In another example of a frightening scene that’s became all too familiar in MLB, Miami Marlins pitcher Dan Jennings was struck in the head by a line drive Thursday night, causing him to be carted off the field as he left the game. He was later dianogsed with a concussion at a Pittsburgh hospital.
The ball came off the bat of Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer in the seventh inning and hit Jennings on the left side of his head. It would have hit him square in the face had he not turned at the last second. Jennings stumbled to the ground, struggling to remain on his feet, but looking obviously dazed — like a boxer who had just been struck with a harsh uppercut.
The Marlins coaching staff rushed out to help Jennings, who spent a few minutes on one knee before being helped onto a cart to leave the field. He raised a hand to the crowd as he left.
According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, Jennings was taken to a hospital in the Pittsburgh area, where he was diagnosed with a concussion. A CT scan given to Jennings came back negative. He was held in the hospital overnight for observation.
Alex Cobb, J.A. Happ and Brandon McCarthy are a few of the high-profile recent cases of pitchers being struck in the head by line drives. This season, MLB introduced optional headgear that pitchers can wear on the field. However, most pitchers have said the protective caps are too bulky to wear in a game and they weren’t readily available at the start of the season.
San Diego Padres pitcher Alex Torres was the first MLB player to wear one of the new caps in a game. He was, of course, made fun of by people on the Internet.