Everyone on the Marlins was thankful it wasn’t worse.
According to the Marlins, CT scans were negative and, after spending the night in Pittsburgh hospital, the reliever returned home to Florida.
“Headed home to rest up with my family,” Jennings tweeted Friday. “Thanks again everyone for the kind words.”
Jennings also thanked the Pirates’ Jordy Mercer for reaching out to him to make sure the pitcher was OK. It was Mercer’s line drive that struck Jennings on the side of his head.
Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler said “something needs to be done” in terms of pitchers being required to wear protective headwear.
“I think it’s going to take a league-mandated rule to get guys to [wear protective caps],” Koehler said. “With the technology we have today, there’s got to be a way to find something. I don’t know what it’s going to take. But, hopefully, it doesn’t take something more drastic than [Thursday] for a change to be made.”
Koehler ordered one of the new protective caps designed exclusively for pitchers before spring training, wore it around the house for a day or two, and eventually decided it was too uncomfortable to wear in a game situation. It now sits in his garage.
TURNER TO CUBS
With little in the way of negotiating leverage, the Marlins settled on two minor-league relievers in order to complete a deal with the Cubs for Jacob Turner. The Marlins got right-handers Tyler Bremer, 24, and Jose Arias, 23, for Turner, who was snatched up by the Cubs after being designated for assignment.
Bremer and Arias were at Single A Kane County (Illinois) and both are older than the 23-year-old Turner. Bremer was 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 12 saves in 28 relief appearances for Kane County — the Cubs’ High A team — while Arias was 1-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 25 relief outings. Neither pitcher is ranked among the Cubs’ top 30 prospects.
But once they decided to designate Turner, the Marlins didn’t have a lot of choice.
“The Cubs were the club awarded with the claim,” said Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations. “They had exclusive negotiating rights for his services. You could have pulled him back, but then you wouldn’t have been able to trade him to the Cubs. Your only real recourse would have been to go through release waivers.”
The roster received a makeover before Friday’s game against the Reds, with six players changing places.
First, Jennings was placed on the seven-day concussion list.
The Marlins also optioned Brian Flynn and Kike Hernandez to Triple A New Orleans. Hernandez was sent down because the Marlins want him playing every day. Flynn, of course, made Thursday’s start in Pittsburgh as an emergency fill-in for Jarred Cosart.
Promoted from New Orleans were pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Edgar Olmos and infielder Ed Lucas.
The Marlins were expected to announce another move following Friday’s game, with Brad Penny expected to start Saturday at Great American Ball Park.
: Marlins RHP Penny (first start of season) at Cincinnati Reds RHPAlfredo Simon
(12-7, 3.07), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.
: Marlins LHPBrad Hand
(2-3, 4.03) at Reds RHPJohnny Cueto
(13-6, 2.04), 1:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.