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

    Not so much for me. He has not been known to be a guy who misses games with injuries. His finger got banged up last night, but that can happen to anyone. He's remarkably hard to hit square because of his feel and his speed. Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill and others have had long, successful careers at receiver despite their slim frames. He's got the hands, the speed and the illusiveness. I think he's going to be a really good NFL player for a long time.
    What's goimg on with cmart? Leaving game for personal reasons?
    Does anyone ever really know what is going on with Carlos Martinez? He did not make his last scheduled start with the Dominican League team, and there are reports he is no longer on the team due to personal reasons. What, exactly, those reasons are have not been confirmed at this time. Between this and the mask snafu during the music video, it is not shaping up as the best offseason for those who were hoping Carlos was going to have a quiet offseason and show up at spring training ready to compete for a spot in the rotation.
    I have to commend you on your sportsmanship article. I'm sure you heard it from both sides of the political spectrum, but I thought you were very fair and unbiased in making your point. I don't see that nearly often enough, so thank you.
    Thanks! Really appreciate it and appreciate you reading it with an open mind.
    Hi Ben. If a person has two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and can provide proof upon entry do you think they have the right to buy a ticket and attend a game? It would seem that the venue and the team would be absent of liability. Your thoughts. Thanks
    I'm not sure venues, sports or otherwise, want to get in the spot where they are fact-checking vaccination records to determine who gets in and who doesn't. Imagine the lawsuits that would be filed from people who claimed to be treated unfairly because they do not believe in vaccines. Holy headache. To me, the best way to play it is to let each stadium in each city allow what their state/city says is acceptable, and tell teams that start whining about unfair advantages in certain parts of the country to pipe down. That's how SEC has played it and it's relieved potential headaches for the league. The league should not be the one determining how big crowds can be. Health experts in those areas should be.
    What are the ethics of sports journalists gambling? Does it depend on whether you cover the team or not? For example, would it be unethical for you to gamble on the Cardinals, even if you are betting for them? Would it be unethical for you to place a bet that the Padres or Dodgers win the NL since you are in essence saying you don't believe the Cardinals will win the NL? Since STL doesn't have NBA and NFL (for the time being), are you free from any ethical standard to bet whatever you want on that?
  • It depends on which sports journalist you ask.
    Other than an occasional March Madness pool, I stay away from it.
    Mostly that's because I don't like losing money on it.
    But in all seriousness, it's best to not mix the two, for obvious reasons.
    We should not have a dog in the fight.
    Another example: Say, for example, that a writer as a vote for NL MVP. If he's betting on who he thinks will win NL MVP, and voting, that's a big conflict of interest.
    Just one example.
    Can you see former stars like Rolen and Holliday coming back to the organization in some capacity?
    The Cardinals do a good job of leaving doors open with former players who left in good standing for potential opportunities down the road, whether that's in an unofficial capacity or not. Sometimes an unofficial role turns into one. Holliday, specifically, has been an outspoken candidate for the Cardinals since his departure. He's maintained a great relationship with the team. I don't know what the long-term plans are of the two you mentioned specifically, but I know how Mike Shildt views it. If there's someone with a connection to the Cardinals who wants to help the Cardinals, he's all ears. One change in recent times has been the walking back of certain roles due to the pandemic. A lot of the former Cardinals who were doing various things for the organizations were put on pause during the recent layoffs.
    Why do fans always want to shift DeJong to 3B? He would be a below average hitter there. Ideally, DeJong is playing 2B and batting seventh. That means you finally have some real high-end players on the team and in the lineup. DeJong is a fine complimentary player, but no star.
    The discussion about DeJong moving to third was a hypothetical one about what the team would have looked like if the Cardinals would have made a move on Francisco Lindor to solve the Matt Carpenter conundrum.
    I don't agree with the idea of where a guy plays defensively being dictated by his offense.
    If your second baseman outslugs your third baseman, but your third baseman is better at third base than your second baseman is there, slot your second baseman in a sweeter spot in the lineup and reap the rewards of your third baseman's defense.
    Yes, historically, power positions in the infield are first and third base.
    But that doesn't mean it has to be so, especially now where there is less and less of a status quo (and more shifts) every day.
    Do you think Gyorko was underappreciated here? He hit 50 homers in his first 2 seasons, including 30 his first year, where he was second in the league in homers after the ASB. For the Cardinals not having any pop, sure seems like he could have helped last year. Thoughts?
    No, not really. His power was impressive early but was on a pretty steady decline over the course of his three seasons here, and his problems staying healthy were adding up. The Cardinals got next to nothing for him in the trade, which was disappointing. He did look decent with the Brewers in the shortened season, slugging .504, but some of that is Miller Park. Milwaukee declined his option after it. He's 32 now. Hell of a guy and great cornhole player. But I don't think he was the one who got away, or anything.
    Thoughts on bringing back Jose Martinez (on a minor league deal?)? Best case scenario, he's able to be an everyday hitter again as a DH, worst case scenario, he's a good bench bat. Plus, and I'm sure fatigue had a part in this, the team looked very lifeless last year, especially compared to the Cafecito-led Bench Mafia from the year prior. That energy is a great intangible he provides.
    I love J-Mart, but he's not the answer for this lineup anymore.
    Let's look at his adjusted OPS since he made his major league debut with the Cardinals.
    Remember, an adjusted OPS (known as OPS+) calibrates an individual's offensive performance to a number that can easily be compared to a league-average hitter during that season. League average is more or less a 100 OPS+
    Here's Martinez . . . 
    2016: 171 OPS+
    2017: 134
    2018: 124
    2019: 98
    2020: 56
    There are better options available.
  • I hear a lot of talk about Gorman on these chats but what are the chance that he could fill the 4 or 5 position in the batting order anytime soon? Realistically speaking he probably won't be a serious impact bat until 2024 or 2025 especially considering he lost a season last year.
    Some patience would be wise. He's 20 years old. Expecting him to be a starter by 2023 is one thing. Expecting him to be the No. 4 or No. 5 hitter at the exact same time seems to be asking a lot. Then again, Dylan Carlson was hitting cleanup in the postseason, so who knows. Some guys respond to being thrown into the deep end. Others come out gasping for air.
    Earlier, you commented about the Cards as constructed not being a WS team. Then mentioned the 2011 team as not being a juggernaut, but won a WS. That 2011 team had 3 regulars with an OPS greater than 900, Pujols, Holliday and Berkman. Then near the trade deadline, they acquired Furcal who shored up shortstop and called up Craig who was a 900 OPS guy. So, that team had 4 900 OPS players, a prime Molina a surging Freese and Rafael Furcal who provided a spark and superb defense. The current team has 0 900 OPS guys. I asked the question last week and will again, how many players do you think the team is away from being a true WS contender? 2, 3, 4? Does the front office think the potential emergence of Gorman, Carlson and Edman and hoped for improvement in Dejong can reduce the needs to 1 player or so. I am not down on the Cards plan, per se, just trying to understand if this potential new hoped for core have the ability to be a WS contender. I know a few years off.
  • I'm aware of how the 2011 team is constructed.
    I helped cover it as an intern that summer.
    I can tell you that when the Cardinals were limping through June and July of that season, no one was thinking World Series, here come the Cardinals.
    Of course that lineup was loaded compared to this one as it stands.
    It's why I've been writing time and time again about how this lineup needs to be improved.
    I don't think the Cardinals are as far off from being a contending team as you do. I think their pitching is crazy deep, which is the biggest strength you can have in baseball, and that Shildt has fixed the defense to the point of turning it into a strength, but until there is more than one hitter (Goldschmidt) who puts fear in an opposing team's heart, there's going to be a sizable gap.
    Of course, the Cardinals hope the young players who are on the way become a championship core. That's how they would love to build a championship team, from within. There are no guarantees that it plays out that way, especially when you consider some of the walls the recent arrivals have ran into upon their promotion to the majors.
    The Cardinals have realized the biggest, baddest team is not always the one that wins. They have been the team that got hot at the right time and went all the way. But until they have a lineup that can produce a league-average amount of runs on regular basis, they are hoping for too much magic.
  • The Cardinals are in the entertainment business, and as an organization seem to understand this as it pertains to attracting fans to games with promotions (bobblehead giveaways, inclusive tickets, etc.). However, this seems to be overlooked by management regarding the personalities of the players, as most of the team, though likeable as individuals, are IMO very bland. And, it seems the players who DO have personality - Ozuna, Jose Martinez, Carlos Martinez, etc. - are not here very long or are on the way out. I know that winning would improve this perception, but would the team benefit from a marketing standpoint by considering this and factoring it in to the acquisition of players in the future?
    Molina?
    Anyone?
    Molina always seems pretty interesting and full of personality to me.
    He's been around a while, too.
    And wants to come back.
    The last move the Cardinals made that incorporated something other than performance into the equation, at least admittedly, was the free-agent addition of Dexter Fowler. We heard as much about what he was supposed to do in the clubhouse as we did on the field. Fowler has not been as bad as some of his critics insist, but the deal was far from a home run.
    I don't think the Cardinals need to make moves based off not being bland.
    I think they need to make a move or two based off having an offense that can't score enough runs.
    Scoring runs is exciting. Opposite of bland. 
  • Ben, Blues make to the finals without Tank, would you leave him available to the Kraken?
  • Surely he will be back before then, right?
    If he doesn't play all season and they get to the Finals, you have to think about it, considering what it would mean about the players who have emerged in his absence.
    Still I do not like the idea of giving up a 30-goal guy to the expansion draft, at all.
    I'd want to see what Tarasenko can do on that repaired shoulder before I commit to being OK seeing him another sweater.
    And please share this answer with everyone who thinks I'm a big meanie for pointing out it was in poor taste for Vlad to say what he said after O'Reilly was named captain.
    See, I'm no No. 91 basher. At least not all the time.
  • So now that everyone can bet on baseball, even while they're at the game (got a ticket to the Nationals yet?), any chance Pete and I get reconsidered for HOF since we apparently got the ball rolling?
  • It won't be THE reason, but let's not kid ourselves about this being a slippery slope, and the direction (yours) things are sliding.
    Hello Ben. I would love the cardinals and the twins to get together on a deal. Max Kepler for C. Martinez, R. Helsley and T. O’Neill. The twins need starters and relievers after letting half their rotation and pen go. The cardinals need a LH OF who has an OPS+ north of 100. Kepler only makes 6.5m and is signed through ‘23. The Twins probably don’t want Martinez( maybe Ponce and G. Cabrera instead) but the potential for a deal seems strong with these two teams.
    I can see your desire for Kepler based on his recent performance and team-friendly deal, but the ask you presented seems low to me. He's cost-controlled and at a really good rate for the Twins through a while. They do need pitching, but Carlos Martinez is not going to cut it, and the Twins don't need outfielders. They have a lot of them. If that deal is going to be made, it would probably take a pitcher or two that would hurt. The Cardinals have made no real sign that they are looking at adding outfielders. They seem more interested in dedicating another year through sorting through their internal options, again.
    Whose return to his team is more important in '21, Vladi or Yadi?
    Good one! In terms of championship significance, I think Tarasenko. I don't think the Cardinals are a Molina away from being a World Series champion. The Blues might be a Tarasenko away from being a Cup champion. In terms of team success in general, Molina. The Blues have proven they can win without Tarasenko. The Cardinals don't know life without Molina, and their pitchers will most likely not pitch as well when and if that time comes.
    If the Indians are going to act silly, might as well grab Ramirez @3rd. Switch hitter, lots of dbls, 3yr/33mil. Prolly would take Montero plus one of the starters that will be headed to the pen. Thats the move to make.
    Cleveland is done shedding salary, right? That's what I've read, at least. They want to have some semblance of a team left for 2021.
    The cardinals need a lead off hitter. Outside the box option to me would be the Mets J.D. Davis. He’s not fast or a great defender but he has experience at 1b, 3b and Lf. Davis has a .370 obp the last two years and probably wouldn’t cost a great deal to acquire. He could easily find 500+ ab spread across three positions. We need someone to get on base in front of Goldy. Thoughts?
    The Cardinals do a decent enough job of getting guys on base.
    What they need help in is getting guys from on base to across the plate.
  • Hey Ben! As MLB pitchers throw fewer and fewer innings each year on average, do you think the rules will be altered to account for this? Perhaps allow more pitchers on teams' rosters, create a taxi squad for pitchers, etc?
    Same with my resistance against banning shifts, I'm a bit reluctant to make a change like creating a pitchers-only taxi squad. Expand the rosters if you must. There seems to be little push-back against that. Fair enough. But do we really want to reach the point where we don't know who the starter is every day, and the only thing keeping the pitcher from changing every batter is the three-batter minimum? There's such resistance against shifts, but there should be more on the pitching parades and bullpen games. If that's the way teams want to play it, OK, do it within the rules. But don't change the rules to make it easier. That's my stance on it.
    Who's an all around better SS in your mind? DeJong or Story?
    Story until proven otherwise. Hard to pick a one-time All-Star over a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger who is just one year older. Both have improved their defense along the way. Now, I'll add just one thing. DeJong doesn't get the benefit of playing at Coors Field. Story has a .994 career OPS at Coors compared to a .760 on the road. Away from Coors, Story's OPS is just slightly better than DeJong's career OPS of .774.
    Don’t forget about me. I don’t want to be stuck in Colorado.

    Nolan A
    Hey, at least you got paid.
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