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.

    Do you see last night's game as more of a "Tip your cap" situation or more of a "That's exactly who this team is" situation?
    Wheeler was nasty. That doesn't totally absolve the offense. It's under scrutiny for fair reason, and will continue to be. Cardinals are a bottom-five National League team in OPS (.679) through 22 games despite the Nolan Arenado addition. That can't be ignored.
    Hey Ben. Hope no one has asked about this yet. The exit of Bridich in Colorado is really interesting to me. Over the weekend one of the GMs on MLB Radio was asked if they could make one phone call to help a team, who do they call. He said he calls Theo and gets him to come to Colorado as PBO, at whatever price is required. I doubt that happens. But what I do wonder is about the possibility of Montfort reaching out to Mo. The Rockies connections is there. The track record is there. And really, Theo has the WS but Mo has built a constant contender. Colorado may actually value that more. I just wondered what your thoughts might be on the possibility of Mo going west after the season. It would be kind of funny to see all of the fans who hate him seethe as builds a winner out there.
  • Yeah, how about that whole thing?
    It's pretty wild that Rockies owner Monfort watched his GM (Bridich) and under-long-term-contract superstar (Arenado) get into a public feud and sided with the totally replaceable GM instead of the generational talent and future Hall of Fame third baseman -- ESPECIALLY WHEN HE LACKED THE CONVINCTION IN THE GM TO BACK HIM THROUGH THE OBVIOUSLY INCOMING BACKLASH! 
    In an alternate universe, Monfort sides with Arenado and ships out Bridich, makes Arenado happy and probably winds up hiring a better GM anyway, perhaps one who can get Trevor Story to agree to an extension as well.
    Just brutal, and while Bridich is the punching back it's on Monfort as much as anyone. So, to answer your question, why would Mozeliak want to go work for the Rockies? They should want him, but I don't see how they could or would get him. He's being paid handsomely here. He has great job security under DeWitt Jr. He's not itching to go back home, because St. Louis has become his home. Arenado wanted to leave the Rockies for the Cardinals. It's better to be the president of baseball operations of the Cardinals.
    I was referring to their acquiring just one bat, though they need more. I can't imagine a circumstance that they fill all the holes in their lineup this season. And since DeJong isn't going anywhere given his sold glove play at that premium position, if you could acquire someone who is more of an OBP table-setter, or 5 spot guy behind Arenado, which would you acquire?
    A left-handed hitter who is consistently on base and cannot be blacked out by shifts would be good addition. There's a clear need.
    Is it possible that the Cardinals were penny-wise and pound-foolish with Kolten Wong? What I mean is that let's assume Wong would have agreed to the same deal he got in Milwaukee, $9 million AAV. This keeps a solid OBP in the lineup and puts Edman in the OF, all of which lengthens the lineup. As it stands now, I think it's going to take more than $9 million for a quality OF bat that actually helps because this is an ongoing problem--the solution isn't in the Cardinals' system, at least not soon. Maybe this is unfair, and if they had an idea that they would have been able to cut such a great deal to land Arenado, one that leaves them virtually free of his salary obligation this season, they might have retained Wong. I don't know, which is why I ask you, oh sage one.
    I wouldn't assume Wong would have taken the pay cut -- in terms of annual salary -- that he took from the Cardinals from the Brewers.
    Taking less money per season from a new team is different than taking less money per season from the team that just declined to pick up your contract option.
    There's a sense of pride involved.
    But it doesn't matter much for this argument, because the Cardinals pretty clearly turned the page on Wong when they declined that option. They were smart to bet on Tommy Edman's glove at second base and bat at leadoff, clearly, but if they were thinking they were going to get the same offense from Carpenter that they might have gotten from Wong, they appeared to have missed the mark. Wong is 10-for-17 since returning from his oblique injury that happened when the Brewers faced the Cardinals.
    Bringing Wong back to play second, starting Edman in the outfield and decreasing the outfield tryout to one spot instead of two would have made this a better team through April. That much is certain now. We'll see how it plays out from here. I still think the Cardinals might have missed out on the best of Wong, after going through some growing pains with him. The Brewers are certainly benefitting from his presence when he's been at second and in the lineup, where he's leading off with a .955 OPS.
    I was wondering what you think of the shift? I remember when my sisters played softball and they used it and that’s about what I think of it it’s fine for girls softball but terrible in the major leagues I don’t think it should be allowed but that’s just my opinion. I think it’s ruining watching baseball for me but once again just my opinion
    I respectfully disagree.
    Shifts have been going on in baseball for years.
    The have become more prevalent and extreme lately not just because of the defensive analytics available and the technology that generates them rapidly, but because a generation of hitters simply stopped adjusting. There are power hitters whose best bit is to hit over the shift because the damage done over the top of it justifies the times they hit into it. There are a lot of other hitters, and Matt Carpenter is one, who try this approach but don't hit enough home runs to justify it. Instead of changing they just keep doing it. And complaints about the shift grow instead of complaints about hitters not changing. "It's hard to hit," is not an excuse. That's the reason most who play baseball don't make the majors. I'm sorry, and maybe it's cruel, but I don't weep for players who are being pushed out of the majors because the game has evolved and they either can't or won't. That's baseball. I don't want to see shifts limited or banned. I want to see hitters fight back. That's how baseball is supposed to work.
    Where do you stand on the bigger vs smaller strike zone debate Goold and Wheeler had?
    If you really want to make fans, players and umpires all mad together at the same time, change the strike zone and ask human umpires who have called it one way for years to suddenly call it a different way. No thanks. If there's a time to tweak it, it would be when installing robot umpires, and not before. But I don't like the robot umpire idea. What I wish would happen, more than anything, would be that the umpires get serious about getting their worst offenders out from behind the plate. They do too much to protect the bad, and it winds up making all of them look bad. Grading is great and all, but to continue to see the same umpires blow call after call, that's a problem for the game. There should be stricter and quicker punishments for repeat offenders. Playing at the major league level is hard. Umpiring at the major league level is hard. Players who make too many mistakes are not there long. It's not always the same for umpires, and that should be changed.
    I want to couch what I'm about to ask by saying I do not expect Nolan Gorman to measure up to Cody Bellinger. That being said, Bellinger is this interesting premier power hitter who features position versatility between the IF and OF. Could that kind of combination of everyday offensive power production and position versatility between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and the OF corners (and eventually DH) be how he's most optimized for the Arenado era Cardinals, vs becoming an exclusive 2B?
    Gorman has expressed a desire to stay on the infield, but I imagine he would sell the peanuts and run the scoreboard if it got him a spot in the majors. If he can play third and second, I think he could figure out how to handle himself in a corner outfield spot, too.
    If Paul DeJong continues downward this season, could that force the Cardinals to become players in a loaded SS market this offseason?
    That's the Trevor Story theory. Seems there's a decent chance he's traded before the end of the season and now it won't be Bridich making that deal. The Cardinals would love DeJong to quiet this kind of speculation, and it's hard for me to imagine the Cardinals having Goldschmidt, Arenado and a superstar shortstop on their payroll all at once. Nolan Gorman could factor in, as Tommy Edman can play shortstop. Delvin Perez is hoping to be in the conversation soon. I'll pump the brakes for now, but full disclosure I didn't think the Cardinals would figure out a way to get Arenado, either.
    Mr Ben... I sense you and Mo are not the best of buddies... What's the beef, big guy? Your comment below about Mo 'pulling away from supporting MC.' I don't think he said that at all. He was speaking truth about a player who's hitting .075. And Mike Shildt should say the same... We need to play our best options, at a certain point, even if the guy on the bench makes 20 million. As Vermeil would say "Put on your big boy pants. This is the big leagues." Matt knows he needs to be better, or he wont' play? Why skirt the issue? Whether it's Mo or Shildt, or whomever...
    Funny, because the chat usually thinks all I do is carry water for him.
    I had no problem with what he said.
    I was just pointing out what he failed to mention -- that his front office, not Shildt, gave Carpenter the regrettable extension.
    And it also showed how quick Mozeliak is to defend Jeff Albert these days, because he totally absolved the hitting staff from being part of the problem.
    BenFred this winter I was very much in the “ambivalent “ camp in regards to bringing back Waino & Yadi. I have long admired their contributions both on and off the field but also realizing that Father Time is undefeated. I could not have been more WRONG! Not that I am an expert (certainly not) but with my eye test Adam has turned into a master of his craft and a much better pitcher than 4 or 5 years ago. Yadi is simply a medical marvel. How he is able to continue at his pace with all the stress that has to be on his knees, hips, back and hamstrings is beyond me. I hope he is able to walk when he’s 50. But I will never doubt either again. Thanks for the chance to comment.
    I'm not right about everything -- as you all know better than most -- but bringing back Wainwright and Molina for 2021 was a move that made the team both more fun to watch, and made the team better. Those are the best kinds of moves. Can you imagine what it would be like watching one or both of these guys do what they are doing here this season for another team? It would be truly tragic. They are special. No other way to say it. And it's good for all involved that they're doing it here. They should be doing it here until they decide to ride off into the sunset, probably together.
    Good call by SaintGiff. I have been wondering the same thing. That would be going home for Mo. It might be too irresistible to pass up.
  • I don't think he would have any problem passing it up.
  • Re: Carpenter, I know they owe them a lot of money but that is a sunk cost. It's like saying "I paid $2,000 for this slick TV but it's broken BUT I'm going to keep trying to watch Netflix on it." It's broken, why continue this fruitless exercise?
    Some were calling Wainwright a sunk cost years ago.
    And no, that's not me predicting a Wainwright-like resurgence for Carpenter.
    Point is, it's always easier to write off a player when you're not the one paying his contract, a contract that was handed over in part because of how much you believe in the player. A lot of you guys have followed the Cardinals for a very long time to be ignoring the fact we're talking about a lifelong Cardinal here. Snort at that if you like, but these guys are handled differently by the team. Clearly. They really want Carpenter to have some sort of a role, even if it's a small one.
    But if he can't grab one, something will have to be done. The Cardinals don't seem all that interested in fielding their best possible bench at the moment, and it's not just a Carpenter conversation, either.
    Edmundo Sosa, for example, has five at-bats and one start. Is there not a better bat somewhere in the organization that could spend some time at shortstop if needed? What happened to Jose Rondon?
    Did you know Cardinals pitch hitters currently have the National League's lowest OPS among pitch hitters? They're slashing .118/.279/.118. That's an NL-low OPS of .397. The other night I was watching the Dodgers-Padres game and the Dodgers broadcast was talking about how unreliable the pinch hitters have been for the defending champs. The OPS of Dodgers' pinch hitters is .484.
     
    Ponce has not thrown a pitch since April 19th. What is next for him?
    He's in the dreaded pitch-in-a-blowout-role and I'm not sure there's a way out of it for him unless someone gets hurt and an opportunity opens up. Could make a nice trade chip for a team in need of starting pitching help.
    Greetings from Colorado. Do you think Rockies owner Monfort had a DL with Birdich? I think he had deal you trade Areando and step down for this amount of cash settlement. They both can't be that stupid. Right?
    I hope the money was good for Bridich if so, because no fan base would want to see him leading their club's front office.
    I respectfully disagree with you saying the shift has been going on for years in MLB. Yeah, but not nearly, nearly being used as heavily as it is now. I've been watching MLB since 1969 and maybe a couple or three players shifts were used, but it's being deployed against almost every hitter these days. It has hurt the game. If you don't think it should be outlawed, fine. But it has hurt the game. It makes the product look like something we as kids used to do in the backyard when we didn't have enough for nine-on-nine.
    It's only "hurting" the game because so many hitters have become completely swallowed up by it. In football, if a defense stacks the box to stop the run, and your team doesn't pass over the top, you don't get to say stacking the box ruined the game. You fire your offensive coordinator for not calling a pass play, or go get a quarterback with an arm. Too many hitters have become one dimensional, and can't (or won't) react to the defenses in front of them. The shift works, so ban the shift, completely ignores the role hitters have in helping the shift work or negating it.
  • How about pushing fences back 10 feet again to create more activity on bases? Homers are cool, but lots of action around bases is the best. Wainwright looking fantastic last coupe games!
    The cheaper way to do that is to change the ball, which MLB did this offseason. It's supposed to be deadened a bit. We'll see how the results are at the end of the month, when we can compare them to Aprils of the past.
    I love how everyone just assumes Mo would want to go back to his "home". I grew up in St. Louis but moved to Kansas City for school in the mid-1990s and have married, had kids, and a great career in KC. I've been recruited to potential positions in St. Louis over the years -- some of which paid more -- but I turned them down. St. Louis isn't "home" anymore. Kansas City is my home... and it'd take a helluva lot more than a lateral move (which would be what Mo would be doing if he went to CO) to entice me to uproot the life I have.
    Eat some Gates for me :)
    Just one thing to add.
    Going o the Rockies would not be a lateral move for Mozeliak.
    The Rockies have been to one World Series, where they got swept.
    The Cardinals have the most World Series championships of any NL team.
    The Cardinals have had 13 consecutive winning seasons. During that span the Rockies have had four.
    Mozeliak's not making a small salary here in St. Louis, either. 
    Going into yesterday's games, MLB had almost 1,000 more K's than hits for the season. It makes for really boring baseball for most casual fans. Something has to give. I think an expanded strike zone would help as it would encourage more contact. (Put me in the DG camp.) But would lowering the mound 3-4 inches help too? I'm a baseball fan thru and thru so I'll watch...but I know many of my friends who are more casual fans just don't watch anymore. "Nothing happens except strikeouts and homers."
    I rarely hear complaints about home runs. Strikeouts, sure. The Atlantic League is moving the mound back a foot in this season's second half to give hitters more time to adjust. That will be a fascinating experiment. With so much velocity, maybe that's the answer? But did baseball get more popular since Bob Gibson forced baseball to lower the mound? Don't think so. This notion that baseball is going to make one change that grabs people who don't love baseball is not going to come up with an answer. What baseball should be just as afraid of is driving off the people who do care. I hear from people who can't watch games and want to because of streaming service disagreements. That's a bigger problem for the health of baseball than the mound placement, I think.
    BenFred the first time facing the Cardinals this year Joe Ross of the Nats did his Dwight Gooden imitation but was lit up in subsequent contest. First time facing Eflin he looked every bit as good as Wheeler did last night. Will the Cardinals have a better game plan against him this time around? Time for Jeff Albert to shine maybe??
    Should be a good test. Eflin is better than Ross. Each one of his starts has gone at least six innings. He's only allowed four earned runs in one once, and fewer than three in all of the others. Austin Dean has some decent numbers against him. Four-for-nine with a homer. Maybe he gets a start? 
    Just want to second Steve's idea of moving the fences back. Think of all the extra triples!
    I think of all the teams whining about having to alter their stadiums, and don't see that being something the owners sign up for. Remember, it's the owners Manfred works for.
    Almost another story book ending w the way Areanado hit that last ball. He looked like he thought he got it. I guess he forgot he's not hitting in Colorado anymore? Or are the baseball this year not as juiced as previous years?
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