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.

    Hi Ben. With the reduction in minor league teams, how will the Cardinals develop the recent High School players they drafted, as well as other minor leaguers with apparent futures?
  • It's a good question, especially for an organization that has been as reliant as prospect development as the Cardinals always hope to be. I think across the game you will see more emphasis placed on high-upside talent regardless of age and experience, and an unfortunate shorter shelf life for lower projected players who don't turn heads and defy expectations before time runs out. That's a bummer, because baseball is full of stories about late draft picks who took a while to figure out something in the minors before things took off. There will be fewer of those guys now, for every team. The Cardinals are on board with the minor league constriction. MLB as a whole is. What specifically they will do to keep guys from falling through the cracks is a great question, one that does not have answers now, in part because right now there is no answer on what the minor league season will even look like after there was none due to the pandemic canceled 2020 minor league season. It's a good topic to follow up on when that picture gets a little more clear.
  • What do you and Gordo do on Sundays? You both don’t watch the NFL.
  • This Sunday, I was writing my column for the Blues special section that comes out tomorrow. Go grab one!
  • What's a realistic goal for Mizzou basketball right now? Feels like this team should, at minimum, finish top 4 in the SEC and make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Feels good to have a team with high standards again!
  • Right now it's to clear quarantine before rust sets in.
    The Tigers should be a tournament team.
    Where the go from there will come down to if they can all get on the same page.
    If Mark Smith and Dru Smith are still in a collective funk, they won't last long in March.
    If those guys snap out of it and Jeremiah Tilmon and Xavier Pinson are playing well, Tigers could be tough out.
    Ben, Which path would you prefer if all are possible but only one is. Trade for Story, move PDJ to 2nd let prospects fill 3B, Trade for NA, move prospect to another position on team, or sign Springer and allow the infield prospects to play out?
    The Cardinals need to put their foot down when it comes to Carpenter saying "I can only bat leadoff" or CMART saying "I wanna start". I didn't know they were the Lebron James of the Cardinals. If they don't like the way they get handled to help the team WIN...then ADIOS!!!!
    Carpenter has said repeatedly (and proven it) that he will go anywhere in the lineup.
    And Mozeliak said pretty definitively a month or so ago that Carlos Martinez is not going to be guaranteed anything entering spring -- if he enters spring with the team, that is.
    So, you get your wish.
    I guess I would like to see the Cards grab some of this cheap pitching. Flaherty wasn't great or even good at the finish, Mikolas who knows, Cmart we all know that story, Hudson out, Ponce is not a starter as we've seen, Gomber maybe but he keeps getting sent down or put in bullpen, Woodford is a pass, KK is ok and Waino is old. You mention Waino's 2021 contract based off of last years performance, 4.10 ERA, his previous 3 years before that he had ERA's of 4.29,4.28,4.36. What that means is the team the Cards are playing will score roughly that many runs in a 9 inn game, which is exactly how many innings they play in the MLB. Cards don't score more the 4 very often. Pretty simple.
  • Yes, if you assume that every pitcher the Cardinals have will stink, then the notion of a stout pitching staff weakens.
    Funny how that works.
    I see things a bit brighter than you do about the staff.
    Also: Ponce, Gomber, Oviedo, Reyes, Cabrera, Woodford, Liberatore and more.
    There's your depth.
    All are capable of being in the mix as starters or key relievers this season.
    Few teams have that kind of backup.
    So, for that reason, when the Cardinals are making it clear they are only going to have a little bit of flexibility to improve, I would rather see them use it to score runs, that's all.
  • Hey Ben, it's crazy to me that this blues team can be as good as it is without a clear top 25 player in the NHL since Petro left. Who do you think the most important player is for the season and will Robert Thomas finish the season in the top 5 in points for the blues?
    Most important player, by far, is Binnington. He said the bubble talk of his letdown is old news. OK, go prove it. If he does, Blues are legit champ contenders. Pretty simple.
    I'll go with yes on Thomas. He's going to serve up a ton of goals to Hoffman. That should be a good connection.
    BenFred, can you name one good trade Mo has made in the last 5 years? Here are the bad ones:
    Ozuna/MGonzalez/Grichuk/Piscotty (players are gone)/Voit/Arozarena (jury still out). You will likely say Goldy and I would not necessarily disagree, but it took 3 prospects and $130m to get him and you might have already had your answer in Voit. This is not to mention the bad contracts (Fowler, Carp, Leake, Cecil) and the almost bad (Price, Stanton, Heyward).

    Any other GM/PBO would be looking for work at this point. Instead, he gets a raise and is still arrogant and condescending. If it was not for player development, which a lot of employees should get credit for, the Cards would be in rough shape.
    I'd also add hiring Mike Shild to Mo's plus list. He's won NL manager of the year and received votes the year after that since his promotion.
    You are a big fan of Mo's, I can tell.
    A few thoughts.
    The Goldschmidt deal did not include $130 million. He signed an extension after he was traded. And yes, that was a good trade. I don't really know how anyone can argue that it wasn't. Luke Voit, and I'm a fan of his, was not going to almost singlehandedly fix an infield defense that was a big reason the Cardinals had become baseball's most error-prone team. The rush to rip Mo to the point that a trade for one of the National League's most solid two-way players is not only ignored but argued to be a negative is a very bizarre thing to me.
    Piscotty's mom was dying. The Cardinals did the right thing. And now that's supposed to be a negative? Come on. It's not like Cardinals fans would have been happy with his play if he had stayed. Same for Grichuk.
    You named a lot of decisions that have not worked. What about some of the good other than Goldschmidt?
    Mikolas from Japan. We will see if extension was good or bad. Kim from Korea. Looks great so far. Wainwright on a cheap deal for 2020. Worked out great. The trade for John Gant that keeps paying off.
    None of us know how deals with players who did not accept them would have played out, good or bad, so I don't factor those into the equation. (Maybe Stanton does not get hurt as often here? Stuff like that is unanswerable and pure guessing game.) 
    Point is, yeah, if you want to line up all of Mo's recent whiffs, ignore the things he has done right and explain away the things that can't be ignored -- like saying he has no hand in player development -- something he has prioritized and stressed at every turn -- then you can make a case he's not good at his job.
    But it's a warped case.
    He's had better stretches of time, for sure. No doubt about that. But sometimes some here make him out to be a disaster of a president of baseball operations. I can tell you he would have a job elsewhere pretty fast if he wanted one.
    Time to jet, folks. Have a good week. Same time and place next Tuesday.
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