STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

Bring your Cardinals, Blues and St. Louis sports questions, and talk to Post-Dispatch columnist Ben Frederickson in a live chat from Florida starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    Hey Ben - First time, long time. Do you get tired of trying to explain the Fowler/Carpenter situations to people? The Cardinals paid for a certain level of production that they expect of each player. They are going to get the opportunity to prove that they can produce at that level. If they cannot, they will be replaced. It does not seem hard, to the average layman, but maybe I'm in the minority. Think what you want about the player, I don't even necessarily think it's the right thing to do, but that is the company line. Why do fans get so hung up on this point?
    The disagreement stems from how long the opportunity should be made available, and I get that.
    The Cardinals tend to be on the more patient side of the spectrum when it comes to giving contracts time to work out in their favor.
    They are the ones who saw the value and committed the guaranteed money, after all.
    They can point to certain players who rebounded when doubts on the outside were high.
    And others can point to plenty of times they seemed to hold on too long before making a change and admitting there was a better option available.
    Ben,
    I applaud Flaherty taking the stance he has. He knows he's worth way more than the Cardinals are paying him, and I would not expect him to give up any of his arbitration or free agency years by signing a long-term deal — unless that deal was worth $150-$200 million for five or six years.

    In my eyes, he's a future Cy Young Award winner — and that could come this year. The Cardinals screwed up when Scherzer was a free agent, so they better be prepared to pony up for Flaherty.

    He will not sign a team-friendly deal like Wong, CMart and DeJong did. Nor should he.
    What I applaud about Flaherty's comments is his willingness to explain his thinking and consider the opinion of those who push back. He embraces the dialogue, does not pretend to know it all and genuinely cares about the conversation. That's cool. He was hesitant to talk about this at great length last season. He's more confident now. The players' union should be eyeing him as an important member with a big platform and growing voice. I also thought it was really, really impressive that he spoke up on the behalf of veterans who are being chased out of baseball. Too often this conversation gets turned into young vs. old, and Flaherty expertly dodged that trap.
    Cards look like they have about 8 legitimate starters in Flaherty, Mikolas, Hudson, Wainwright, Martinez, Ponce De Leon, Kim, Gomber, and eventually Reyes. How do they balance that out or warrant having players in the pen or in Memphis when they clearly should be starting. Who would you pick as our starters long term?
    All of these guys could be starters this season or long term.
    But for this season, here's how I would do it based off what we know today.
    STL rotation:
    Flaherty
    Hudson
    Wainwright
    Martinez
    Kim
    STL bullpen:
    Ponce
    Reyes
    Memphis rotation:
    Gomber
    When Mikolas comes back and is ready to roll, I examine my STL rotation for a weak link and reconsider my group.
    Hi Ben, thanks for the chats. I haven't been able to watch many of the spring games due to work but I'm curious of your opinion on how Hudson has looked? I realize that, due to some of his underlying numbers, he may regress some this year but I'm also very hopeful that he's young enough to overcome and actually build upon next year (also, with our defense, I think his "underlying" numbers are a bit over blown. What have you noticed and what do you expect from Hudson this year?
    I expect him to be better than he was last season, because I think he's going to walk fewer hitters.
    The defense behind him is as good as it was last season, and perhaps better based on the upgrade in left field.
    He's going to get his groundballs -- led the majors in that rate last season -- and he's shown a better knack for punching guys out this spring.
    I'm big on Hudson's 2020.
    Could you explain more why you are picking KK over Ponce and even Gomber/Gant? Seems like they have pitched longer in games w good results, especially Ponce. KK is more of an unknown, especially as the league figures him out and he sees a lineup the 3rd time around.
    Being unknown can be a good thing.
    It helped KK turn a Minnesota Twins lineup full of regulars into mush yesterday.
    Josh Donaldson and teammates looked totally lost against KK.
    He was signed as a potential starter, one of the competitors for the rotation (Mikolas) has dropped out for the time being with an injury, and Kim has 11 strikeouts to five hits and one walk this spring. He's got four pitches, the stamina of a guy who has logged five seasons of 150-plus innings during his KBO career, and brings a left-handed element to the mix that only Gomber could offer.
    No knock on Ponce, or Gomber, or Gant.
    At all.
    The Cardinals have a ton of pitching. It's the reason they didn't need to do a thing when Mikolas went down. Just how I see it today.
    will nolan gorman get called up this year if carpenter struggles?
    by will nolan gorman get called up this year? 3/10/2020 7:20:37 PM
    Matt Carpenter struggling would lead to more time for Tommy Edman at third base.
    Elehuris Montero is scheduled to be the Class AAA third base starter, and he would get a shot before Gorman.
    So, I don't think so.
    I will say that Gorman looks a lot more polished to me this season, especially at third.
    He looked a bit shaky there last year. He made up a lot of ground defensively.
    Is there any chance that St. Louis will get a competitive eating contest event?
    Sign me up.
    I'm 1-2 as a competitive eater.
    My name is on the Wall of Shame at a certain roadside diner after I failed miserably during a biscuits and gravy challenge.
    I redeemed myself by winning a pizza challenge with pro eater Randy "Atlas" Santel.
    And then I retired after losing a spicy chicken wing contest to Kane, the pro wrestler.
    My name was Garbage Bin Frederickson, and no I'm not making this up.
    What do you think the Illini's chances are of winning the big ten tournament after the big win vs. Iowa on Sunday? They have to be happy about being on the side of the bracket with Wisconsin and Iowa vs Maryland and MSU, right?
    With Ayo, all things are possible.
    Plus Brad Underwood signed a cardboard cutout of Mad Fran's head.
    That was epic, and should be rewarded by the basketball gods.
    Had to miss the SLU-St. Bonaventure basketball game Saturday night, but that line had just about everything you could want: 18 rebounds for French, 14 pts & two steals for Goodwin, seven assists for Yuri Collins, & 15 pts for Javonte Perkins. Plus, holding a quality opponent under 50 pts is something. I think my jaw literally dropped when I saw the score.

    A few questions about this team:

    -How do you think they'll fare in the A10 tournament? I saw Ford made mention of the youth and lack of an immediate grasp of the win-or-go-home tournament vibe. I wonder whether you think that sensibility will come through.
    -With whom have you been more impressed, in terms of development, this season: Bell or Hargrove? It's been fun to watch both come along.
    -SLU has to win the A10 tournament to make the NCAA tournament, right? If they beat Dayton (which, I agree with you, is possible--it's indeed hard to beat a good team thrice) and then lose to, say, Richmond in the final, the A10 still probably sends Dayton and Richmond to the NCAA, I'd imagine. What do you think?
    -Good call (in last week's chat) on Javonte Perkins as the best player (possibly) on both the SLU and Mizzou rosters. His jump shot looks like Ray Allen's. I hope he continues to develop, because he appears to be able to score on anyone. Seems like all he needs is an offseason of defensive drills, and he'll be a complete force. I'm sad he only has one more year of eligibility.
    -Looking ahead to next season (I know it's too early for that), this team would appear to be stacked. An effective Bell + French inside, with Hankton and Diarra in reserve; Perkins and Hargrove at the 3, with a recruit behind them; and a backcourt combination of Collins, Goodwin, Jimmerson, and Jacobs -- not bad. (I've been a fan of Fred Thatch, and I sincerely hope the best for him. He's very good at basketball, but some things are more important. Were he to come back, SLU could be a threat to take down top-10 caliber teams on any given night.)
    -More effective post player next season: Bell or Tilmon?
    For a team that has at times struggled to take care of business against a team it should beat, SLU's regular season was pretty refreshing and encouraging. Nice way to enter conference tournament play. They've got a chance. It's so hard in college basketball to beat the same team three times, and SLU has played Dayton close. Would a win against Dayton but a loss in the tournament championship game move SLU to bubble-in territory? Perhaps, but they can't rely on that. Their mindset has to be win or bust. Travis is always going to downplay his own teams in this setting, and it's smart, but there are enough key players who were a part of that run last year who know what it will take. Don't underestimate that.
    Can you dive a little deeper into how you wound up in a chicken wing eating contest with the Undertaker's 1/2 brother?
    Charity event in Knoxville. Kane, common name Glenn Jacobs, is a great guy. We met on a sports radio show. He's into politics now. I'll never forget getting booed by a 3-year-old kid wearing a Kane mask. Good times. Gotta run, folks. Need to chase down some interviews. Chat recap coming tomorrow, and as I have done due to the shortened chats this spring training trip, I'll tack on some fresh Q&As to the recap to get to a few more. Thanks!
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