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.

    Have you spoke to Jonathan Hayes about what we should expect from the style of play? I hope it air raid all day. Are the ‘hawks the only team playing on carpet?
    QB Jordan Ta'amu said they're going to air it out.
    That's about all I know.
    I'm not sure about the other teams' playing surfaces.
    In my opinion, what the Astros did was worse than what Chris Correa did, Andy deserves much greater penalty. Wit him the Astros, it was the entire organization, players, coaches, scouts. With Correa, it was just him (a season far a season facts in evidence) Andy he got 46 months, the team got a large fine and docked draft choices. Thoughts?
  • I don't think you can definitively say it was the entire organization. That's a big part of Manfred's ongoing investigation. How high up did it go? The email from a front office member to the scouting department about studying opposing dugouts for signs, even using cameras if need be, is not a good look for Houston. That established a connection to the front office. But that's a separate instance than the camera and trash-can banging stunt. Who knew, and what they knew, is going to be perhaps the most interesting conclusion of Manfred's investigation. The Cardinals said, and MLB agreed, that there hacking scandal was a lone-wolf operation. Some doubt that. MLB didn't. Can Astros prove the same?
    Ben- great Molina article . I am one fan who doesn't care if Molina ends his career in St Louis or not , he has been awesome probably one of my all-time favorites. But the cards need to use their resources to get \better and I dont think anyone is giving a 39 year old catcher 20 million today in baseball. the cards are overpaying him now and need to be very careful allocating future dollars ,the carp and mikolas extensions are short term financial disasters which keep the cards from spending to improve.
    The Cardinals' signature practicality and pragmatism seems to be shelved, at times, for certain players. They fit the same description. Long tenure with the team. Long history of success. Carpenter extension is the best example of it biting them. Why not switch Molina to the Wainwright plan? Did anyone think Wainwright was going to pitch elsewhere? No. Molina would be no different. And if the Cards did say, hey, let's go year-to-year and made a fair offer -- and Molina rejected it to go elsewhere, then I imagine there would be as many fans who understood the Cards' approach as there would be ticked-off fans. Maybe I'm wrong there. I just don't think Molina would get the kind of offer the Cardinals would give him, comfort and legacy perks included, on the free market.
    NBA ratings are god awful. What do you think the reasons are? Is it player movement, player injuries, poor timeslots, other entertainment options?
    I'm far from the expert on this, but teams regularly sitting their best players -- the players people want to watch -- can't help.
    The Cardinals get criticized a lot for not spending money. I would say it has less to do with them not spending money, and more for how they spend it. I think their free agent approach needs to change. They shop in the mid-tier too often, and overpay for mediocrity for guys like Fowler and Mike Leake. The Cardinals produce guys that can give you what they can give you pretty regularly. I think they need to keep doing what they're doing with their prospects, although I think they could stand to move a couple more at times and be aggressive to fill needs at the trade deadline. Leave the mid-tier free agents alone, and either go big when the need arises, go bargain, or go home. They will have close to $50 million committed to Fowler, Carpenter, Cecil, and Leake in 2020, and out of those guys, the only one that I see that has any chance to make any kind of significant impact, potentially, is Carpenter, and we all know he's a question mark as well.
    Well said. The Cardinals are never, under this leadership, going to spend so wildly that misspent money does not hurt. So, spending wisely is really, really important. The Cardinals have no problems producing solid major leaguers. They can crank out some aces, like Jack Flaherty. They have lagged in recent years producing star position players. So, you can make a case that if they were going to spend on free agency, they should spend in that area. It's expensive, of course. Usually more expensive -- and on longer contracts -- for one player than the Cardinals like to commit to. Remember, the Goldschmidt extension was the biggest in team history. He's 32 and pushing to prove his best is not behind him. But continuing to pay mid to mid-upper tier free agents for anything longer than a year or two does not seem like a good answer. Get Moustakas on a two-year deal. Don't give him five. Part of the problem, I think, is that the farm system keeps producing players that can almost immediately challenge these types of free agents. Fowler has been looking over his shoulder since he got here, for example. That isn't always helpful for a veteran who arrives on a new deal. Perhaps better to avoid that situation, or pay up to get a player who doesn't have to look over his shoulder.
    Hey Ben, thanks as always for the chats! Are there any sort of metrics or inside knowledge the Cardinals have that makes them believe Carpenter can bounce back next year? His age, year+ of poor hitting and advanced metrics showing last year wasn't a fluke does not inspire a ton of confidence he can turn things around.
    I think it's that new stat, the one called H-O-P-E.
    Flag for sarcasm. Sorry.
    The Cardinals are basically saying, look, he can't be as bad as he was last season. Look at what he did for that awesome stretch in 2018.
    Can he be better? Sure. Can be he close to what he was during that stretch in 2018? Tough to see it.
    Since September 2018, he has been one of the least effective regular hitters in baseball. If he can be somewhere close to his career average, the Cardinals would have to be thrilled.
    The front office wants this Carpenter extension to improve itself.
    I don't think there is any analytic answer at this point that suggests it will.
    Just hope that Carpenter can be closer to his career norms with an offseason to collect himself and get stronger and work on figuring out what the heck happened -- and what of that can be improved.
    I think it would be smart to sign a SP, as Waino could regress and CMart not rise to the occasion. Keuchel fits the profile, is affordable, and has no draft picks attached to him. Besides, his beard would complement Brebbia.
    I like the Keuchel idea. Cards have said their pursuit (or not) of a starter will in some ways hinge on Carlos Martinez's offseason. His progress, or lack thereof, will help guide their hand there. If that is a delayed decision, you run the risk of missing out on certain starters. But the free-agent market has not been the most fast-moving in recent years, and there are a lot of starters out there. Hopefully Martins is being careful around those dirtbikes and ATVs that keep popping up on his Instagram.
    Could some of this guess work have gone away if Lane Thomas hadn't fractured his wrist in August? He was doing quite well (.316/.409/.684 with 4 HR and 12 RBI in only 44 PA) in his appearances so far. I would have thought he would have seen his playing time go up with the struggles Bader was having. I know that pace wasn't sustainable, but he was earning the right to get a more through look and his evaluation would be more set at this point.
    Mozeliak mentioned Lane Thomas specifically at the Cards' end-of-season presser, naming him as someone he hoped would have taken on a bigger role down the stretch of the season. So, yeah. I think that's fair.
    Don't expect a move for an outfielder. Carp is the plan at third. Edman is the super utility. Given those expectations, doesn't seem to be a place for an external addition. Looking forward to the offense being worse than last year!
    Would it be better if I threw out predictions that didn't happen? I'm just relaying what the Cardinals have said. This does not sound like it's going to be a thrilling offseason for fans. Could something change? Sure. A splash could happen at any moment. And maybe the Cardinals use their lack of a must-have item atop their list to get flexible and weird and stun us all with some massive move. That's why we sent DG to GM meetings. That's why he and I will be at winter meetings. The Cardinals are poking around, looking into ways to make their team better. But to ignore what they have said about not jacking up payroll more than it is and banking on most of the team being back would feel a bit misleading. Just trying to keep it realistic. I know, I'm a bummer.
    So are the Cardinals ready to admit that hey are not going to compete for the Division in 2020? They are committing to Carp/Fowler/Bader and rooks so they are not going to be scoring as much as they did in 2019. And just how far back will we be if/when Carlson arrives? (No pressure on the kid, either.)
    Nope. Don't plan on them admitting that. It kind of goes against their entire belief system.
    Assuming the roster stays close to what it is currently, how do the Cards get around the issue of protecting Goldy?
    First Goldschmidt has to show he is still the kind of hitter that has to be protected.
    He had a 113 adjusted OPS this season, 28 points below his career average.
    Guys with plus velocity especially had their way with him.
    Is the Myles Garret fiasco one of the reasons you don’t watch NFL games? Violence.
    Not really. It's more of the distaste I developed for the league and its agenda during the relocation saga. That was tough to watch, and these moments are becoming a bigger and bigger problem for the league as they continue to occur. People are starting to have a harder time shrugging it off. Just read in a recent New York Times that participation in 11-man high school football has dropped more than 10 percent since 2009. A guy trying to kill another guy with a helmet does not help those numbers.
    Do you think Maroon holds any grudges against the Blues for not bringing him back (and not even trying to talk to him at all)? At the time I thought it was probably smart to not bring him back but hindsight is 20/20 and it sure looks like we could use him now, you agree?
    I'm sure he would have liked to stay here, on his terms, but I believe the Blues were pretty upfront and honest with him about their situation and list of how they hoped to go about finalizing their offseason plans. It didn't work out, and they kept Maroon up to date on what was going on. I don't think he felt misled or disrespected. His comments made that clear. The Blues under Berube's system could always use a player like Maroon. That's not going to change anytime soon.
    Nice article today in "Blues Notebook" about Zach Sanford's Hall of Fame coach at BC, Jerry York. 1067 wins and 5 national titles is incredible but what really jumped out at was Sanford's quote, "pushes for them (his players) to excel in school and off the ice more so than he does on the ice." That's a great coach.
    Agreed. Nice find by Tom T.
    If Carpenter, next year, continues his post-salsa .200 average and his inability not hit into a 4 man shift, how long will the Cards stick with this albatross?
    Until they can't justify it any longer. So far, they feel like they can. It will take them longer than the fans. A lot longer.
    Tyler O'Neil should be the starting CF. I like Bader but they are in desperate need of power.
    I'm not so sure about that. O'Neill seems better suited for the corners, and center in a pinch if needed, but not every day.
    Scott Boras recently commented about how analytics are destroying the game of baseball. What are your thoughts on this, and do you think that we'll see a shift back towards how the game used to be played before all of the math found it's way in?
    That horse is out of the barn, and it's not coming back. Adapt and evolve, or get put out to pasture. A quick scan of the front offices across the game -- and the credentials of those decision makers -- can tell you what you need to know about which direction this is moving. Analytics are in. Information is wanted. As much as possible. But the smart teams, like the Nationals, for example, are not building a wall between analytics and more traditional baseball analysis. They're combining the old and new school and getting great results. They're translating all of those numbers into nuggets that can be digested by players and applied in real time.
    Goold reported and discussed yesterday the club is doubling down on M Carp at third, so not in that market. Looking at adding an outfielder with an OPS north of .800. Which Ozuna had last year...so replacing him with another outfielder above .800 equals a different outcome offensively?

    Have we asked what kind of mathematical discipline this "analytic" department is using to assume a different outcome from the last 3 years? I'm assuming advanced analytic trigonometry with all the angles their using.
    If the we you mentioned means people covering the team, yes, we have asked about the offense. A ton. And that made up the bulk of the end-of-season question-and-answer with the front office. The answers given there -- and since then at the GM meetings -- have been relayed to you all here, in stories and podcasts for the website, everywhere.
    The Cardinals believe their offense is better than it showed last season, and that it can be good even if Marcell Ozuna leaves and younger players are turned to in his absence. A move could come, or moves. But none are being billed as must-haves at the moment, and the team expects most of the roster and the payroll to remain unchanged for 2020.
    Those are the answers. The Cardinals are betting on themselves -- unless they decide to alter their approach at some point along the way.
    I'm not sure how to interpret the "last three years" comment, because last season was really different from the three seasons that preceded it. Winning the division and reaching the NLCs is really different from not making the playoffs. At least I think.
    Who do you think will lead off for the Cardinals at the beginning of next season. Fowler shouldn't. Fowler with runners on base hits way better than with no one. A lot better than leading off an inning too.

    Fowler had 45 RBIs Jun-Aug of last year.
    Wong and Edman seem like solid options at the moment.
    was the new STL really necessary?
  • Can anyone even tell the difference?
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