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 at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

  • I think a bigger problem is that people seem to be convincing themselves a team that hits home runs doesn't do other smart things, like situational hitting at the right times. The top-five teams in homers this season all averaged about .250 or better as a team. The Cardinals averaged .234 while trailing all other teams in home runs (51). Lacking in homers is not an indication of well-rounded hitting. It's an indication of the opposite.
    Will Ozuna resign with the Braves?
    Sounds like his manager hopes so. He's well-positioned -- outside of the pandemic -- because he can no longer be tied to the draft pick through the qualifying offer. I imagine he will go where the money is, considering he won his one-season bet on himself.
    I appreciate you doing these chats. You have, over the last several years, become a better and better read. I used to love Bernie, even though I didn't always agree or like the things he said, and you have replaced him as my favorite read on the Stl-PD Sports page. Great job.
    Thanks, Tommy. We've got a great team and I'm honored to be a small part of it. Bernie has always been great to me, and he's great at what he does. Hope to be reading and listening to him again soon when we find out what's next for him after 101. Thanks.
    Hi Ben. Very pumped about Coach Drink and his team. Most improved players in my opinion are Jalen Knox on offense and Tre Williams or Trajon Jeffcoat on D. Who are your surprises? Thanks
    The biggest surprise to me is Connor Bazelak. I didn't know much about him. He ran a very conservative offense in high school, then got hurt in his limited action last season. After a knee injury, it's hard to be sure. Well, now we know. He's mature for a young player, poised and precise. He's not afraid to take the yards that are there on the ground, and he has a stronger and more accurate arm than I realized. MIzzou having a better QB than most realized is the surprise of the season so far to me.
    Ben: I'm all-in on Coach Eli and QB Connor. I was so impressed by the game plan against Kentucky, and the execution. I thought Bazelak showed remarkable maturity in his restraint and throwing underneath the coverage virtually all game. His accuracy continues to impress. A lot of the future will depend on ED's being able to find a legit replacement for Roundtree, but I see the potential for the Tigers being a top-15, even top-10 team in two years. They have an outstanding QB. They have a coach whose has shown already his ability to get his team to execute the basics and to execute different game plans, and it seems like he is a good recruiter. The defense will, in many ways, be the determiner, but I have hope. I really feel like the school backed its way into the right coach.
    Seems like it.
    Sterk wants the program to be a top-25 team annually.
    Early indications suggest Drinkwitz can make that happen.
    You're crazy no one gets $12.5 million with a 675 OPS. IDC about his defense. Yolmer Sanchez got the AL 2b GG in 2019 and had to sign a minor league contract. Wong's lucky to make another roster if he walks.
    Well, if you don't care about a Gold Glove winner's defense, then you are probably not going to understand the value of said player.
    Since 2017, Wong's OPS is .751, for what it's worth.
    That's eighth among MLB second baseman who have 1,300-plus at-bats.
    Just some perspective that gives you a better sense of the hitter he is compared than isolating a single, shortened 2020 season.
    Yes, the Cardinals had a glut of right-handed hitting outfielders. But they never gave Arozarena a real chance. Tampa Bay did and is now reaping the rewards.
    You seem to be suggesting I'm saying it was smart to trade Arozarena.
    I'm not.
    I'm pointing out that the Cardinals had reason to move some RH-hitting outfielders.
    The evidence since then suggests they prioritized the wrong ones.
    Here is my issue with the team continuing forward with Bader, he will be 27 in June. He's not a kid anymore. His skillset is fairly defined by now, he is who he's going to be. He's a great fielder who will give you moments every once in a while at the plate. So Bader only makes sense as the everyday CF if the plan is to make his contributions a "throw in" and not in anyway counted on to churn the offense.
  • I agree. Bader is fine starting in center field if the offense he can't be counted on for can be supplied elsewhere. That's a big if with the current roster.
    What’s up with the upcoming basketball season? I still haven’t seen a Men’s or Women’s SLU schedule on line. Any idea what the story is? How will the NCAA cope with COVID?
    The latest news was not good.
    This week ESPN, citing COVID concerns, canceled plans to host eight non-conference men's college basketball events in Florida.
    My fear -- and growing expectation -- is that we wind up with an all-conference college basketball season, for the same reasons we are watching all-conference college football season.
    Beneath the umbrella of the conference, teams can more easily adjust to scheduling changes, be sure all parties are following the same testing protocols, etc. 
    Beyond that, here's why I'm worried -- beyond the obvious COVID concerns. If college basketball winds up with the same rules as college football -- for example one that says a Big Ten football player who tests positive is out for at least 20 days -- then a team could be sidelined in a major way fast. A college basketball team might live in a grand total of 3-5 houses. Most are roommates. They are the definition of close contact, and their sport is played beneath a roof indoors. There are challenges many are overlooking simply because it's not a tackle sport.
    Ben, The team has been underachieving as far as OF production for 3+ seasons. Fact. But there really is some revisionist history as to why. Ozuna, injuries, and some underproduction. Fowler injuries and underproduction. Neither were productive at the same time however both did produce. Cards got in a bad spot when they counted on 2 players to produce at the same time that neither had a track record of doing so. DC will get a long ride. Find a replacement for Dex one season early and asking the prospects to mix and match until someone takes the job will fix this little issue. That and overpay on stars not average or near average.
    There are two questions and one realization.
    Question one: Why are players hitting better elsewhere than they did here?
    Question two: How have the Cardinals seem to have mis-projected some of their prospects?
    Realization: This team is not that far off from being very good. It pitches well and defends well. It does not need a juggernaut offense. It needs a decent offense. With a decent offense, much of the noise about former Cardinals finding success elsewhere will fade.
    I don't know why I always take the Wong bait but I just bit it hook line and sinker. Please explain to me why Jose Iglesias and Yolmer Sanchez have a hard time even making a roster with their elite defense? Put their batting numbers against Wongs because Wong doesn't hit $10 million dollars better than they do and Wong's OPS is drifting down not up.
    His OPS was down in 2020, sure. It was up, way up, in 2019. That's only "drifting down" if you want to argue it that way. Another way would be that Wong was at his career best offensively in the last normal season he played.
    Good afternoon Ben.. Thanks for the chats!! I had asked this in another chat and it never got answered.. But I am curious if you think todays baseball player truly has enough time to learn the game, and adapt to the speed of the game... I think some players no matter how much time you give them-- Bader, O'Neill, they are 25, 26 years old, and how are they going to learn to hit the curveball away (or lay off it) at this juncture of their careers? Probably won't.. But there are players, it seems that they just never get the chance to 'iron out the wrinkles' in their game by being given extended time to just … Play. I think of 2 examples-- Andy Van Slyke, Ozzie Smith.... They were given a 'long' leash in terms of learning how to play a full MLB game (Ozzie had the defense, learned to hit, as did Van Slyke). But it took them a few years to get there.. Are these scenarios a thing of the past? And are players falling thru the cracks due to the limited time they get to prove themselves at the MLB level? Thanks!!
    I think we will see fewer examples of late-blooming MLB players as the minor leagues continue to contract and those opportunities dry up. Teams are turning to younger players sooner, and there are fewer footholds for late-bloomers to hold onto while they wait for their break. Also, if you hang around long enough, you become more expensive, which makes you more replaceable in the eyes of the modern game.
    Ben, Was the a single time that we missed seeing a new pitcher brought in to each batter? Do you think that it could have a positive effect on relivers health?
  • I missed the strategy of it, sure. And I still don't know what the benefit of the three-batter rule is. The average length of game for a nine-inning regulation game increased this season. It didn't decrease. The change to some degree makes it harder for certain pitchers to hold onto a job. The one-hitter pitcher is now gone for good, and I liked that colorful role.
  • Gotta run, folks. Have a great week.
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