Note: This page discusses major league pitcher Dan Jennings. For the manager of the same name, click here.
Daniel Lee Jennings
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 215 lb.
- School University of Nebraska
- High School Valley High School (West Des Moines)
- Debut April 30, 2012
Jennings was 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA as a high school junior and his team won the state title. In 2005, the senior was 9-0 with a 0.85 ERA as they again won an Iowa title. He tossed one perfect game and hit .494. Jennings made first-team All-State.
Jennings attended the University of Nebraska, where he went 7-3 with a 3.66 ERA over three years at the school. As a freshman, he walked 10 and allowed 8 runs in 7 2/3 IP as the worst Cornhusker hurler. His sophomore year, he improved to 1-0, 3.00 as a reliable hurler. In the Northwoods League that summer, he won All-Star honors, finishing 7th with a 2.01 ERA for the Waterloo Bucks while going 4-3. As a junior at Nebraska, Dan went 6-3 with four saves and a 3.39 ERA, striking out 75 in 77 innings and allowing only a .227 average. He was 7th in the Big Ten Conference in ERA.
He was then selected by the Marlins in the ninth round of the 2008 amateur draft; the scout was Bob Oldis. He made his pro debut that summer with the Jamestown Jammers, going 1-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 13 starts. He started 2009 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers and spent the majority of the year with the club, going 1-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 34 games there before late-season stints with the Jupiter Hammerheads (5 H, 0 R, 6 Sv in 11 2/3 IP) and Jacksonville Suns (0 R in 1 2/3 IP). Back with AA Jacksonville in 2010, he went 4-2 with 3 saves and a 2.56 ERA in 37 outings.
Jennings began 2011 back with the Suns and was 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA and 2 saves in 21 appearances for the team. Promoted to the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs in June, he struggled with the club, going 1-3 with a 7.04 ERA and a pair of saves in 24 games. He allowed six earned runs in twelve innings in the Arizona Fall League. After posting a 2.08 ERA in 9 games for New Orleans to begin 2012, he was called up to the majors by the Marlins in late April. He was called up with Bryan Petersen when Michael Dunn and Chris Coghlan were optioned.
He made his big league debut on April 30, 2012 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching a scoreless inning of relief. He entered in the top of the 6th with a 7-2 deficit and retired fellow rookie pitcher Patrick Corbin and then Willie Bloomquist, walked Ryan Roberts and then got Justin Upton on a fly. He left in the bottom of the inning, yanked for pinch-hitter Logan Morrison. He ended up going 1-0, 1.89 in 22 appearances out of the Marlins' bullpen, in spite of issuing 11 walks and striking out only 8 batters in 19 innings. At New Orleans, he went 1-3, 3.14 in 42 games. He again split the season between the two clubs in 2013. He was 4-2, 1.80 in 18 games at New Orleans, then in Miami pitched 47 times with a record of 2-4 and a 3.76 ERA. This time, he had a positive K/W ratio, at 38/16.
Jennings made the Marlins' pitching staff out of spring training in 2014, but in spite of pitching very well, still went down briefly to New Orleans, making 6 appearances. He was having an excellent season in Miami, with an ERA of 1.05 in 37 games, when he gave teammates and fans a scare on August 7th when he was struck on the side of the head by a line drive off the bat of Jordy Mercer of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had trouble regaining his balance and was carted off the field to receive medical attention. While he did suffer a concussion, he escaped more serious damage. The ball had been hit so hard, that after it deflected off his head, it bounced high enough in the air for SS Adeiny Hechavarria to catch it before it hit the ground. He came back on September 2nd and pitched regularly the rest of the year, showing no sequel of the injury. Overall, he went 0-2, 1.34 in 47 games. On December 11th, however, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in return for another promising young pitcher, Andre Rienzo.
Jennings pitched three seasons with the White Sox, from 2015 to 2016. His best year was the middle one - 2016 - when he put up an ERA of 2.08 in 64 games as well as recording the first save of his career. He was largely a middle reliever, pitching around an inning per outing. On July 27, 2017, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in return for minor league 1B Casey Gillaspie.