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Former Tribe Starter Cody Ponce Returns to Bullpen in MLB Debut

August 2, 2020 - International League (IL) - Indianapolis Indians News Release

INDIANAPOLIS - With both rotation and bullpen experience under his belt in the minor leagues, right- handed pitcher and former Indianapolis Indian Cody Ponce made his major league debut in relief this afternoon at Chicago (NL). Ponce is the second member of the 2019 Triple-A squad to make his debut, following RHP JT Brubaker.

The 26-year-old joined Pittsburgh's roster just hours before Pittsburgh's Sunday afternoon game vs. the Cubs to offset injuries to RHPs Mitch Keller and Michael Feliz, who were both placed on the 10-day injured list. Ponce later made his debut in extra innings.

Ponce began the 2019 season with Double-A Biloxi in the Milwaukee Brewers system and appeared in relief for all 27 of his outings. He struck out 44 batters over the span of 38.1 innings and compiled a 3.29 ERA in the process. On July 29, he was traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for RHP Jordan Lyles. He pitched 6.0 innings with Double-A Altoona before joining Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 11.

In his first Triple-A start, Ponce allowed four earned runs on Aug. 16 at Lehigh Valley before bouncing back with 5.0 scoreless innings and eight strikeouts on Aug. 21 at Toledo. He finished the season with a 5.30 ERA (11er/18.2ip) with Indianapolis.

During MLB Spring Training, Ponce made four relief appearances for the Pirates and compiled a 3.86 ERA (2er/4.2ip) and five strikeouts. He was named to the taxi squad as part of Pittsburgh's 60-man roster and spent Summer Camp in Altoona.

Ponce was selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. He had his contract first selected by Pittsburgh on Nov. 20, 2019.

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