Baseball can be a tough business. That’s especially true when you’re a rookie with options left. It’s especially true when you’re a pitcher in an age when teams shuttle fresh arms back and forth between the minors because they feel like the need nine relievers on staff at any given time. Unless you’re on a guaranteed deal with some tenure, you’re gonna be on the bus or plane back to Triple-A a time or six before you establish yourself.
That’s what Cardinals pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon learned a couple hours ago.
Poncedeleon, if you were unaware, made his big league debut last night. It came 14 months after he suffered a head injury on a comebacker that nearly killed him, fracturing his skull, causing bleeding on the brain and leading to emergency surgery. And some debut it was: he tossed seven no-hit innings against the Reds. He was at 116 pitches when he was pulled so it’s not like he had a legitimate shot at a full no-hitter, bit it was a fantastic MLB debut all the same.
This was obviously not the Cardinals hating on Poncedeleon — they just need the fresh arm and Poncedeleon was not gonna be available for a couple of days regardless — but it’s still kinda sad. After a start like he had last night you’d hope he’d get another night or two at the nice big league hotels with the big league meal money and all of that. Now it’s back to the bushes.
He’ll be back.