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.

    Hey everybody, thanks for jumping in today. I am in the process of getting into Busch Stadium for today’s games. Will start out answering some questions on my phone, but will switch into high gear when I get to the press box. Let’s roll.
    Great idea! I’m game. Everyone else?
    I am hoping that the chat could be more civil today in memory of Lou Brock.
    I know it's been stated that in 2021 Carpenter and Fowler are going to get the starts, but the Cardinals NEED a power hitter. It's time to suck it up and trade for a bat (Arenado) because you know they won't sign a free agent.
    Carpenter’s play isn’t justify starts now, so I would not be one of the ones stating he should be assumed to get them in 2021. Fowler was playing very well before he hit the injured list, better than all the other outfielders. The cardinals are going to play everyone who is healthy right now, because of this stretch of games they’re in. Some more than others, but all will get action. Arenado would be a great fit but as I’ve said before I’ll see it before I believe it when it comes to the Cards taking on that contract, with the opt out in play, after this pandemic impacted finances across the league.
    I think the FO should have a long chat with carp on his role witj the team next season
    The chat is pretty simple. He’s got a contract for next season. The Cardinals can pay him to keep trying to snap out of it. They can pay him to sit. They can eat money and trade him if he agrees. Or they can pay him to sit. None of these decisions will be made right now, because they don’t have to be made right now.
    Hi, Ben. Have you heard any reaction from the Cardinals Front Office about some stories online where Fernando Tatis, Sr., claims the Cardinals declined several opportunities to sign Fernando Tatis, Jr. when he was a free agent? I realize that the Internet is loaded with all types of wild stories, but if true this would be a monumental blunder in a string of bad moves by the Cardinals' Front Office. Thanks for your time.
    Didn’t every team that didn’t sign Tatis Jr. have a chance to add him, to some degree? If we are going to roll with this logic, then the Cards and every team that did not sign or draft a player they overlooked is forever on the hook for the miss. That means a ton of teams have missed a ton of times. I’m not going to roast the Cardinals for this one. I will for not signing Luis Robert though. They were in on him, and some heavy hitters were not in play, and they got beat by the White Sox. Now Robert might be AL rookie of the year and the Cards’ outfield search continues.
  • Catch Mizzou football fever ... and be quarantined! Anyway, are you on board with games being played and 15,000 or so fans being allowed into Far-out Field?
    It doesn’t much matter if I’m on board. Have said all along that football should continue if in-person campus gatherings are allowed, but that it didn’t make a lot of sense to allow “student athletes” to play football if nothing else on campus was a go. Most campuses playing are meeting for classes, etc. Hopefully it works out. Allowing fans in, to me, seems like an unnecessary risk. Most experts have said that those kind of gatherings are not a good idea. But, unless the powers of the university and state government are going to stop it, we will finds out if it can work or not. I never had any doubt the NFL would play. I wasnt very optimistic about college football. It’s proving me wrong, at least so far.
    Cards have played a little over half their games now -- plenty of time to make assessments of various facets of their play. How do you rate their pitching overall, their offense overall and their defense overall? Thanks.
    Nothing too surprising. 
    Their pitching is good and the strength is the depth. 
    The defense is good and compliments the pitching. 
    The offense is unreliable largely because it’s mostly dependent on the infield and lacks regular production from the outfield a lot of the time.
    The Carpenter rebound hope is not working out. 
    Wainwright has been awesome. 
     
    OK, we're done with Carpenter now, right? Time to move on. He's had more than his fair share of chances.
    Who is we? The Cardinals? They are not. In fact, the team just optioned out Dylan Carlson, which would suggest Tommy Edman is going to be playing in the outfield more, which would create more time for ... Matt Carpenter. I don't agree with that philosophy, but that seems to be the philosophy at this time.
    Liked your article on Zac Gallen, just another example of how the Cardinals can develop pitching prospects - but fail on trades, free agent signings, extensions and resource management. I don't think developing pitching is a result of the front office, more like scouting and development process.

    I don't think its just fanactics that are questioning the FO. We all know you can't win all trades but you should be in the business of aquiring long term assets and/or good prospects with high upside if you want to be viable every year.

    Can't think of any trade, except Paul Goldschmidt, or Matt Libertore where the Cardinals have done that.. We could be a lot better than our current roster suggests and be more viable long term too if the FO could avoid some of their continuing mistakes and mis-management of resources and just plain, fundamentally bad decisions.


    What would fans think if we had signed Heyward or Price to long-term deals. Can't wait to see what happens with Arozerena. I know the ball lat AAA was juiced last year, but when was the last time we had a player hit .344 at AAA?

    Dynamic offensive player that can bat at the top of the lineup, steal and manufacture runs and can play great defense with a great arm. Would look good on our roster right about now.
  • I didn't write about Zac Gallen.
    That was PD colleague Jeff Gordon.
    And yes, he is a good topic, for sure.
    Questioning the front office is fair game for all.
    They're big boys.
    It comes with the job.
    Giovanny Gallegos seems to be getting overlooked a bit here. He's been a pretty steady presence in a pretty good bullpen.
    But the bigger issue is a disagreement about how teams should be built.
    The Cardinals under their leadership are a draft-and-develop team.
    They would love to have a starting lineup and pitching staff full of home-grown talent.
    That's not possible, of course, so they supplement things through free agency and trades.
    But they are not going to be a team that builds the bulk of their team off free agency and trades.
    A recent shift from that thinking led to a free-agent splurge that largely has not worked out, and I think we have seen the team react to that in real time, getting back to what it has traditionally done well.
    Fan would not be happy with Price or Heyward on long-term deals, not if we include the production either would have had during that time.
    Can you imagine the reaction Price would have received here if he was in a long-term, big-money deal and he opted out?
    That would not go over well.
    Do you think the DH will be a permanent thing. If so, the Cards need to extend Brad Miller. He is raking.
    I hope so. There's no word yet on that. I like to think players and owners will like it enough in 2020 to redo it in 2021, and then put it in for good with the collective bargaining agreement that comes after the 2021 season. But who knows what's in store between now and then. There could be another bitter battle about a pandemic-affected season in 2021. There could be a work stoppage after the 2021 season, if there isn't one before. It's just impossible to know now. Ideally, and this is not a shot at Brad Miller, who has been outstanding for the Cardinals this season, a NL team would have a more proven threat in that spot.
    OK, so, who scores even 20 goals for the Blues next season?
    David Perron.
    Brayden Schenn.
    And . . . 
    Alex Pietrangelo.
    The captain had 16 in this shortened season, and I'm still betting that he will be back.
    Did they give up on Dylan Carlson? He has had only 6 AB over the last week it make me think they will do to him what they did to ozuna, Arozarena, grichuk, voit, and Pham. I know MO has his players (Bader,O’Neil,Thomas) and if your not in his group then your on the outside looking in with this organization but come on they have to keep giving the rookie more at bats or he will never get reps in unless like I said they are thinking of trading I’m in the offseason.
    No, they did not give up on their top prospect after 20-something games.
    But they did option him back to the alternate site, an interesting move likely made because president of baseball operations John Mozeliak wants Carlson to play get reps, and manager Mike Shildt isn't putting Carlson in his lineup as regularly as he once was.
    Personally, I'd like to see Carlson get reps over Tyler O'Neill.
    And I'd like to see Tommy Edman get reps at third base over Matt Carpenter.
    But this suggests Shildt wants more of Edman in the outfield, with Bader and O'Neill and Carpenter, with more time for Carpenter at third base.
    To be fair, Carlson got a window of time to lock down a spot, and he struggled. That's not uncommon for a rookie. If the Cardinals felt like his struggles were hurting his development, give him a reset. But the biggest detraction to his development will be sitting around, not playing. Hence the move today, I imagine.
    Ummm. This Matt Carpenter thing. Worst avg @ .170 in the NL with a K% of 29.4. If he were having bad luck, but hard hits, that's one thing. Its to the point you cant even justify playing the contract. Chris Davis terrritory. That's not even taking defense into consideration....
    There will be no sugar-coating of The Matt Carpenter Situation here.
    It's in Brandon Moss territory at this time.
    Carpenter himself said he had to have the results this year to earn the playing time.
    He doesn't.
    It could be as simple as that, but it won't be, in part because of the contract.
    Matt Carpenter's contract includes a 2022 vesting option of $18.5M that vests if he accumulates 1,100 plate appearances in 2020-2021. Do stats including in contracts like plate appearances get pro-rated like players' salaries for this 60-game season?
    Yes, those kind of clauses are prorated this season. For example, Andrew Miller has a vesting option for $12 million in 2021 if he pitched in 37 games in 2020. But in this shortened season, he needs only 14 games to earn that $12 million in 2021.
    I feel a bit sorry for Pujols, struggling for playing time and a shell of himself. He would be wise to get past Mays on the HR list and call it a career. Next year could be brutal on him.
    Don't feel too bad for him. He's owed $30 million next season. I think I could find a few reasons, like 30 million of them, to stick around or make the Angels pay me to go away.
    Would you say that the Rays have replaced the Cards as the model mid market franchise?
    How do you figure? They have been to one World Series, and that was back in 2008. They lost. Since then they have not advanced past the division series, and they have only made the playoffs one time in the past six seasons. What am I missing?
    Were you scratching your head when the bases were loaded with one out and Carpenter came to the plate? Why was he not pinch hit for? Surely, there was someone else that could have taken his at bat in such an important moment. Thanks
    Not at all. Carpenter has career averages of .491/.434/.754 with the bases loaded, and he's two-for-three in that spot this season. He's one of the best bases-loaded hitters ever, even during his decline. He's also been a mauler at Wrigley field in recent seasons. I'm saying this as someone who doesn't think Carpenter is earning regular starts, too. But he's pretty good in that spot, even now.
    What's a reasonable expectation for Carlos Martinez today?
    The Cardinals are playing coy about if he's on a pitch limit, so I would not expect him to go super deep. Considering the turbulence he can find in the first innings, a clean first frame would be a great sign. Eager to see what his velocity is as well. If he's letting it rip, it means he feels good.
    Wishful thinking here but do you think Carpenter will follows his own advice and do what’s best for the organization and just retire. I mean he is a team player after all. Thanks for letting me get some snark in here. Have a wonderful day
    What would you do? I'm not walking away from $18.5 million.
    Can you please explain the line of thinking for playing a a guy just because you paid him? I know that might sound sarcastic, but I don’t mean it that way. I’m truly trying to understand. In Carpenter’s case all the numbers suggest he’s as bad as he’s looked. The team has young players they could give a chance to, but he keeps getting put out there. Are they too stubborn to admit the mistake, or is it some type of blind faith. By not playing the young guys they seem to compounding their mistake in giving out the contract. What am I missing?
    Part of it is playing the contract.
    The other part of it is not being willing to punt on the player you believed enough in to agree to that contract.
    The Cardinals don't often like to admit mistakes on contracts, but they have.
    Greg Holland is an example. Brett Cecil after countless chances. 
    But Carpenter is not a free-agent addition who went bust, he's a longtime Cardinal who has had great moments with the team and three All-Star seasons over a decade-long career.
    The Cardinals' have a long memory, and they give the most chances to the guys who have done the most for them.
    This is an example of that.
    If the Cardinals are a draft and develop team, why the absolute inability to draft and develop a legitimate 3-4-5 hitter? They might try to argue Dejong is a 5 hitter, but I would say they have failed in this aspect since Tavares.
    There's not an answer I'm going to give that makes anyone happy.
    They are behind when it comes to producing middle-of-the-order position players/hitters.
    Those tend to be the hardest players to produce when you don't draft very high, and the Cardinals tend to be annually competitive, meaning they don't draft very high.
    Entering this season, they were hoping DeJong -- a homegrown middle of the order position player/hitter -- could entrench himself as the cleanup hitter.
    Considering the season and his lengthy absence due to COVID, he's had just 30 at-bats in that spot. I'm not going to say he can't be that guy based off that sample size.
    Dylan Carlson could be an answer eventually.
    Nolan Gorman could be an answer eventually.
    The Cardinals have some interesting candidates, but yes, they are searching for an answer that is hard to find.
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