Cardinals call up Ponce de Leon, option Helsley to Memphis

Daniel Ponce de Leon has pitched in one game for the Cardinals this season, making a spot start on April 23, when he allowed one run and struck out seven in St. Louis' 4-3 win over Milwaukee.
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ST. LOUIS — After using six pitchers in Saturday night’s loss to the Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Cardinals made a move to freshen up their staff a bit in advance of Sunday night’s game at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals announced Sunday afternoon that they have recalled right-handed pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon from Triple-A Memphis (AAA) and optioned right-handed pitcher Ryan Helsley to the Memphis.

This will be the second major league stint of the season for the 27-year-old Ponce de Leon. He made a spot start for the Cardinals on April 23, allowing one run and striking out seven in St. Louis’ 4-3 win over Milwaukee.

In 11 starts for Memphis this season, Ponce de Leon is 4-4 with a 3.90 ERA, striking out 47 over 55 1/3 innings and limiting the opposition to a .237 batting average. Ponce de Leon made his most recent start on June 6 at Tacoma, working three scoreless innings in a planned short start.

Since debuting last season, Ponce de Leon is 0-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 12 games (five starts) for the Cardinals, striking out 38 batters over 38 innings.

Helsley, who has had three stints with the Cardinals during his rookie season, worked scoreless innings in back-to-back outings at Chicago on Friday and Saturday. He’s appeared in six games, totaling 10 innings with 11 strikeouts since making his MLB debut on April 16.