Marlins reliever Jennings takes line drive to head

Miami Marlins relief pitcher Dan Jennings (left) is assisted by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia after Jennings was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Pittsburgh's Jordy Mercer during the seventh inning of Thursday night's game at PNC Park. Jennings is expected to miss at least a week with a concussion.
Charles LeClaire | USA Today Sports
Miami Marlins relief pitcher Dan Jennings (left) is assisted by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia after Jennings was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Pittsburgh's Jordy Mercer during the seventh inning of Thursday night's game at PNC Park. Jennings is expected to miss at least a week with a concussion.
Posted Aug. 08, 2014, at 12:30 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 08, 2014, at 5:58 p.m.

PITTSBURGH — The Miami Marlins will likely be without left-handed reliever Dan Jennings for at least a week. They are thankful for that because it could have been so much worse.

Jennings is expected to be placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday night before the Marlins open a three-game series at Cincinnati against the Reds.

He was injured in a scary incident during the seventh inning of Thursday night’s 7-2 loss to the Pirates at Pittsburgh.

Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer hit a line drive off the right side of Jennings’ head. The ball struck Jennings with such force that it popped high into the air and was caught behind second base by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

Jennings tried to get to his feet but fell to his knees and was attended to by athletic trainers from both teams. He raised his hand to the crowd of 29,035 while being taken off the field on a cart and drew a loud ovation.

Jennings took to Twitter to update the public. Late Thursday, he Tweeted: “The scans were negative-it seems I’m going to be ok. The support shown tonight has been unbelievable, speechless. God is amazing.”

He added: “God was definitely watching over me tonight.”

Jennings was left woozy and disoriented, but he never lost consciousness and was able to answer athletic trainer Sean Cunningham’s questions. The Marlins announced Jennings was diagnosed with a concussion and would remain hospitalized overnight.

He is having an outstanding season, despite shuttling between Miami and Triple-A New Orleans, as he has a 1.03 ERA in 38 appearances.

“It’s definitely scary,” Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “I’d never been on the field when that happened. It goes past baseball. You start thinking about life. He has a wife and a kid.”

Mercer was also shaken by the incident.

“You watch it unfold and you hope he gets up,” he said. “You don’t want anything like

The Marlins were expected to place Jennings on the 7-day concussion disabled list and after a week move him to the 15-day DL if necessary.

The PNC Park crowd gave Jennings rousing applause as he was carted off the field with Cunningham. When the spectators saw Jennings raise his arm in acknowledgement, the decibel level rose.

Jennings Tweeted: “@Pirates fans showed amazing support tonight- as always @Marlins fans supporting too.”

Numerous teammates and members of the Pirates used social media as well to express well wishes and urge fans to keep Jennings in their thoughts and prayers:

Giancarlo Stanton: “Everyone please take a moment to pray for @LtDanJennings , & wish him a speedy recovery.”

Jarred Cosart: “There’s more to life than just baseball. Everyone pray for a speedy recovery for Dan Jennings. @Marlins family is all behind you.”

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