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.

    Greetings, chatters. Hope everyone is hanging in there. I'm anchored in for the next few hours or so. Let's roll.
    I know the Cards will make no significant moves to improve the team this year and I can understand that with this year's pandemic situation. However, with Carps and Fowler's salaries coming off the books )and if Wain comes back it would probably be for only one year) do you think its feasible that they would actually make a move in 2022 or will they have to wait to 2023 to use some of the revenue from 2022 when fans come back.
    It shouldn't have to be one, or the other. Significant does not have to equal expensive, not if the Cardinals can make the right calls during this offseason. There are so, so, so many offensive additions out there at all price ranges that could help lift this team's lineup toward a league-average amount of offense. Bargains abound. Short term ones, too. It's clear the Cardinals are eyeing 2022 as a chance to get some bad money off the books and usher in a new era that they hope is fueled by some young talent that is nearing the majors, and they should have much more financial freedom than to supplement that talent from the outside. But giving the Cardinals a free pass on not finding some ways to improve this offense when they say they want 2021 to matter is  lowering the standard too much, to me. The Cardinals insist that they're trying to contend annually. This offense, after two seasons of under-performance, needs to be improved somehow, some way.
    Hi, Ben. Hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season. When I wrote in last week citing the need for Coach Drinkwitz to upgrade the quality of Mizzou's two- and three-star recruits, especially on the offensive and defensive lines, you said he was, pointing to a handful of four-star recruits. Well, the sad performance by both Missouri lines in the Georgia fiasco further illustrates the glaring lack of talent on those two units. None of those four-star recruits is an offensive lineman. And, a handful of four-star players isn't going to cut it against teams that routinely get such players. Drinkwitz said the problem is "just bodies. Just depth." No, it's quality bodies and quality depth. Even if Mizzou had had everyone healthy, it would not have beaten Georgia. People can get excited all they want about beating LSU in a down year and rallying in the final minute against a porous Arkansas defense. But, fact is, Drinkwitz and DC Walters should be embarrassed by the 97 points the Missouri defense allowed the last two games. A 5-4 record looks a lot better when you ignore the fact that three of those defeats were blowouts and two of the wins came on last plays. Thanks for the chat, and the wonderful coverage you and your colleagues provide.
    I was pointing to the first full recruiting cycle Drinkwitz had a chance to sink his teeth into producing what is now considered to be the No. 20 class in the nation, per Rivals. That could change some by the time it's complete, but he has a good chance of landing Mizzou's first top-25 class in the Rivals rankings since 2010. Those 2010 recruits included James Franklin, Kony Ealy, Marcus Lucas and others who developed into players who helped Mizzou reach its high-water mark with back-to-back SEC East championships. So, I guess what I'm saying is, we agree. The talent needs to be upgraded if Mizzou is going to get back in contention for SEC championships. But I'm not sure how you could not be impressed by what Drinkwitz has been doing in recruiting. That's the disconnect we're having I think. Mizzou should be a six win team before its bowl game. I thought the Tigers might win three, tops. So, yes, I am impressed with season one of Drinkwitz. And while no Mizzou coach is ever going to out-recruit Georgia, I do think Drinkwitz is going to be able to get some guys who could play at Georgia. You have to have some of those guys to beat the Bulldogs. Last Saturday was a reminder.
    Ben,

    What would your articles look like if the Cardinals go into next season not having upgraded the offense?
    They would be asking why fans should support a team that let its strength (defense) get worse while ignoring its weakness (offense) again. They would be asking why the Cardinals put such an emphasis on getting fans back in the stands to get their preferred business model back up and running, yet show a disinterest in building an offense -- even when so many options abound at affordable prices -- that makes people want to come to games. I think those are fair points, and I've raised them. I asked Mozeliak about that last one, and he said it was a passive aggressive way of saying they need to improve the offense. It wasn't meant to be passive aggressive. It was meant to say they need to improve the offense. They know that. They just need to do it.
    Moe’s bad trades and signings have become a liability for the organization both financially and PR wise. Why do they continue to stick with him? Joe Buck called him out on national TV Saying what many of us are thinking!
    His actions justify riding out on a rail like The movie, oh brother where art thou
    In the eyes of Bill DeWitt Jr., Mo has done much more good than bad.
    It's DeWitt Mo has to keep satisfied, not Joe Buck.
    Hi Ben - thanks as always for these chats! I can't remember being as excited about a Mizzou weekend as I was this past one and even the Georgia beatdown can't temper the excitement after that huge Braggin Rights win. I give kudos to Coach Drink for owning the loss and highlighting what needs to be improved (recruiting] going forward. If the Tigers can beat Miss State and then win their bowl game, do you think we may get a chance to see them ranked again? Still dreaming of the chance to see both bball and football ranked together
    I do think the Tigers would be ranked if they beat Mississippi State and win their bowl game.
    That would become the first time they have finished the season ranked since they ended it No. 14 in 2014. Odom's teams grabbed AP rankings twice -- No. 22 and No. 24 -- but never appeared in the season-ending polls.
    Been reading that the Cards have been linked to JT Realmuto. Have you heard any buzz about this? No way Cards would sign him when they won't even go after anyone else. (or would they?)
    That would be something. On top of their priority being bringing back Yadier Molina, I would add the Cardinals' history of  the Cardinals not winning the race for a top free agent as another reason to file that one in the hard-to-believe file. Another reason: The Cardinals have been pretty candid about wanting to spend less, not more, in 2021. They usually don't say one thing then do the other when it comes to that kind of warning.
    BenFred, the Cards stayed off Dahl and Renfroe. Does that mean they are in play for players on the next tier—Rosario, Pederson, Schwarber—or does it just mean they think they can get a better value player at any price point?
    I think what it probably means is that they're more interested in a true DH type -- and hoping that they get news on that front soon.
    A true DH would allow them to continue to sort through their existing in-house outfield options before finally making some hard decisions on that group for 2022.
    Also: With "patience" being the unofficial slogan of the Cardinals' offseason, the sense seems to be they're more interested in finding fits that are available late and perhaps cheaper than going out and grabbing what they want now.
    Fun, I know.
    How bad will the Cards be in 2021? If they play 162...a record of 75-87 seem about right
    I'd like to see if they do anything for the lineup before weighing in on that.
    The timing doesn't matter as long as the moves are made before the season begins.
    You don't get extra points, or in this case runs, by adding in early December compared to the week before spring training.
    Hitters are not like pitchers. They're not ruined for the season if they don't have their normal spring routines.
    Also: I would not bank on 162 games. Take the under there. I think it'll be something around 100.
  • What Cardinals in the minor leagues do you think they can call up in the next two to three years since they will not spend on any free agents?
    Dylan Carlson, still the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Cardinals' system, should be an every-day outfield starter this season.
    I think Justin Williams will get some more playing time if is not an outfielder added from the outside; I've got some questions about his long swing, but he does have a loud bat.
    Johan Oviedo showed flashes of why the team is high on him and he's going to be a bigger name moving forward. Kodi Whitley is another pitcher who has gotten a taste of the majors and will be used more moving forward.
    Third baseman Nolan Gorman should be ready by 2022, the team hopes.
    Matthew Liberatore, the organization's top pitching prospect, could debut in 2021.
    Other names to know for the near future include: catcher Ivan Herrera, pitcher Zack Thompson, third baseman (and maybe corner outfielder?) Elehuris Montero.
    I would normally mention catcher Andrew Knizner but I'm not sure what to think about his situation anymore. Asked recently if Knizner would be the answer if Molina departs, Mozeliak suggested the Cardinals would look for outside catching help if Molina departs. To me, that's bad news for Knizner. He would probably be starting for some other major league teams. I'm starting to think it's best if the Cardinals maximize Knizner's value (to them) in a trade and turn their timeline toward the Molina replacement becoming Herrera. Especially if Molina is back on a short-term deal. Knizner is fast approaching the Carson Kelly ceiling with the Cards.
    How would you assess the Cards' decision down the stretch of 2020 giving Andrew Miller enough innings to vest his contract for 2021? Sounds like a dire blunder to me. Maybe, just maybe, we could have kept Wong. Only maybe.
    I don't think it was much of a decision. It would have been a blatant move to worsen the chances of a playoff team by undercutting a veteran leader to make things easier in the future. That's a rather slippery slope. Wong was a decision made after the season for the upcoming season. Letting Miller pitch was a decision made during a season for the season. There are differences there. Also: If you're going to sandbag a player for cost purposes, it's probably best to not do it to a veteran and key players' union leader like Miller, who has as much pull as any player around.
    Read your article on coach K and coach oats and I appreciated what you had to say. I’m a Duke fan but I try to remain as unbiased as possible because I know coach K has a long history of not being perfect. And I agree with your most important point that coach K could do more to influence change for the players, although he has been on record saying that players should be compensated for their name, likeness, and image.

    But the comments that I assume sparked the article were from coach oats and that’s what I want to focus on for now. He asked if coach K would be pushing to delay the season if his team hadn’t lost those two non conference games at home. And he very well may not have. I don’t agree with his decision to cancel their non conference games and wait for conference play. But he also said in November, when cases were on the rise again and before his team ever played a game, that the NCAA should consider pushing the season back a couple of months. Not cancel the season because he has said canceling the tournament would be bad for college basketball, but just push it back. I think to look at the timing of his comments now and not consider that he has maintained this stance since before the season started is unfair.

    Sorry for the long post. I hope this finds a way into this chat for others to at least consider but if not I hope you might read it afterwards. Thanks.
    Well said. And yes, Coach K was one of the coaches who wondered publicly if the season should be pushed back. He didn't suddenly start talking about it before the losses. I do think he would have answered that question a lot differently if Duke was undefeated. I didn't bring it up in the column, but Coach K has a trend of, shall we say, not being quite as invested in his teams when he knows their ceilings are limited. He checked out early of the 1994-95 season with back problems. The team was in the midst of its worst losing streak in years and it became the last Duke team to miss the NCAA tournament. There's a history here.
    Hey Ben. Rank in order of most likely...

    Mizzou bball finishes season as a top 10

    Mizzou and Slu bball face each other

    Arenado plays for Cardinals in 2021

    Full crowd on opening day at Busch
    From most likely to least . . . 
    Mizzou and SLU basketball face one another . . . in the NCAA Tournament
    (Massive gap in likelihood inserted here.)
    Tigers finish top-10
    Arenado plays for Cards in 2021
    Full crowd on opening day at Busch
  • Good morning I read the Carlos was pitching in winter ball how has he done so far thanks
  • He doesn't make his first start until Friday
    BenFred, great game last night Ravens vs Browns. You have to admit that despite its missteps and greed, the NFL puts out a good product.
    I saw the video of Lamar Jackson doing the, uh, emergency trip to the locker room on Twitter.
    That's all I watched.
    I know you all think I'm kidding when I say this.
    I promise I'm not.
    Greetings,Ben.I would like to see the Cardinals upgrade their outfield with either Brantley or Bradley,Jr. I think a 2 year deal would do it.And,to upgrade the infield I would go with LaStella,Profar or Hernendez,perhaps on 1 year deals.What do you think about these options? Thanks for having these chats.
    The players you mentioned have a say in things, too. Bradley Jr. would not be much help in the power department, which is where the Cardinals need an upgrade. Brantley would be, but not sure the Cardinals are going to spend what it would take to get him. I like La Stella as a realistic option to help boost the power some. He is not The Answer, but he could be part of an answer.
    Will Missouri football bounce back this week and beat Mississippi State in your opinion?
    Yep. Bulldogs' only win since their season-opening defeat of LSU was a seven-point defeat of lowly Vanderbilt. Mississippi State is having the season I thought Missouri might. Tigers should win Saturday.
  • Is Carlson the starting center fielder on opening day?
  • With Edman at second, Goldy will have to cheat a few steps farther from the bag, leaving the line open for more extra base hits. Watch.
    Well yeah, no one is as good at second base defensively as Kolten Wong.
    Goldschmidt will need to do a little more no matter who replaces Wong.
    I heard an audio clip of you explaining why the Cards didn’t pursue Bryce Harper, because of what they thought/hoped they had in Tyler O’Neill. To Cards fans that sounds completely irrational and misguided. But the issue to me is that the Cards don’t seem to understand that having a young player blossom requires established players around him to allow it to happen. This “next man up” notion hasn’t worked with a single young hitter in the last 6 years. You can’t put the offensive weight of a team on a player’s shoulders who has not show 2-3 seasons of consistent production.
    It's pretty clear Tyler O'Neill is not that type of player
    The Cardinals' projections on him have not matched reality, but the Cardinals seem to be having a very hard time letting them go.
    I think part of it is that they traded a now-successful starting lefty in Marco Gonzales for him, and that they insisted on prioritizing him over guys like, well, Randy Arozarena.
    There's some stubbornness in play.
    Maybe I'm wrong, and I'll admit it if I am, but I just don't see what they see there.
    Hey Ben. I feel like we heard rumored teams for Molina and Wainwright right when free agency started and then never again. Are there actually other competitive suitors for them? Or are we just waiting on them and the Cardinals to workout a deal that is mutually beneficial? Thanks
    There was some initial competition it seemed.
    But the Braves have since signed two starters, leaving them likely out on Wainwright.
    The Mets and Yankees were rumored to both be looking for catchers at first, but the Yankees gave a contract to Gary Sanchez and the Mets just signed James McCann.
    So, things have seemed to cool from the competition side of things unless there are a sleeper or two out there.
    The Cardinals have said they want both back.
    Both guys have said they want to be back.
    I think it's just a matter of time.
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