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.

    Can I get a follow up to my closer question?

    "Leave the closer question to chance?". Who does that? The Astros have Osuna, the Yankees have Chapman, the Brewers have Hader, the Nationals have Doolittle with 111 career saves. And we have ... who?. Miller who had -0.4 WAR last year??
    And the Cardinals have Jordan Hicks, who will be back at some point in 2020.
    And Ryan Helsley, who also throws 100.
    And strong-armed Junior Fernandez.
    And Carlos Martinez, who could wind up back in that spot if starting doesn't work out.
    They can sort through and see what sticks until Hicks reclaims his grip on the role.
    All those guys you mentioned had to start somewhere.
    All the guys mentioned here are 25 or younger, with Martinez at 28.
    The Cardinals are not going to pay the price for a dominant starter when they might be able to develop one, and they should not pay the price for an in-between one (remember Holland?) when they might have better, though less known, options within.
    To follow up on the load management issue, to add insult to injury is that some home teams increase tix prices for premium games, like when LeBron or Kawhi come to town.
    Yep. Bogus. I've been there.
    One of ONeill/Bader and Cabrera/Ponce for Conforto. Do Mets bite? They need a CF and pitching help, according to their GM.
    Brodie Van Wagenen's most recent comments at the GM meetings seemed to suggest Conforto is off limits.
    He told Andy Martino:  "I think that you never want to say never, but Michael is a big part of what we've done so far. His consistency has been remarkable. His ceiling as a player is something that I don't think we've even seen yet. He's one of the clear leaders of our club on the field and in the clubhouse. I can't imagine us really moving Conforto."
    On the subject of Mizzou football, part of the problem has been the injuries/play of Kelly Bryant over the past three games. I'm not sure it is entirely fair to pin the collapse of the team entirely on Odom other than you would have hoped he would have a #2 quarterback that was more SEC ready?
  • That's been a big part of the problem, for sure.
    There have been other problems. Penalties. The defense not being able to tackle a receiver playing quarterback at Kentucky. The offensive line's struggles and the disappointing run game.
    It's not just a Bryant problem, though his decline might be the biggest problem.
    Vanderbilt beat Mizzou with a backup quarterback. Kentucky beat Mizzou with a receiver moonlighting as a quarterback. Tennessee has played some of its best football while rotating QBs. A coach's job is to find a way.
    Hi Ben. Enjoyed your article today. Cannot best GA and KY. Cannot win on road. Why keep HCBO around? That’s a losing mentality. We deserve better. There are alums who will pay for better
    Are there, though? Mizzou has one of the least robust donor bases in the SEC. I hear lots of talk of big donors, but don't often see that much proof. There are some who pull their money out when they don't like something. That's different than throwing money at a buyout or toward a big contract for a more proven hire the next time around. Talk is cheap.
    No Lindor questions today. Does Dejong, an OF not named Carlson or Gorman and a pitcher from Woodford, Ponce, Gomber get that done? Is that an overpay? Giving up lots of years of control with Dejong for two years, plus potentially a lot of upside if they pick Gorman and the pitcher they pick.
    That does not seem like the kind of trade the Cardinals would feel comfortable making. The Cardinals can keep DeJong from free agency until 2024. They have suggested they don't want to ship out this current batch of young outfielders until they have a better idea of what they have. Whatever combination you pick from the scenario you suggested, that's a ton of service time given away for two years of Lindor, who will almost certainly seek free agency after he finishes his time with whatever team he is traded to. He's 25 and headed toward a blockbuster deal unless something really bad happens. This is not a Paul Goldschmidt situation. It would make more sense for a team that has a plan to extend Lindor to trade for him, though I'm not convinced that move happens this offseason. The Indians traded Bauer with a season and a half left. That seems like the better move. See how next season starts -- then flip Lindor if you are not on the right trajectory.
    I hope you're not shocked Kelley Bryant was over hyped. His stats at Clemson were respectable, but that was also on a championship caliber team with NFL prospects throughout the team. A big difference between Clemson and Mizzou.

    Let's not forget that he quit the team after being replaced by the Freshman. He still could've transferred after the bowl game but chose to jump ship early. Doesn't sound like leadership material team to me, nor someone who puts the team first.
    Spare me.
    Kelly Bryant made a decision that was best for him.
    It worked out for Clemson just fine.
    You can say he "quit" on his old team.
    He can say his coach "quit" on him.
    Clearly, Clemson made the right choice. I don't think Bryant regrets his, even if he doesn't have the season at Mizzou that he hoped.
    And a quick fact check -- if Bryant had played another game at Clemson, he would not have been able to redshirt that season, which meant he would not have been able to play at Mizzou this season. So, no, he could not have transferred after the bowl game. Because he would have played that next game, considering Trevor Lawrence got hurt for a bit in it.
    I tend to think the Cardinals could get at least as a good a year as Ozuna's average production over the past two years from a full year of Tyler O'Niell...with the upside for even better power, and definitely better defense. What do you think?
    Until O'Neill can prove he can stay healthy, I don't think it's fair to expect him to be available for a starter's workload, let alone set projections on what it looks like.
    He appeared in 61 games in 2018, and 60 in 2019.
    He's been on the injured list four times since July 2018.
    But let's say he can stay healthy.
    Baseball Reference's 2020 projections have him at a slash line of .262/.322/.464.
    Ozuna's 2018-19 average line was .263/.327/.452.
    Those numbers tend to agree with you, but O'Neill has to stay healthy before we can put much faith in them, or him.
  • Heyman is reporting that 7 teams plus Cards are talking to my guy. Can you tell FSMW to delete all footage of my client climbing the fence and those short hop throws. Much obliged....
    I never quite understood the notion that Ozuna was not going to have a market. Someone will be willing to give him more years and money than the Cardinals, I would imagine. Not every team has the deep pool of young outfield options it wants to find playing time for, either. Or the past two seasons of the Ozuna roller coaster ride.
    Ben, thanks for chat.

    I remember the poll by your writers before the season on how well they thought the Cards were going to do. I don't know how you could predict the season considering what happened during it.

    Anyone predict Miles would go from 18-4 to 9-14? Or Flaherty would win 2 pitcher of the month awards? Or Hudson win 16? Or Wainwright stayed healthy and win 14? Or the offense left a lot to be desired?

    I see next season similar. The last real predictable season was back in 2005 after winning 105 in 2004 with the healthy MVP3 and Larry Walker.

    The Cardinals could win 100 if Miles goes 16-6 and the 2 youngsters stay healthy and repeat performance. And the OF has some offense.
    I remember that one. We do it every year. I picked them to win the wild-card. Had the Brewers winning the division. So, the Cardinals exceeded my expectations on that front. Speaking of things that were hard to predict, Christian Yelich's freak injury belongs in that category.
    You seem to have captured the spirit of the 2020 offseason. It's more about guys on the team improving than improvements. Mo and Co. might have a surprise or two up their sleeve, but considering the contracts they have on the books and the limited flexibility in payroll, there isn't too much wiggle room from the outside. Plenty when it comes to internal options.
    Will Alex Reyes continue to retain rookie status in 2020?
    Correct, almost unbelievably.
    What outfield prospect not named Carlson within the organization has the highest talent ceiling?
    The Cardinals can't answer that, so I won't pretend to know.
    That is part of the plan for 2020 --  to get a better grip on how they value these guys, something that you can't really have a good feel for until they get some playing time in the majors.
    Are the Blues reeeaaally going to use some of Tarasenko's cap hit on....Brouwer and McGinn? I understand wanting a veteran presence, and I get that Berube favors a particular type of player (i.e., de la Rose looking like a duplicated Zach Sanford), but couldn't that space be better used on either getting young guys minutes or finding an addition that could actually make an impact?
  • We hit on this earlier in the chat, so I won't repeat it again here, but scroll down and you can find it.
    Armstrong made a really good point about the youth sometimes sounding better until it's your only option.
    This is a potential fix before it gets to that.
    See what they have. If they can't outplay the young guys, move on. 
    I think you have to put some trust in Berube in knowing what he wants, and what this team needs at this point in the season.
    There is some Castellanos chatter out there. (Why not, this is the chatter season). Anyway, I spent some time on him in Baseball Reference and I was more impressed than I thought I'd be. Far from a Cub highlight reel, he has had a pretty decent and positive trending career. I didn't know he had started as a 3B (not that great there). He is only 26 so some good years ahead. While I'd rather have Ozuna on a reasonable basis (market is 4/$64?) Castellanos would be a pretty good sign if Ozuna goes elsewhere. We need some source of offensive production.
    I really don't think the Cardinals are going to add to their outfield via free agency, not after hearing them talk about their importance of finding innings for their young wave of players at that position -- and admitting their reluctance to trade more of them until they get a better feel. Maybe I misread the room. Perhaps it was a smoke screen. We'll see.
    Why is the FO higher on O’Neil than they are on Garcia? They seem to be pretty similar players to me. High strikeout rates with a lot of power. But if anything, Garcia has proven he can stay healthy for long periods of time. I understand giving the young outfielders a shot but it just seems like they aren’t including Garcia in that list.
    I think Adolis Garcia is on that list, though I'm not quite sure where. He has seemed to have lost ground. He didn't do much in his brief sample size in the majors in 2018. He slashed .118/.118/.176 in 17 at-bats. He tripped over third base at a horrible time, and that was really bad, but does that mean he's never going to get another look? Considering the competition, maybe? I'm not sure. He seems to have slipped off the radar, falling behind O'Neill, Carlson, Thomas and Arozarena. Spring training, if he's there, offers a chance to shake up that list.
    Garcia's power (.505 slugging percentage at Class AAA) is intriguing, but it's been accompanied with a .260 average and a .299 on-base percentage at that level. We're talking 1,000-plus at-bats. He's 26.
    O'Neill, still just 24, has a .554 SLG at Class AAA, with better average (.267) and much better on-base percentage (.339).
    We're using "better" in the relative sense here.
    That's why the difference between O'Neill and Garcia discussion, until Garcia proves otherwise.
    Wong’s had about as good a year as you’re going to get out of him. To me, they are missing a bet if they don’t trade him right now, inasmuch as they have Edman, who is almost as good a fielder already at 2B and can only get better. Bottom line, Carpenter must play. Yet Edman has to be more than a swiss army knife: he was the team leader in OPS+ by a lot. And it's a waste to use Edman in the outfield. Something’s gotta give. Thoughts?.
    Says who?
    Kolten Wong is 29 and playing more confidently now than he ever has. I'm not sure why anyone would assume his best is behind him. I don't. And while Edman had a very nice debut, turning a 92-game sample size into a guarantee for years to come is pretty risky business, especially considering how some recent up-and-coming Cards have leveled off.
    Edman played 204 innings at second last season. To suggest his defense there is comparable to the guy who won the Gold Glove makes little sense based on lack of evidence alone.
    And where Edman plays in the field has nothing to do with how often he hits. The reason the Cardinals are trotting out the Ben Zobrist comparison is because they see a role where he gets starter-type at-bats while bouncing around defensively. It could be a scenario in which Edman starts at a different position every game, rotating which guys get a day off.
    Betting on Carpenter and Edman and assuming Wong's best is behind him seems like a good bet to get worse in 2020, not better.
    I've made my case for Moustakas as a reasonable and realistic upgrade.
    That was before the Cardinals made their public pledge for a Carpenter bounce-back in 2020.
    That would seem to suggest no Moose.
    Still think he would be a great fit.
    Best case scenario is that both Moose and Carpenter hit. That's a great problem to have.
    Is the FO really going to go into the season again with Reyes and Martinez slotted in for a spot in the rotation?

    Bumgarner would be a nice fit as a #2 SP and lefty.
    Reyes and Martinez along with the group of Gomber, Ponce, Woodford and others who will want to prove they belong in there.
    Once again, the Cardinals will have a competition of sorts for the remaining spot.
    It worked out OK when Hudson grabbed it last season.
    Wainwright's return means Wacha's spot is the one up for grabs.
    The Cardinals could add from outside. If they do, a lefty would make the most sense. Gomber is a lefty, but he's coming back from injury, and it's hard to know what to expect.
    Prediction for Saturday Mizzou FB game?

    How about for tonight's BB game? A good showing on the road could show that this team is for real.
    I don't see much good coming for Mizzou on Saturday against Florida. Kelly Bryant being back would be a plus. But which version will he be? If it's the version we saw against Ole Miss, then it could be a game. Florida won't like this weather. That's for sure. But I think Gators handle their business.
    As for tonight in hoops, this is a great test for Cuonzo's team. Xavier has some serious bigs that will give Jeremiah Tilmon everything he can handle -- and more if he can't stay out of foul trouble. The new and improve point guards (Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson) will get a good test in a crazy arena. The Cintas gets loud when the beer gets to flowing, and people there will be fired up for this one. I think Mizzou loses, but leaves a good impression. A win would convince folks that SEC projection of 13th was misinformed, something the last two games have hinted at.
    Stop it with the trade Wong talk!. He's one of our best players. I think he's going to be even better next year. We need to acquire his level of talent, not trade it away.
    For an analytical FO, doesn’t it make more sense to cut loose dead weight rather than riding a sunk cost to a negative WAR?
    Sure, though the fans' cutoff point for a sunk cost and the team's varies wildly. It's different when it's your money. And the Cardinals are more patient than most, sometimes to a fault.
    Ben- I would prefer Tommy Edman starting at third, with Carpenter playing the Zobrist role-- Edman was an impact player -we need more of that- Do you feel Carpenter's salary dictates he play over Edman--? I hope positions are earned -not handed out-thanks-
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