentage (.450) as a pinch-hitter this season are both better than the National League average for pinch-hit OBP (.312) and SLG (.344). I don’t see the Cardinals paying him to depart when he’s providing some value in that role. If he stops walking and smacking the occasional homer off the bench, then perhaps. 
    Do you believe Tommy Edmund is the long term answer at lead off? I don’t think he just in a funk. I believe pitchers have made the adjustment taking advantage of his aggressive nature. Do you believe he will start making his own adjustments? If I were given the choice between a 300 hitter with a .350 on base or a .240 hitter with the same on base I would take the .300 hitter every time. For a lead off hitter the on base trumps everything else. I’m not saying he not a big league ball player, but I am questioning his ability to lead off.
    I believe he is showing signs of someone who could be. He's tied for the second-most leadoff hits in the majors. Statistically, he has pretty much been Whit Merrifield at leadoff, a player long coveted by Cardinals fans, and for good reason. He's one of just 14 players who have more than 150 at-bats at No. 1 this season, a sign of how many teams have been searching for a consistent table setting answer. Of that group his 272 average is sixth, five ticks behind Ronald Acuna Jr. He also brings speed to the spot, leading the team in steals (nine) by five. He's impressed me quite a bit in his first season there, and he has the demeanor of a player who gets better with experience, not worse. Adam Frazier and Jose Altuve are the only locked-in leadoff hitters in the majors (more than 150 at-bats there this season) who have averages above .300. Baseball in 2021, right?
    With just around 33% of people vaccinated does it make sense to cram 45,000 people together with no masks? (same at most stadiums).Sounds like a recipe for another outbreak.
  • I said trust the experts as we shut things down and I'm saying the same as we open back up.
    I know no one is perfect when it comes to figuring out how to predict and plan for a pandemic, but I know there are people a lot more qualified than I am. If they say go, let's go. At least I will. Everyone is free to make their own choice.
  • O’Neil’s broken finger is just another example of why it’s dumb to slide head first into any base.
    In most circumstances, yes.
    Headed into first base, always.
    Others are more depending on the situation. Sometimes going headfirst can help a guy maneuver around a tag. But it does open you up to hand/wrist/finger injuries -- and doesn't offer the protection of spikes.
    Ben, A follow up with the Blues Q. Vladi being unprotected is fine IF he is selected. Vladi being unprotected could be a red flag to Seattle thinking it's injury then what do you have? There is a redundancy with 2 smallish Dmen with high price tags too. With Berube style doesn't a bigger D work better?
    What you might have is a more motivated Tarasenko. He was upset he wasn't named captain but his play this season didn't reflect a determination to prove that decision wrong. Maybe he can't play at the level he was once at, but maybe he can adjust his game to be more effective player at the level he's at now and moving forward. A score-only forward who doesn't score isn't going to fit all that well in this system. Ask Mike Hoffman, and he scored a decent amount.
    I agree some size on D is a plus for this style. Parayko being hurt and trying to play through it was a big factor. Klim Kostin should help there. That needs to happen.
    Will Dakota Hudson pitch this year?
    That would be a pleasant surprise, but I would not expect it. The Cardinals have trended toward being cautious not aggressive with their healing young arms. He was expected to miss this season. Maybe a late bullpen role, if anything. But I bet they don't risk it.
    Sure, going out and getting a proven starter is a great idea, maybe even an outfield bat... but what are you willing to part with? Gorman, Libby, Herrera, Thompson, Montero? How much do you want to spent on a band-aid?
    If it's Max Scherzer? Whatever it takes outside of the untouchables, a list topped by Gorman and Liberatore. Teams can't ask for a king's haul to move an expiring contract because their trade partners know a team that doesn't make the deal will get at best a comp pick when the player walks in free agency. A recent example of how a deadline deal for a rental starter can work is what the Cards passed on before the 2019 deadline. The Mets wanted Tyler O'Neill or Harrison Bader as the headliner of a package for Zack Wheeler.
    What does Lance 'hate' about the Cardinals?
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