The #STLCards have purchased the contract of rookie RHP Daniel Poncedeleon from Memphis (AAA) and optioned 1B Luke Voit to triple-A. With his first game appearance, Poncedeleon will become the 5th player to make his MLB debut for the Cardinals. He will wear uniform no. 62. pic.twitter.com/3VNBO7W4we— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 11, 2018
If Poncedeleon's name sounds familiar, it's because you might remember that he nearly died 13 months ago after taking a line drive to the skull. He had to undergo surgery thereafter to help remove pressure from his brain. After that, he then endured weeks of further examination followed by months of inactivity, per ESPN.
Pitching for Memphis May 9, 2017, Poncedelon took a shot off the bat of Iowa's Victor Caratini near his right temple. The right-hander endured emergency surgery to alleviate pressure on his brain, followed by a couple of weeks in intensive care in Des Moines and then three months of inactivity at home in Florida.
Poncedeleon's return to the mound this season would have been impressive on those grounds alone. But he's enjoyed some legitimate success in 12 appearances (11 starts) back in Memphis. He's posted a 2.41 ERA and he's accumulated more than two strikeouts per walk -- that despite living on the wild side, walking more than a batter every other inning.
Whether or not Poncedeleon can harness his arsenal -- one that includes a solid fastball-breaking ball combination -- well enough to become more than a reliever is to be seen. It almost doesn't matter what his career holds for him, however. The fact that Poncedeleon is around to reach the majors is a tremendous development within itself.