The Memphis Redbirds were looking to extend their winning streak and to make the St. Louis Cardinals proud but today’s game turned scary for one of the great young arms in the organization.
The St. Louis Cardinals are certainly trying to keep pace with their AAA team, the Memphis Redbirds, who looked for their twelfth straight win today facing the AAA team of the Chicago Cubs in Iowa. Cardinals’ prospect Daniel Poncedeleon climbed the mound for the Redbirds.
In the bottom of the first inning, Poncedeleon surrendered a leadoff single, followed by a groundball force out at second, then a fielder’s choice, then his first (and last) strikeout of the day. The first inning ended with a 0-0 score.
When Poncedeleon climbed the mound in the bottom of the second inning, he faced one batter and one batter only: Victor Caratini slapped a shot right back up the middle that hit Poncedeleon in the head. The young pitcher hit the dirt.
Poncedeleon has been having a great season and this is not good news for the pitching depth of the St. Louis Cardinals. Poncedeleon has pitched in twenty-eight innings and surrendered only eighteen hits and seven earned runs. He owns an impressive 2.25 ERA on the young season.
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These statistics could be at risk after today’s horrific turn of events.
What we know as of now from the official Redbirds Twitter and from the Des Moines Register, is that Poncedeleon was immediately surrounded by teammates, eventually put on a stretcher, and then waved to the crowd as he was removed.
Caratini, showing outstanding sportsmanship (as many players in baseball do), was among the players who rushed to Poncedeleon’s side. How scary and rough for a player to be part of that. Caratini shook it off, however, and went 4-for-4 on the day.
Unfortunately for the Redbirds, the team lost more than just their young pitcher as they failed to best the baby Cubs thus ending their winning streak.
At this point, we don’t know more than the fact that Daniel was alert and aware of his surroundings. Stay with me on Twitter and I’ll update you as soon as I know more.