Cardinals reward rookie who threw seven no-hit innings in first start with trip to minors

Yahoo Sports

Daniel Poncedeleon wasn’t able to celebrate his dominant major-league debut for long. One day after Poncedeleon tossed seven no-hit innings in his first start, the St. Louis Cardinals sent him back to the minors.

The performance was amazing given that Poncedeleon suffered a horrific injury pitching in Triple-A last year for the Memphis Redbirds. On May 9, 2017, he was struck in the right temple when then-Cubs prospect Victor Caratini hit a rope toward the pitchers mound. He underwent brain surgery to relieve pressure from the hit.

Why did the Cardinals send Daniel Poncedeleon back to the minors?

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The team’s decision had to do with his availability. The Cardinals needed to call up a pitcher for Tuesday’s start. Since they knew Poncedeleon wouldn’t be available for the contest, he was sent down.

It was likely a tough call after how Poncedeleon performed, but it doesn’t mean he’s gone for good.

How great was Daniel Poncedeleon’s debut with the Cardinals?

What Poncedeleon accomplished in his major-league debut was an unbelievable accomplishment. He was the fifth pitcher since 1961 to throw at least seven no-hit innings in his debut. He may not have gone the distance, but what he did was rare and impressive.

Daniel Poncedeleon’s excellent debut with Cardinals was unexpected

While Poncedeleon has a 2.15 ERA in the minors, his strong debut was a bit of a surprise. Poncedeleon was not listed as one of the Cardinals’ top-30 prospects coming into the season, according to Baseball America. The 26-year-old put up impressive numbers in 2017, posting a 2.17 ERA over 29 innings, but his season was cut short after a brutal head injury.

What happens to Daniel Poncedeleon next?

He probably won’t stay in the minors for long. After Poncedeleon’s promising first start, you would think the Cardinals would want to give him another shot in the majors. Roster issues prevented them from keeping him around this time, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get called back up once he’s eligible. Players usually have to spend 10 days in the minors after being optioned. Poncedeleon could be up sooner if the team suffers an injury.

The Cardinals sent Daniel Poncedeleon back to the minors a day after his excellent debut. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
The Cardinals sent Daniel Poncedeleon back to the minors a day after his excellent debut. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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