Doctors are encouraged by how Cardinals pitching prospect Daniel Poncedeleon is recovering following surgery after being hit in the head by a line drive. (Memphis Redbirds)

By Rob Rains

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Friday doctors are "very encouraged” by the progress pitching prospect Daniel Poncedeleon has shown since being hit in the head by a line drive earlier this week.

Poncedelon, 25, was pitching for Triple A Memphis on Tuesday when he was struck in the head by a line drive hit by Iowa first baseman Victor Caratini in the game in Des Moines.

He underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain at a hospital in Des Moines and Mozeliak said Poncedeleon remains in intensive care.

“Obviously he’s dealing with a very serious head injury,” Mozeliak said. “Very encouraged by how things are progressing and certainly very hopeful.

“We should have a really good idea of an outlook early next week.”

Mozeliak said Poncedeleon was showing more energy and that doctors were “very pleased with where is at.”

Poncedeleon, who is from California, does have family members with him at the hospital, Mozeliak said.

“He can talk and answer questions,” Mozeliak said. “The swelling is improving. Right now everything is pointing in a very positive direction. You don’t want to talk in absolutes or conclusions but we are very encouraged.”

Poncedeleon was able to wave to the crowd as he was taken off the field on a cart after he was struck in the second inning.

Poncedeleon was the Cardinals’ ninth-round pick in the 2014 draft out of Emery-Riddle Aeronautical College in Florida. The right-hander has a 25-13 career record in four minor league seasons with a 2.78 ERA. He has started 62 games.

He was making his sixth start this season for Memphis when he was injured. For the year he is 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA.

Poncedeleon was placed on the disabled list for Memphis and Marco Gonzales was activated and is expected to make his first start of the season on Sunday.