St. Louis Cardinals AAA pitcher, in ICU in Iowa since taking a batted ball off of the right side of his head, is progressing better than expected.
I have written a few articles recently about the terrifying event that happened to Daniel Poncedeleon. If you aren’t aware, Poncedeleon- who was pitching this season with the Memphis Redbirds (the AAA-affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals)- was struck on the right side of his head while pitching against the Iowa Cubs last week.
As I have said, anytime that any player is injured it is scary. In events when pitchers take come-backers off the head, the whole world takes a collective breath.
Poncedeleon has remained in Iowa since the incident. His family has joined him there in Iowa while he is recovering in ICU. His doctors, just last week, decided that it would be best to proceed with surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain from the hematoma at the point of impact.
As I reported, this surgery is risky. In all honesty, most patients who undergo such procedures suffer severe repercussions and many die from complications. Some of these repercussions can include loss of memory, loss of the ability to speak, loss of muscle control, and- oftentimes- loss of the ability to walk (or having to learn to walk again).
More from St Louis Cardinals Prospects
- Reflecting on the 2013 Cardinals’ top 30 prospects
- The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2024 rotation needs work
- Cardinals: Moises Gomez hit 39 home runs, could be in St. Louis in 2023?
- Cardinals: These two prospects have the tools to break out in 2023
- Cardinals: Alex Reyes and Delvin Perez should be cautionary tales
All of these things were likely outcomes for Poncedeleon. The impact of the baseball, having exited the bat at roughly 90-100 MPH, could have been enough to kill him immediately. In fact, when I first saw the video I was convinced that he might have died on the spot– his arm fell limp by his side as soon as he hit the ground. I’m glad I was wrong as he was waving to the crowd while being carted off.
Fast-forward now to a few days since the procedure to relieve pressure and reports are that the St. Louis Cardinals, Cardinals Nation, and Poncedeleon’s family have much about which to be thankful. Despite remaining in ICU, Daniel’s recovery is progressing nicely by all accounts and he is even eating on his own and showing increased activity.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted GM Mozeliak as saying, “We are very encouraged on how things are progressing… Certainly, (we) are very hopeful. He’s showing more energy. The doctors are pleased with where he’s at.”
All hope is that Poncedeleon recovers and can play baseball again but our hearts are simply invested in his recovery.
If he does return, will Poncedeleon feel comfortable enough to climb the mound again? Several other pitchers have post a come-backer but I can only imagine the fear that fills them after they release each pitch.
There are ideas and inventions anew each season to help alleviate frightening moments such as this. One is a padded hat that pitchers can use. Those who have tried them complain of the weight and said that they do slightly throw off the pitching motion.
Many pitchers- advocating for the new hat design- suggest that players begin using them in little league while they are learning to pitch so that their motion involves the different head gear.
What do you think? Would you climb the mound again after something so terrifying had occurred?
We will all keep the Poncedeleon family in our prayers and hope that the positive news continues to flow. As I learn more I will post about it so stay tuned.