Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

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

    Hi Ben. I will miss the Captain but I can’t help but think his agents gave him a false sense of security. Credit to Doug Armstrong for moving quickly. Being a homer the fondness is over once the puck drops next season. What are your thoughts? Thanks
    If Pietrangelo was as surprised as he suggested that the Blues pivoted as quickly as they did, someone read the room wrong. You would think he would have a better feel for Armstrong after 12 seasons in St. Louis, but it's his agents' job to understand what's happening and when it will happen. Some of this might have been window dressing. There are always two sides to every story. Armstrong being unpredictable, always, is about the only thing predictable about him.
    Ben I understand the frustration, I really do but some of this revisionist history has just gotten out of control. Arozorena has 84 AB's in his regular season MLB career, he's hot in the playoffs I get it but come on 84! And you got a top 50 MLB prospect in return. Luke Voit's OPS on the road this year was 735, he is great at Yankee stadium. League average everywhere else. Ozuna and Pham are very streaky players and we knew that. The list goes on of understandable frustration but there is a strong overreaction from most fans.
    The sample size on Arozarena is still very small. For sure. But he's shown more in that small amount of time than the Cardinals' outfielders the team prioritized above him. That's undeniable at this point. We'll see how it ends in the long run.
    Voit led the majors in home runs. Ozuna led the NL in home runs. Those are not small things. I won't dismiss them, not when the Cardinals were the worst slugging team in the postseason.
    Revisionist history does no one any good, but the questions that have to be asked and answered now are not about the past, but the future.
    Why are other teams getting more out of the same players than the Cardinals did?
    Why are the Cardinals' projections causing them to overvalue certain players?
    Both are fair questions based on recent trends.
    The Cardinals seem to want value for their money. Works for me. So why not go for a different style of baseball? Homeruns cost a lot right now. Maybe high on base average would be a better value. Maybe strong doubles hitters are a better value. Maybe something else. The way they spent their money this past year didn't work. Maybe they should zig while everyone else zags. What do you think, would they try to use analytics to seek a different type of player?
    Thing is, home runs don't cost all that much. The Cardinals are just one of the few competitive teams that have a problem hitting them. There will be more cost efficient power bats available than, say, free agent George Springer. How about Joc Pederson as a platoon option in the outfield? The Cardinals don't strike all that often. They walk at a really high rate. They're doing some good things -- grinding at-bats, all that stuff. What they lack is power. Damage. Crooked numbers. It's really hard to walk in runs.
    I know the Cardinals need offense, but do you think they would have any interest in Trevor Bauer, assuming he wants a 1 year deal? The rotation has more questions than people want to admit. Hudson is out. Wainwright, Ponce, Mikolas, and Martinez are all question marks
    Few teams would seem to be less of a personality fit for Bauer than the Cardinals.
    Would be surprised if that happens.
    Very surprised.
    With the front office almost certainly to bring back the same team next year until it can dispose of horrible contracts, is it time for fans to lower expectations of this team? At best, it’s a wild card team, at worst it’s the team that breaks the 13 consecutive winning seasons. Fair?
    That's a pretty low bar. I would like to think the Cardinals have higher expectations. I would like to think fans expect more.
    Hi Ben. With St. Louis FC possibly playing it's final game ever this weekend against rival Louisville, I would like to hear your thoughts on what this team meant to the region. I can't believe that we would get an MLS team if this team never existed. Also, not sure if you are allowed to plug where the game this weekend can be viewed for those who may want to watch them play at least one more time. Thanks!
  • First, it's a great story. Backs against the wall, knowing it's over after their next loss, they break through for the first playoff win. Awesome story. St. Louis FC is an important chapter that helped lead to St. Louis landing an MLS team, no doubt about that. And for those intricately involved -- owners, players, fans -- it was a lot more than that. It was a community. I love that they're going out in style. Great sendoff. Hope they can keep it rolling.
  • In answering the previous question, you implied there’s a problem with cardinal decision making. Ergo there’s a problem with leader ship. Why don’t you be the first to come out and call for change in the front office. Broomsticks and pitchforks!
  • Or, you know, audit the areas that have caused problems and fix them.
    The answer is not always firing someone.
    I know that news will shock the chat.
  • Am I crazy to think that mizzou’s offense was better on Saturday without their top 3 receivers? I could be wrong but it seems like the majority of the dropped passes come from those players as well as Knox. Without those dropped passes we saw a more fluid offense that didn’t stall and kept drives moving.
  • You are not crazy. Not at all. The new guys -- Tauskie Dove, D'ionte Smith, Michah Wilson and more -- did the most important thing. They caught the ball. I'll be very interested to see what the depth chart looks like receiver when Mizzou resumes play against Florida. I don't think Drinkwitz can or should ignore the plays he saw being made Saturday.
  • Good morning,

    You wrote earlier in the chat that Coach Pinkel had let standards for the program fall more than people realized. Please expound on that comment. What signs should we have seen to indicate this was happening.

    Also, Cardinals should be getting their front office and back of the house organizational chart complete and have it reflect the new economic and fiscal realities of the industry given COVID-19, a smaller minor league set-up, loss of ticket revenue again in 2021, etc. Could be as important as what they do in terms of on the field changes.

    One sign was the way the Maty Mauk situation was handled at the time. Certain players were handled in different ways than others. There were breakdowns in communication between coaches at times, etc. Pinkel's entire philosophy revolved around everything being planned, organized and adhered to. The program at its best was a well-oiled machine. It was not toward the end.
    I assume the season ending presser for cards be after World series right?
    What say you about the White Sox firing the manager and pitching coach? A J Hinch is rumored to be in line for the job.
    Bob Nightengale of USA Today suggested TLR could be the hire, and then Hinch if not Tony.
    That'd be something, wouldn't it?
    It's a desirable job. Tons of talent to work with. Chance to push the Cubs to the backburner in Chicago, too.
  • All this talk about Petro is irrelevant. The Blues window to win another cup closed when Tarasenko injured his shoulder for the 3rd time. The chances of him being the same player again are remote and without him, the Blues don't have an impact goal scorer. They will be taking a page out of the Cardinals playbook, relying on internal options improving. Unfortunately, they will be just as successful with that.

    The only option for actually trying to extend the window would be firing Berube and taking a run at John Tortorella. He is the best coach in the NHL today.
    Is Tortorella going to score goals?
    I think you sabotaged your own point.
    And you seem to be forgetting that the Blues played pretty dang well without Tarasenko for the bulk of the regular season? 
    What are the odds of Pham being the victim of a stabbing twice? Crazy.
    Just a minor flesh wound. He'll be fine.
    It's time to move on from C Martinez and Bader. I think the last three years of underachieving mediocrity has been enough sample size to realize it is what it is
    One of those names was fourth on the team in Wins Above Replacement this season, and it wasn't Martinez.
    Martinez should be in the bullpen, or traded at whatever he can be traded for.
    Bader can be a strong defensive center fielder and nine-hole hitter -- if the other corner spots do more damage offensively than they have recently.
    Based off of the comments that Flaherty has been quoted and is quick to give for free in regards to his free agency and what his 4.91 ERA is worth, and also knowing how frugal the cardinals are, wouldn't this be a good time dangle him. There's plenty of decent pitching behind him, but Cards need a bat so bad. Not give him away, but an even trade. An OF with a 3 yr solid track record on a team that needs pitching as bad as Cards need hitting. Just makes too much sense.
    I'm not following your first sentence. Flaherty has explained in the past how he views the Cardinals' decision to renew him because he disagrees with the system in place for assigning his contract, but he has never said he's determined to go through free agency, or unwilling to sign a long-term deal if he's offered one. It's fair to wonder how that will play out, but he hasn't said if he will or won't. He's one in a group of young players that have realized the system works against them -- because it does. Baseball is leaning more and more on younger talent, but the current CBA does not pay young talent accordingly. It's going to be one of the big topics in the upcoming CBA negotiations. The Cardinals could trade Flaherty, and he would be one of their most appealing tradable players, considering his upside and what he did last season and against the Padres in his playoff start this season. I'm not sure how a team built around strong pitching would justify that being a wise move considering his bright future and also the recent injuries to Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson. The Cardinals have a lot of pitchers, but you're making a mistake if you think they have a lot of pitchers as talented as Flaherty.
    Which, in your opinion, of these decisions do the Cards make this offseason:

    1). Extend Wong and Molina (2 years) at a lower AAV in 2021 and provide Waino another incentive laden 1-year deal, but do not add a bat in a trade or free agency.

    2). Do the above and add a bat on the level of Miller as opposed to someone like Springer or Conforto.

    3). Opt in Wong for 2021 and include him in a trade package for a bona fide slugger while keeping Waino and Molina.

    4. Let one or both of Waino/Molina walk to add a hitter.

    5. Something else.
    I don't know. I don't think the Cardinals know at this point.
    I think you could easily make the argument that the Cardinals would have been just as good, maybe even a little better, over the last 5 years if they had made no trades at all. The Cardinals are great at draft and development and terrible at trade evaluation. When people defend the team they always go to the number of post season appearances. I think that’s solely because of the draft and develop. The Cardinals are like a car. The engine is great but the transmission is slipping a lot. The car has value and doesn’t need to go to the junk yard, but saying the transmission needs to be fixed doesn’t make you an ungrateful complainer. Why do so many people have trouble separating what the team does well from what they do poorly? Why is it all or nothing?
    Your analogy kind of works if you ignore the trade for Paul Goldschmidt (that worked out pretty well so far) and only focus on recent years. The Cardinals are not terrible at trade evaluation, historically. Quite the opposite, really. It used to be, for years, that the players the Cardinals traded away did little if anything else at their new locations. The start of the shift seemed to be around 2017 when the Cardinals sent Marco Gonzales away for Tyler O'Neill. Gonzales has been a very valuable starter for the Mariners. O'Neill still looks like a 4-A hitter with the Cardinals. And then there are the more recent examples, some of which are still not able to be graded completely because of the prospects moved around in the trades. I think it's more than fair to point to these issues. But I would not limit them to trades. It's player evaluation and projection. Why did the Cardinals fee the Matt Carpenter extension was a good one? Why was O'Neill worth losing Gonzales, and prioritizing over a guy like Randy Arozarena? As I said earlier, the Cardinals missed on these kinds of calls so rarely in the past it's the uptick of head-scratching decisions that should be directing them toward some sort of an audit that examines what's going on. There's another element to it, too. Other teams are getting better at doing the stuff the Cardinals used to excel at.
    Someone on twitter proposed trading cmart and knizner for teoscar Hernandez. While I would love for that trade to get done, why would the blue jays trade the player who led their up and coming team in home runs, slugging, and OPS? At least why would they trade him for that little?
    I think you answered your own question.
    If that deal was real, make it happen yesterday.
    It seems the Cardinals draft very very well (even outside pitching which it’s been incredible to see), but the issue with position players is their development in our minors and as a result of this, the evaluation of those players. I feel this miss on minor league players is more recent, as we had players in years past do well for us and not as well elsewhere. Do you see this as a recent trend and, even if not, where do you think a fix comes from? I for one love the job Mo has done, even if I think we could have done more
    I think it has more to do with development in the majors. It's pretty common to see a Cardinals draft-and-develop guy scorch through the minors, make his debut, then plateau or regress. That's not a minor league issue as much as it is something not happening at the major league level, right? Edman is the most recent example. Bader and O'Neill are examples. Carlson hopes to avoid becoming the next example. It's the hardest jump to make. No doubt about that. But the turbulence seems to be predictable at this point. A little too predictable.
    How similar or dissimilar do you see the situations around Petro not re-signing with the Blues and Pujols not re-signing with the Cardinals?
    Pietrangelo was the star free agent of his class and the first Blues captain to lift the Cup, but he was not the caliber of player in his sport that Pujols was to baseball, a towering giant of the game when he decided to move on and move towns.
    There were some similarities. The biggest one? 
    I think both players will wind up wishing they would have stayed in St. Louis.
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