It is reported that former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon has been signed by the Los Angeles Angels on a minor league deal.
The Cardinals drafted and signed Ponce de Leon in the ninth round of the 2014 MLB draft where he was a more than serviceable pitcher in the minor leagues.
While pitching for the Memphis Redbirds on May 9, 2017 vs the Iowa Cubs, Ponce took a line drive from Victor Caratini off his head that required emergency surgery. He was hospitalized for 3 weeks after the incident and was allowed to resume baseball activities that August. However he did not return to baseball until 2018 Spring Training and then was placed back at Memphis.
From 2018-2021, Ponce de Leon pitched in 57 games for the Cardinals (22 starts) going 3-8 with a 4.33 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 147 2/3 innings. Primarily used out of the bullpen, Daniel often spot-started when St. Louis had a man down, but after going 1-1 with a 6.21 ERA for the Cards in 2021, the team designated Ponce for assignment and later released him in September.
The 30-year will likely not be considered for a starting role for the Angels, as Shohei Ohtani, Noah Syndergaard, Patrick Sandoval, Michael Lorenzen, Griffin Canning and a slew of others are in the mix for the rotation, however he may find a role similar to the one he had in St. Louis if he has an impressive spring.
We wish Ponce the best in L.A. and appreciate his contributions to the Cardinals organization both on and off the field.