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 starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    Greetings chatters, hope everyone is having a good week. Plenty to discuss today. Blues spin out of the bubble. Cardinals are afloat as trade deadline nears. Jim Sterk is optimistic about Mizzou football as the SEC forges ahead. And more. Let's roll.
    Benfred,

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated on the lawsuit against Kroenke. Its nice to see him taking L after L in the case. When do you think there might be some more updates? I know they are going through the list of people set to be deposed. Looking forward to October 2021 if it gets that far!
    You bet. I think it's a big story that doesn't get much national attention because the Rams and the NFL lean on those who cover the league to downplay it or ignore it entirely. That won't happen here. I'm sure the next chapter will be the Rams and the league attempting to fight back against the requested depositions and trying to do everything possible to shrink the list. That's expected, but I don't know why it would work.
    As I mentioned to Goold yesterday, they should not have a trade deadline this year until the playoffs. Not enough time to evaluate, etc. Or just halt any trades. This season is too crazy already. What do you think?
    If a crazy season was the justification for dropping events on the MLB calendar, there wouldn't be a season at all. Teams are not forced to make trades if they don't feel comfortable, and any team that deals for a player has to be aware the player can opt out if he does not want to make the change to a new team. That's just part of the landscape this season. I don't think we will see a very active trade deadline, and if there are moves, I think most will be more long-term type roster maintenance moves. A team trending in the right direction might add a Trevor Rosenthal. I wouldn't expect much more than that. I would not be surprised if the Cardinals sit tight.
    Ben, What is the plan for the postseason. As normal (brrrrrrrr), bubble city for all games (warm climate or covered stadium), two or three different sites. I assume there is a decision on that.
    There's been talk of a bubble approach and I wouldn't be surprised to see baseball try, especially with the success of other leagues that have adopted the setting. But nothing official at this time.
    Ben,

    Any idea if there will be some coverage for the alternate camp in Springfield? Obviously it is not the same as if there was a minor league schedule, but it would be nice to know how some of the top prospects line Gorman and Liberatore are progressing down there.
    They're just playing one another, over and over again. I don't know what all can be drawn from that, but a check-in and catch-up on some of the bigger prospect names is a good idea. Something to keep in mind. Thanks.
  • I read your article about fans’ tolerance for rebuilding and while I agree fans wouldn’t tolerate it, I disagree as to why. I don’t believe that fans have confidence in this front office’s ability to take a “leap” forward if they ever took a “step back.” I think fans would fear their allegiance through a rebuild would backfire and the team would never return to the old payroll thresholds.
    All due respect, you're proving my point. While chasing their first championship since 2011, the Cardinals have still ranked third in the National League in regular-season wins (733) and third in the National League in postseason wins (24). That's a pretty good level of success for a front office that you would not trust to conduct a rebuild. Sure, the Cardinals have made some bad free-agent deals and extensions in recent years. A lot of teams have. And a lot of other teams have had better free-agent deals and better extensions, and still not matched the Cardinals in overall annual competitiveness. The threshold for baseball pain is very low in St. Louis. That's a good thing. But let's not kid ourselves about this fanbase's willingness to tolerate a rebuild that takes things down to the studs. It would wonder why the paint isn't dry one day after the bulldozer stops running.
    Today si.com is reporting that STLFC will cease operations after this season.

    Why the silence from STL FC and St. Louis City SC ownership groups? Does it really make sense to have no team between now and 2023?
    Joe Lyons has a story up at STLToday that I'll link below.
    I'm sure you will be hearing from both teams (FC and SC) today.
    The news here at first glance seems to be what was expected and talked about here last week, that there is not going to be an official partnership of sorts between SC and FC, that FC will not be under the SC umbrella.
    If that was the case, then this wouldn't be happening, right?
    Also there have been some discussions about FC's sustainability regardless of SC, and how the pandemic has impacted that outlook.
    Any chance the Cards make any trades by August 31?
    They usually do something, but I would not expect splash moves. I think long-term, depth-type stuff would be the route -- if the Cardinals decide to trade anyone during the pandemic at all. I think they have been more focused on making sure they get through the day-to-day of the virus threat, more than anything. I do, however, wonder about the outlook for Carlos Martinez after the comments manager Mike Shildt made last night. Paraphrasing here, but he more or less said Martinez could come back sooner and help the team in a bullpen role, but he's determined to start, which will mean it's longer before he can be used in games. That's a sign of some friction, and there has been a lot of friction with Martinez over the years. The Cardinals have shown interest in trading him before. That kind of move would not shock me -- if there's a team interested in Martinez.
  • What are your impressions of Carlson so far? He seems poised to break out.
  • I think we are seeing him settle in, and some of the bad luck that was causing some premature panic is fading quickly. Three hits in his last eight at-bats, including the first home run. This also stands out to me. Entering Tuesday's game, he has not struck out more than twice in any game, and he only has three two-strikeout games. He's hitting the ball hard. Now they're not finding gloves as often. He's composed, and not pressing. These are good signs. Results are coming.
  • Any chance Cards move C Mart or A Reyes by the deadline?
  • I think Carlos Martinez would be on the trade block before Alex Reyes. The latter has a functioning rule on this team, potentially more upside long-term and is much more affordable. The Cardinals should not trade Reyes. They've put in a lot of investment and patience in him to find out what he can be if he can stay healthy. They're just now starting to get the reward.
  • I see signs from ONeill, but at his current rate, we need more from the LF spot. Does he need to pick up his production to stick? Will the Cards be looking for another bat over the winter?
    Let's dive into the numbers a bit.
    O'Neill is averaging .154/.254/.365 so far this season.
    Those numbers are down since the return: .135/.238/.270.
    He went one-for-15 with one single, two walks and three strikeouts in the four-game series against Cincinnati.
    So, yes. he needs to do more to justify having a starting spot in the outfield.
    That's a very big understatement.
    I haven't seen many signs that he's more than a hitter who can clobber Class AAA pitching. This season was about proving that's not his ceiling, and there has not been much proof. His OPS has dropped every season he's played in the majors, from .803 in 2018, to .732 in 2019, to .620 at the moment.
    With Bader in a groove, Fowler playing well and Carlson here to stay, O'Neill seems to be the one who's found himself on the outside looking in.
    Are the Cardinals going to let the Andrew Miller option vest? His velo seems down. While very small sample size the hard hit balls against him are at 61% this year with no soft hits. In my view they have 4-5 guys I would rather see before him. That makes him very expensive.
    I don't see the Cardinals intentionally holding Miller out of games so his option doesn't vest.
    He needs to pitch in 14 games I think for that to happen, due to the proration that was agreed upon by owners and players' union.
    He's already at seven, and the Cardinals have played only 18 games.
    If Cleveland is looking to trade Clevinger, surely the Cardinals would have to at least be interested? I realize they are offensively challenged, but that guy is really good and, I think has two years of control
    I'm not sure the team that just weathered baseball's worst COVID-19 outbreak should make a deal for a player who violated team virus protocols, watched a teammate who did the same get thrown under the bus while staying quiet and then hopped on the team flight with the group before it was discovered he had done the exact same thing as the guy who was sent home. Talk about bad optics.
    Is Goldy getting the Barry Bonds treatment and do you think all of these walks will continue until there's real protection behind him?
  • What would you do if you were the opposing manager?
    I would not give Goldschmidt a pitch to hit until the Cardinals prove they can beat me in some other way.
    He might not be an automatic intentional walk, but I'm not giving him a good pitch in the zone unless until something changes.
    Goldschmidt woke up this morning with a top-five OPS in the NL.
    It's a long gap before you find another Cardinals hitter on that list.
    Paul DeJong can change the approach if gets going again.
    Brad Miller could make it harder in front of Goldschmidt.
    But for now, I'm walking The Big Fundamental when first base is open.
    Regarding Jack Flaherty's post game comments yesterday: Mr. Flaherty and you, Mr. Frederickson are entertainers. I follow your writing because you entertain me. I follow Mr. Flaherty's pitching because he entertains me. I really don't want to hear about your personal social or political beliefs, nor do I want to hear about his. I really don't care what they may be, no matter how righteous they may seem to you or him. What is your take on this?
    I hadn't said a word about Jack Flaherty's post-game comments after Monday's game, so I'm not sure what comments from me, specifically, you are referencing.
    Let me know.
    I don't agree with how you view journalists, but that's OK. To each his own. If you view writers as entertainers only, and you are not entertained by the topics they cover, I would suggest following other journalists you find more entertaining.
    Simple as that.
    Wasn’t last night’s loss a typical Matheny failure? He lets an exhausted pitcher try to complete 5 innings to get a chance at a win. Instead the Cards put the game mostly out of reach. Deja Vu! Smart, eloquent guy, but he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes.
    Brad Keller is the Royals' horse.
    He had not allowed a run all season, was coming off a domination of the Reds and had not lost in a National League park in his last seven starts.
    He's the best starter on a team that does not have that great of a bullpen, a bullpen that allowed 2.2 innings that followed his hook.
    Seems like this is a tough way to judge Matheny, to me.
    Actually, I thought there were some signs that Matheny has adapted in the game.
    Did you see how many times the Royals shifted during the game?
    He used to say shifts were distracting to the starting pitcher.
    He's evolving, I think. And yeah, part of me wonders how some willingness to evolve might have helped him do better here in St. Louis as things soured. He's also explaining his decisions more thoroughly than he did before, which is a new thing as well.
    Toronto starting to clear some cap space today...future Maple Leafs alternate captain Alex Pietrangelo, everybody!
    Don't you put that evil on me, Ricky Bobby?
    I'm content to live here in my happy world, where Pietrangelo will realize the best move a free agent can make this offseason is to prioritize a) what you know and b) where you can win.
    The Blues' championship window is still open.
    The Blues, I think, will be willing to move the pieces necessary to get him paid and make him fit.
    If it's ALL about the money -- and let me be clear that it's OK if it is; that's his right as a player who worked hard for this shot -- then maybe he goes.
    But here in my happy world, Pietrangelo is going to consider his family's ties here to STL, his legacy and most importantly his chance to potentially lift the Cup again soon.
    Fingers crossed.
    The rule about catchers blocking the plate needs to be removed. It’s not enforced because there are too many gray areas.
    Fair complaint. I doubt it goes away, because it would seem to incentivize collisions at the plate, but enforcing it would be nice to see -- considering the rule exists.
  • What do you think of the 7 inning doubleheaders? I like them, as the strategy changes earlier in the game, teams try to get ahead early. MLB should consider keeping the format. Jobs won’t be lost, so the players would be ok with it. And for the fans, sell one ticket for both games, like in the good ole days.
    I dig them. OK for double-headers. Not OK for non doubleheaders in any way, shape o form. I'm curious to see how the ticketing would play out. I'm sure MLB would find a way to make sure the ticket buyer pays for 14 guaranteed innings instead of nine.
    I hope Kronke and the NFL get exposed for the lying hypocrites that they are. Sucks that we still won't have an NFL team but it would be good to go out "all guns a-blazing'"
    There's a lot of fighting left to be had on this front. It's really just now starting to get interesting. The best news was that there is no off ramp anymore. There is either a settlement, or a jury decision.
    What do you make of the last few games from Bader? Is this just a hot streak, or is he starting to make adjustments?
  • Too early to tell. He's had good runs before that ended back in familiar, frustrating territory. But I like what we are seeing and hearing. He's more upright at the plate, and less determined to pull everything. He's doing a better job of pouncing on those early-count fastballs he too often watches for a guy who is best off punishing fastballs. He seems to have switched gears from thinking pitchers who are determined to get him out on breaking stuff are not willing to "test him" with their fastballs and realizing that there's literally no reason to give him fastballs when he can't do anything with breaking pitches. That's a big step forward, but we have to see it play out for a while before we assume there won't be a backward slide.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement