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.

  • Mixed reviews. As expected.
  • If, like MLB Network proposed, it would only take Bader, Edman, Oviedo, and Rondon to acquire Lindor then make that trade happen yesterday.
    The problem is not the cost of getting Lindor for one season.
    The Cardinals could do that.
    The problem, for the Cardinals, is what it would take to keep him after that.
    They have shown reluctance to give the kind of deals Lindor will command.
    So, if you're not very confident you can keep him, you should not make that trade.
    Because after a 2021 season -- one that is still undefined at the moment -- you would be without Lindor and the guys you traded for to get him for one season.
  • If no Kolten, what are you thoughts on Jurickson Profar being signed and platooning between 2nd and left field. This allowing Edman to shift to 3rd at times, and bringing in Bader against lefties? This also allows Carlson to play everyday while manning every outfield spot at times. It’s time to take a page out of the Dodgers playbook and focus on match ups. It also allows people to rest.

    Secondly, it also seems somewhat poetic with Profar and his numerous comparisons to Travers when they were both top prospects. Profar seems to just now hitting his potential, and man I’d love to see him bust out in STL.
    You make a compelling case.
    P-D colleague Derrick Goold mentioned Profar in a recent article that examined potential upgrades if the Cardinals turn toward a platoon-type fix for their offense.
    He had back-to-back 20-homer seasons before 2020 and slugged .428 in the pandemic season. He's 27, so there's reason to think that power could still grow.
    Don't dismiss the idea of the Padres bringing back Profar. The front office there likes him.
    Why are we forever talking about Bader? Why did we forget about O'Neill? He's about as good in the field, and the power potential is there. He did win a gold glove. Bader can't anything that isn't a fastball.
    We talk about both, plenty.
    O'Neill did win a gold glove, but his production has now decreased three consecutive years.
    Check out O'Neill's on-base plus slugging percentage . . . 
    .803 OPS in 2018 (130 at-bats)
    .723 OPS in 2019 (141 at-bats)
    .621 OPS in 2020 (139 at-bats)
    Now check out Bader during that same time frame . . . 
    .756 OPS in 2018 (379 at-bats)
    .680 OPS in 2019 (347 at-bats)
    .779 OPS in 2020 (106 at-bats)
    Bader has been a more productive hitter, and he's the only one who has proven he can improve in the majors.

     
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    When do you expect the NHL to start? And does the NBA starting around Christmas influence this?
    The word is January 1 -- until the word changes. And it very well could. The lack of a concrete announcement and rollout of schedules means things are still rather fluid.
    Depending on how things wind up playing out with Waino and Yadi, do you see Jack Flaherty being a leader on the team despite his age? By stepping up and discussing social justice, he seems like a good man with principles and the ability to lead.
    I think there's a chance and a need for Flaherty to continue his growth as a leader whether Wainwright and Molina return or not. And I think he will continue to do that. He didn't pitch like he wanted to this past season, and a big part of leading is leading by example on the field, but Flaherty has already become a go-to resource for the younger generation of Cardinals pitchers. That's a great start. I think he learned a lot about off-the-field stuff in 2020 as well. When to speak up. How to speak up. How to deal with the ramifications of taking a stand. How to handle criticism at this level. All are important lessons. Flaherty will be better off for them.
    Do you see the cardinals re-signing Jose Martinez if the DH is a go for next year, or a guy like Mitch Moreland?
  • You are assuming the DH is back in the NL next season.
    No official word on that, yet but I'm assuming the same as you.
    As much as it pains me to say this, Jose Martinez does not appear to be a very good option. His bat was in decline when the Cardinals moved on and it continued to decline in 2020. He slashed .182/.265/.295 between his stints with the Rays and the Cubs. 
    Moreland would be more interesting. Downsides: He doesn't hit lefties very well and he tailed off pretty bad last season. It tells you something that the Padres bought out his option to save $2.5 million.
  • Ben,

    I feel it's a bit naïve to assume any organization doesn't look at their own division and make decisions based on how strong or weak it is. Especially the Cardinals, who's well known mantra of making it in and seeing what happens feels tailor made for that strategy. Unfortunately, teams like the Dodgers, Braves, and now possibly the Mets may build much stronger teams overall. I think we have seen this in the last few playoffs.
  • They're aware of what is happening around them, sure.
    But right now, they are more concerned about what is happening -- or isn't -- in their ballpark in 2021.
    They don't have a payroll set yet because they aren't sure what 2021 looks like.
    That's a bigger concern than what the division is doing, was my point.
    I read a sports article this morning in another online source that the headline said "Block Buster trade..."concerning a NBA transition. I recognized the name James Hardin who the article said the team hoped to keep. But the two players traded in this block buster that also included draft choices, I had never heard of. One player was even referred to as a veteran player and I had never heard the name. My question is why do I as an avid sports fan no longer pay much attention to NBA basketball? I was raised in Indiana so basketball is in my dna. I followed the Indiana Pacers back when they were in the old ABA then as it went to NBA. Lived in Chicago for a while and went to several Bulls games at the Stadium. But it has now been at least 10 or 15 years since i have watched more than a highlight of nba on a sportscast. I did not outgrow baseball, hockey or football. Is it the fact that in nba no one seems to get serious about the team aspect and only the last quarter is even mildly tense or is iit a multiplicity of reasons?






























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    I don't know.
    You tell me.
    The NBA's regular season is certainly easy to tune out for casual fans.
    Things don't really heat up until the playoffs.
    You can say the same about hockey.
    Ben,

    I understand the desire for people, including post dispatch scribes, to point to the 2019 NLCS and say the Cardinals ran into a team of destiny. I feel like this is used to excuse the performance by the offense as just an inevitability...Lets not forget the the world series went 7 games and the Astros actually put up a competitive effort. The Cardinals offense was historically inept and still has been towards the bottom of the league for several seasons.
    If you think the state of the Cardinals offense the past two seasons has been excused by the paper or its writers, I'm not sure what to tell you.
    A Google search for "Cardinals" and "offense" and "STLToday" will bring you countless examples of opinions, analysis and interviews about that very topic.
    We could not possibly cover it more than we have. There have been no excuses. There has been no forgetting.
    I hopped in late expecting a comment about how Dewitt should fire Mo and bring in Theo Epstein. Obviously I don’t think that would happen nor would any reasonable fan of sound mind. Theo can’t build a consistent winner without tanking and after the year or two of big winning the farm system would be depleted.
    Theo deserves credit for ending the Cubs' championship drought. He had a vision, and it worked. That said the calls of a dynasty were premature. Sustainability is not really Theo's thing. When the Cubs were rolling, the Cardinals operated with the belief the high tide would cease sooner than most expected. And, to the Cardinals credit, they were right.
  • Is there any serious thought to the pandemic's affect on MLB beyond the upcoming season? For example, do they feel fan attendance will be closer to normal in 2022 (granted the pandemic is gone or mostly). My impression is it'll take several years to truly get back to "normal" for attendance and fan experience. If that's the case it would be a slow climb for revenue for the Cardinals, which means 2022 wouldn't be the windfall many think it would be with the big contracts coming off the books.

    I hate to think about teams like Pittsburgh, Tampa, and some others who have problems even getting 20,000. This could be the big retrenchment of salaries and an ever widening gap of the haves and have nots, for both teams and players.
    I think the opposite will be the case. I think when we have a good grip on the virus, and games are open again, there will be a dash to get back out, to enjoy sports with family and friends, because we did not have it for some time. I think attendance could be in great shape for leagues -- if we have a good grip on the virus. If it's somewhere in the middle, perhaps a slow build. Hurry up, vaccine.
    Are you hearing anything about the college basketball season? In particular I am most interested in the MVC
    By now you've heard that the NCAA Tournament will be an all-Indianapolis event.
    They're bubbling up for the Big Dance.
    I like the forward thinking and I hope it works.
    MVC commissioner Doug Elgin was asked recently if March Madness will be canceled, and he said that decision would not be made until the last possible moment.
    One smart thing the MVC did was encourage its member schools to keep its non-conference games regional to minimize travel via planes and the virus-related risks that come with that.
    Fingers are crossed college hoops can have the most normal season possible.
    I saw the other day a rumor floated tying Realmuto to the Cardinals. Could be a simple matching of "If Yadi leaves, they need a catcher." This also goes against what the FO is saying about payroll will be lowered. Realmuto does check several boxes--Yadi replacement, very good defensively, pitch framing, offense, etc. What say you?
    I think that is very, very, very, very unlikely.
    I noticed Mikolas was left out of your rotation below. What's his 2021 status?
  • That was a mistake on my part.
    If he's good to go after the forearm setback, he's in there, until or unless he pitches his way out of it.
    I'll update that.
  • What’s the deal with Dewitt . He’s an old guy. He’s got more money than you could ever spend. You can’t take it with you last I checked. You can be be loved for being aggressive and having World Series titles. That u can take with you. Why all this money hoarding?
    You can take World Series titles with you? News to me.
    DeWitt is 79. His son, the current team president, is 52.
    There has been no suggestion the DeWitts are interested in moving on from running the Cardinals.
    DeWitt wants to win another championship, but he will be the first to tell you there is no perfect formula for doing that.
    The Yankees are aggressive. Their last championship is older than the Cardinals.
    DeWitt loves to win, and he also loves to win his way. He loves it when his model works, and it has enough for him to keep doing it.
    Could you make a case there could be more urgency baked in considering the last championship was won in 2011. Yes. Very much so.
    But no, the Cardinals are not going to wake up one day, and drastically change their philosophy because DeWitt is going to be 80.
    Not happening. 
    Ben - Hypothesis for you -- Many St. Louisans say good riddance to the NFL. Publicly and in conversations, we say "wouldn't want a team if they offered one." However, I propose that if it would be offered as part of a settlement in the lawsuit, many, many people would forgive quickly and flock to the new team. We can't help ourselves.
    I get it. I often hear from folks who say the opposite. Give STL a team, not money from the settlement. I view it differently, but that's OK. I think it's wishful thinking to assume a team could be included in a potential settlement offer. I'll believe that when I see it.
    Payroll, uncertainty of signing, trading of prospects, anticipated contract length, blocking of prospects, the list is endless for all the reasons the Cardinals don't go after superstars. But the formula is not changing, so while the Cards were once ahead of the curve in analytics, they are light years behind in accepting the cost of acquiring talent. Unless they break the AAV barrier into a new stratosphere, how will this team ever get a great hitter again?
    The same way they got their most recent hitter who will one day be in the Hall of Fame.
    Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round.
    Or the same way they got their best hitter currently on the team.
    Paul Goldschmidt was traded for with one year left on his deal and extended shortly after because he liked the Cardinals and the Cardinals liked him.
    Or hit a jackpot on a bargain buy. Or have a big breakthrough from a current player who has been close but not quite there yet. 
    There are ways, but few are as obvious -- and expensive -- as winning the bidding race for an in-his-prime free agent hitter.
    How about DeJong to 3B, Sign DD Gregarious for SS, and Schoop for second. Does that lengthen the lineup enough to roll with what we have in the OF?
    Interesting.
    Schoop could make sense for the Cardinals. He would significantly boost the power at second base and let Edman play third more often, which could be a very real need considering how the Cardinals decide to handle the Matt Carpenter situation.
    I'm cold on the Gregorius idea. DeJong is a better defensive shortstop, and Gregorious has been just a league-average hitter since the start of the 2019 season. I don't think he's guaranteed to be a 20-homer guy anymore like he once was.
    Ben, I didn't know you were a county music buff. Have you ever checked out any of the artists from Texas? Cody Johnson, Randall King and Josh Ward are some personal faves of mine.
    I dabble. Americana/country crossover stuff mostly. I'll check these guys out. Thanks. Have been listening to a lot of Ryan Bingham lately. Also digging Colter Wall.
  • I really like Michael Brantley and Justin Turner as a fit for the Cards on short term deals. They provide an offensive upgrade that is desperately needed, yet serve as short term options while the roster completely restructures in a few years. We dont block any young players, but maintain a high level of competitiveness. I dont see LA letting Turner walk, but it cant help but like the fit for the Cardinals, especially if they bring back Yadi and Wanio.
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