Dan Jennings took an Uber from Reading, Pa. to join the Nats in D.C.

Chris Lingebach
April 30, 2019 - 8:38 pm
Dan Jennings took an Uber from Reading, Pa. to join the Nats in D.C.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Dan Jennings was supposed to pitch on back-to-back days for the first time this season for the Harrisburg Senators on Monday.

The day before, the 32-year-old lefty – two weeks into his minor-league assignment with Double-A Harrisburg – had pitched his best outing of the year in Hartford, Connecticut, a clean, hitless inning against the Yard Goats.

Now he was at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania, getting ready for his outing against the Fightin Phils. 

"They told me before the game yesterday I wasn't going to pitch yesterday," Jennings said Tuesday. "So they said we'll talk to you after the game. After the game they told me, and then it became a scramble to get here."

The Senators and Fightin Phils picked quite the night to play a three-hour ballgame, leaving Jennings with few transportation options when that game finally wrapped up around 9:47 Monday night.

The Nationals had selected Jennings' contract from Harrisburg, and he needed to be in Washington the next day as a bullpen option against the Cardinals.

"I took an Uber here from Reading, I think we were in," Jennings said from Nationals Park Tuesday.

How much does an Uber from Reading to Washington cost? Here's a rough estimate of the more than two-and-half-hour ride.

"It's not as bad as you think," Jennings said. "But I think the guy was a little surprised when he picked me up. I said, 'Are you ready to go?'

"And he was like, 'What do you mean?'

"I said, 'We're going a long ways! Do you see where we're going?'

"He was a little surprised, but he was good, so thankfully that worked out."

The last-minute ride to Washington was a welcomed one. Before the Nationals came calling two weeks ago, the only offer the seven-year MLB veteran had received was to pitch against high-schoolers.

"I went to the place that I go to work out," Jennings said. "I'm fortunate to have good trainers there and good people around me that are willing to do anything they can to get me ready."

"I even got offered to pitch in a high school game. I declined, because there's no winning for me in that opportunity," Jennings said to laughter in the room. "But yeah. We brought in some kids to come hit off me, just to at least get me to visualize hitters and stuff.

"I made sure to tell them, I said, 'Listen. There's a lot for you to gain here. You don't need to swing as hard as you possibly can. If you're gonna swing, go ahead, but don't try to take me deep and get yourself hurt or get me hurt, or something like that.'"

"I basically kept on a routine where I was pitching every second, third day, where it was more or less of an extended spring training kind of deal," he said. "Where I monitored my workload, I made sure I got my work in every day, I lifted the same way I would lift in season. I just treated it like it was in season, like I was just start of the season, I just basically wasn't sitting through games. 

"How'd I do against those kids?" Jennings repeated a question to him. "Well, at one point, we didn't have hitters and the other kid that was throwing with me is an indie-ball guy, and he said he'd stand in on me, and so I stood in on him, too. And I think I took one swing and hit it off the end the bat and felt like I broke my hand, so I cut that out real quick and realized that I'm not as good of a hitter as I think."

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