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.

    Four wins in a row and five of their last six. Underwood is a good coach. If he had guys on the team who were not a good fit for his style, better to move forward with all-in guys. Team is talented. Big Ten play is bringing out more toughness. None of this surprises me. Have gotten used to seeing Underwood ticked at his team at Braggin' Rights, often after a loss, looking up late in conference play and seeing a much more dangerous team that has grown tougher as the season progressed.
    Quick question do you see any similarities between the Cards signing Contreras to their trade for Ozuna? From everything I’m reading the A’s got a middling return for Murphy after trying to get the moon from the Cards. With Ozuna they traded a very very nice haul for him and shortly after the Marlins got a middling return for Yelich. Do the Cardinals just give up on the better options before the other team flinches?
    The Cardinals didn't have to give up anything more than money (a good chunk of it) and a conditional draft pick for Contreras. And I liked Contreras better all along, so maybe I'm a bad one to ask. But this reverse logic on the Murphy trade doesn't work like some want it to. When the Cardinals signed Contreras, the A's had one less trade partner to leverage other Murphy trade seekers against. The Cardinals signing Contreras changed the Murphy market, so using the Braves trade package as revisionist history doesn't hold water. The Cardinals knew their price for Murphy, pivoted to Contreras, and that pivot changed what the A's could ask.
    I just want to remind people that the cardinals have a LH OF/DH who will spend all season at the age of 24 who hit .331/.372/.904 with 20 homers and 87 rbi's last season at AAA. But because he went 9/48 at the end of September he's discounted and included in every trade fans can come up with. If not for signing Corey Dickerson last season maybe Burleson gets called up in July or August and has more than 50 ab's to base his career on. Please don't encourage the same thing for this season, there isn't a difference maker out there go with Burleson Yepez Gorman and let them grow. Yepez and Gorman had flashes Yepez numbers were pretty good for a rookie in my opinion in 253 ab's he hit .253/296/.743 which has room to build but at 500 ab's 24 homers would be pretty good, no? Gorman struck out a lot but he's always struck out a lot and fans couldn't wait to get his 35-40% k rate to the majors and guess what happened? he showed signs went into a slump and now is an afterthought to fans? These guys are young, they don't have to be hall of famers their rookie season but they need the opportunity to grow. Tyler O'neill is going into his 6th season (1 season playing more than 100 games) Dylan Carlson (career OPS .730) his 4th lets give these other guys at least 2 before they're written off.
    Good point on Burleson. Reading into that blip at the major league level last season is risky. He barely got a taste. Has been a hitter at every level before that, and very well could be here this season. He swings a lot and will need to build in more plate discipline, focusing on pitches he can hit with more authority, but the only real takeaway that could be fair to make about him last season is that he could benefit this time around for having a little familiarity in the majors.
    What happens when the prices at the trade deadline are too high?
    Just imagine how big the splash could be the following offseason!
    Wait, have we done this a time or two before?
    With the runaway spending that MLB experienced this offseason, do you think that there's any chance that small market owners push for a spending cap in the next CBA?
    There will always be advocates of it but it's something the players have been pretty steadfastly against and I don't see that changing. This question needed a trigger warning, my friend. We had so much CBA talk during the long slog toward the work stoppage, and during the lockout. Not looking forward to that starting up again any time soon! I've said this before but owners, collectively, should be more worried about those among them who are doing nothing more than riding on the league's coattails than the ones that are spending big money in attempts to win.
    I get the "wow" factor that Ohtani brings to the table. He's a talent we have just never seen before. Would a front office be afraid of giving too big of a contract to him in free agency, though? At his best, he's a lock for the front of your rotation and a cornerstone of your lineup. But if he gets hurt and misses considerable time, you aren't just losing a pitcher or a big're losing both at once! Add to that the amount of a team's payroll he would be eating, it's not too hard to see how he could hamstring a team...
    It's going to be fascinating to see what it takes to lock him down, and which teams become determined to land him. Also: What if a generational talent made it a mission to only accept one-year deals? What if he decided he wanted to play for every contending team? Ah, the possibilities.
    Thanks for chatting, BenFred.
    I agree 100% that it's risky to read too much into Alec Burleson's 48 AB's in 2022 at the MLB level. Any reasonable person with an understanding of baseball can see that. So please explain to me, Ben, how nobody (at the P-D or anywhere else that I read) at any point questioned the fact that Ollie Marmol and the Redbird front office basically gave up on Ivan Herrera after 18 MLB at-bats? Thanks again, good scribe.
    That wasn't hitting related, though. The game was moving too fast on him behind the plate. Needed more seasoning. Cardinals haven't given up on him. Just need him to get more reps and work on some of the fine details. He wasn't ready to be the big guy post-Molina. Not yet.
    There is now quite a few Cardinals playing in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Do you have the running count and what countries each is playing for?
    When I counted it up the other day it was 11 players spread across eight different teams.
    I don't think a single team can have more than 15 signed up.
    Here's what I had in the paper. The rosters are not finalized yet, meaning things could change.
    United States (Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado); Mexico (Giovanny Gallegos); Japan (Lars Nootbaar); South Korea (Tommy Edman); Canada (Tyler O’Neill); Italy (Andre Pallante); Dominican Republic (Genesis Cabrera); and Panama (Ivan Herrera).
    Should DeWitt consider changing the team’s mascot to a dove since a dove symbolizes hope and hope is the basis of their roster building model? The St. Louis Doves, not the same ring but probably more accurate.
    Another residential tower is in the planning stages for Ballpark Village. Maybe it can be named Dove Tower? You pulled the snark out of me, Disco.
    What are your thoughts on Drinkwitz's portal additions thus far? I'm not sure if any move the needle much, and there's some obvious needs still along the O-line and at Tight End, but I do give him credit for bringing back some of their own guys for one more year. The Kirby Moore hire looks good on paper too.
    Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Florida, Northwestern, Florida State, Arizona State.
    If my math is right, those are the programs six of the eight transfers are coming in from?
    I think that's relatively good news.
    Now, these guys have had various amount of success or lack thereof at those places, but when you're pulling from Power 5, there should be a talent level that is solid, and that's been proven true with the Power 5 transfers Drinkwitz has added before.
    He's done a solid job of getting could-be-gone guys to stick around.
    Re-recruiting potential transfers is as important as any kind of recruiting these days.
    Inane question incoming: if the Cardinals win the World Series in 2023, does Matt Holliday receive a ring? If not, what is the cutoff moving forward - first day of Spring Training?
    Ha! I'll ask if there's a hard rule, but I think that would be a no. And I don't think he would even accept one if offered.
    Thanks for the excellent Cardinals coverage and analyses by the Post. If I may, two unrelated questions. First DeWitt called for change in the broadcast rights, specifically blackouts and the difficulties that regional sports networks face. The city of St. Louis does not crack the top 50; the metropolitan areas ranks 21st nationally. Without changes, the Cards will not have the financial muscle to take on deep-pocketed teams. Yes, the Cards can spend more, but the Dodgers even with Trea Turner and Max Scherzer did not get past the NL championship series; the Mets fell short lat year. To compete effectively, the Cardinals will need to spend more on better players but relying on ticket sales and broadcast rights -- as the latter now stand -- disadvantages the Cards. How likely is it that this will change while Goldy and Arenado are at peak performance? Second, the Cards picked up two pitchers -- Zuniga and Rodriguez, the latter via Rule 5 draft meaning he has to stick on the 26 man roster the full season or be returned. What is your assessment of those moves? A lettery ticket?
  • While the future doesn't look great for the regional sports networks and the Cardinals have skin in that game, let's not pretend whatever comes next will result in MLB and its teams not getting an even better situation than what it had before. These things don't move backward for leagues and teams that provide the one thing fans want and streaming services and networks want to offer: live sports. So, there will be changes, but suggestions the Cardinals -- a big brand with people wanting to pay money to see games who currently can't -- are not going to wind up being just fine, if not in a better place once the dust settles. Live sports is gold right now. Betting loves it, and its' legal now. Advertisers know it's the one thing that is nearly impossible to skip past advertisements while watching. The parent company of a regional sports network is in trouble, not so much the Cardinals or MLB teams affiliated with that parent company. On the pitchers, the Cardinals prioritized high velo and strikeout potentail in their fringe pitching moves. It wouldn't surprise me if some of those mostly overlooked names become notable relievers in the future. One thing Marmol's staff communicated was the need for more strikeout stuff. It didn't come in a big offseason spend, but it was factored into those fringe moves.
    Who was asking Mo to spend just to spend? I’m just curious who he was alluding to with his comments. The names I routinely saw fans/media calling for were Turner, Verlander, Correa, Bogaerts, and Rondon. All of whom are substantial upgrades at their positions, so I’m not sure where the spend just to spend tag came from.
    Correct. And I don't recall anyone calling for 4-5 major additions, either. Most had two. Catcher and shortstop. Catcher and outfielder. Catcher and starting pitcher. That's not Looney Tunes territory. Certainly not this offseason. Certainly not in this National League.
    I see the rumors of a possible deal with the Marlins for Lopez, who I think has potential. Of course, Lopez has a couple years of control and I know that means the absolute world to the Cardinals, but aside from the financials, I don't see much difference between Lopez and Quintana. Do you?
    ...but there isn't any observable numerical evidence that the "game was moving too fast" for Herrera. That's my frustration, Ben. You didn't cite anything specific and neither has anyone else that I'm aware of.

    At the risk of belaboring the point, I do have plenty of specifics. Opponents stole one base in 59 innings with Herrera behind the plate. That's a much better SB rate than Yadi or Knizner. I won't bore you with all the other numbers, but the ERA's and OPS allowed and K/BB ratio while Herrera was catching were each extremely comparable to both of the regulars, as well. I suppose you could argue that there was a substantial ERA gap between Yadi & Herrera -- but considering Yadi is maybe the best handler of pitchers in MLB history, that shouldn't be too disappointing.

    Thanks for letting me vent my confusion and frustration, Ben.
    My bad, I misread your question as an offense-based one. The evidence was the staff seeing too many gaps in scouting and preparation and pitch-calling they lean on the catcher to provide. Going from Molina to any catcher is going to be an adjustment, for sure. But Herrera was drinking from a fire hose, for lack of a better analogy, and that informed their usage and post-Molina addition of Contreras. They're not giving up on Herrera and have stated that a lot. There will more shared reps up for grabs in the post-Molina world.
    Isn't it time for us to see something from Libertore? It would be nice to salvage something from that trade.
    Seems fair, yep. Add him to the list of guys the team is hoping responds positively to experience acquired in a rough fashion in 2022.
    What is your view on Kodai Senga that the Mets signed for 5/$75M? He was also potentially a guy the Cards could have signed at a not unreasonable rate and kept within the confines of their payroll. They could then have traded one of the other starters for something, BP upgrade, prospects etc. The Cards did have upgrade option potential within their model. Any sense MO may retire after this year? I have wondered if he is keeping things simple because he does not want to complicate things for the next guy.
    Mozeliak said Cards never got very far down any free-agent starter talks. Time will tell if that bites them. As for his future, I'd imagine there will be an update come spring on that, as he's in talks with DeWitt with more planned. I could see him shifting gears in some way, but don't think he will be walking away. Maybe not so much day-to-day grind as he hands over more of that to the front office team he's built? We'll see.
    I've been a diehard baseball since I was a little kid. DeWitt backers point to the 3+ million the Cardinals draw as their trump card that in their eyes ends the discussion. As the Post has reported, the Cardinal TV ratings have plummeted and the ownership is starting to take notice. I stopped watching their games a three years ago because the team has been boring for a while. I know last year was special, but, those guys are retired. I'll always go to a few games a year because it's almost like going to church for me. But, there's no way I'm going to pay inflated cable costs to watch 162 meaningless games. And judging by the tv ratings, that's a lot of people that have stopped watching. Only way the Cardinals can keep getting big local TV dollars is if the ratings go back up and the only way that's going to happen is if they get back to fielding a team that has the talent on the field to contend with anyone. Fans have more than one option to get their displeasure known, they can stop watching.
    I mean, there are a lot of people who want to pay for Cardinals on their TV but can't get it due to blackout rules. I'm not dismissing your view, but it's not everybody's view. I can promise you that.
    Whether it's offense or defense, it was a micro-microscopic MLB sample for Herrera, and I would argue it was therefore foolhardy to draw meaningful conclusions. (I say this as someone who wanted to trade for either Sean Murphy or Alejandro Kirk this winter. But my third choice was to stay in-house and see what happens with the catcher position, rather than commit massive resources to someone on the wrong side of 30.)

    New question, Ben. When Tommy E. gets a day off, will DeJong play short, or will Donovan and Gorman be the middle infield? This is assuming everyone hits about the same as last year. Thanks, Ben.
    Handing over catching duties to someone who has a micro-microscopic sample size, good or bad, would have been a bad idea, in my opinion, as the Molina era closed. The Cardinals, I'm sure, wished they would have lined up a transition better. Didn't work out. Ignoring it would have made things worse. My two cents. I think Contreras is going to be pretty good here. Him skipping the WBC to get to spring training early and work with the guys is a good sign.
    DeJong says he wants to stick at short. Marmol suggested he needs to bounce around the infield. If he can't hit, be can't be more than a defensive sub. If he hits, he can bounce around and pop in where needed. He's been described as needing to earn a spot. That doesn't guarantee a starting spot at a single position is up for grabs, unless something unexpected occurs. 
    "And we just weren't able to do it." That was Mo's explanation for not doing more (thus far) in the offseason. I read the quote in the PD and if I'm not mistaken I read where he reiterated that to the fans at WWU. I can't believe he would make that statement. Makes him look really bad. And as a fan, I can NOT accept that. If that is really true, then maybe we need to find somebody who CAN get it done. Amazing quote, don't you think?
    That was in reference to he left-handed hitter I think. They were close on a veteran but lost out to another team. He's said stuff like this before about deals not made or efforts not rewarded. He's not looking for points for effort. He knows that doesn't come. So, he just tells it like it is -- at least after the semantics about payroll, which he wisely dropped.
    about 10 years ago I lived in DC and had the package i think it was $120 and worth every penny. The app was lightyears ahead of what streaming options FSMW now Bally sports has offered the last 5 years. Living back in Missouri I now have the option of getting DirectTv or a regional cable service which in rural parts of the state isn't an option so I can pay $100/month for the directv package that offers the "sports" package. So if all I want to watch is baseball on Directv and use streaming services like netflix I'm essentially paying in 1 month what cost for an entire season of baseball on a better app/service. Why would I do that? Pay $600 when I could pay $120? You can see where if MLB does it right they can make up some lost money. Most fans would probably pay $30/month just a dollar a day to watch any baseball game being played. So instead of getting money from my viewer ship, (I use my brothers cable login) and they get nothing from me
  • Yep.
    Losing out on people who want to give you money is not good business.
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