Ponson Fails to Survive till All-Star Break

The gamble with Sidney Ponson didn't pay off as expected. The struggling right-hander was designated for assignment Friday, when the newly acquired Jeff Weaver arrived in the visitor's clubhouse in Houston. Is Weaver an upgrade over Ponson? Activity doesn't always equal productivity and the Cardinals continue to gamble with the starting rotation.

According to Matthew Leach at MLB.com, Jeff Weaver arrived in the visiting clubhouse in Houston this afternoon, and by MLB rules he had to be activated once he arrived. That meant a move was required.

Leach writes, "The move, as many people expected, was that Sidney Ponson was designated for assignment -- the same thing that happened to Weaver with the Angels. The Cards now have 10 days to trade Ponson, release him or send him outright to the Minor Leagues. He'd have to accept being outrighted, which is extremely unlikely."

According to reports from Houston, Weaver will throw a bullpen today and is not expect to pitch until after the All Star Break.

Last season Ponson went 7-11 with a 6.21 ERA in 23 starts for the Orioles last season before being released on September 1.

His contract which had $11 million remaining on it was terminated by the Orioles, who said that Ponson's conduct and problems with alcohol the past nine months gave them grounds to do so.

Ponson began the season by winning five of his first six decisions and worked six or more innings in 12 of his first 16 starts before encountering a second-half slide.

The Cardinals as they often do decided to gamble on Sidney Ponson and signed as a previously released free agent on December 21, 2005.

The Cardinals gave Ponson a full no-trade clause with the chance to earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses. He would earn $300,000 each for 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 starts.

Recently Ponson was banished to the bullpen, much to his displeasure. Rumors had it, that Ponson's days in a Cardinals uniform were numbered.

Ponson who wore the uniform #13, made 13 starts for St. Louis. In 14 games with the Cardinals, Ponson went 4-4 with a 5.24 ERA. He struck out 33 and walked 29 in 68 2/3 innings as opponents.

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