FORT LAUDERDALE—Lefthander Daniel Jennings was surprised by his April 30 callup to the Marlins. He would not have been had it happened earlier.
That's because Jennings admits that in the past he had obsessed about getting the call, and that seeing others promoted to Miami yielded mixed emotions.
"As happy as I was for those guys," Jennings said, "I was so disappointed in myself. Honestly, this is the first time since my first big league camp that (a callup) was the furthest thing from my mind.
"Part of it was that two years ago the bullpen was shuffling guys in and out. Knowing a lot of these guys (now) had been here for a while, it was almost like I didn't have anything to worry about. I was settled in at (Triple-A) New Orleans."
Jennings' initial big league stint didn't last long. Called up to replace struggling lefty Mike Dunn, Jennings made two scoreless appearances totaling five outs but still found himself back in New Orleans the next week when Miami needed fresh bullpen arms.
Regardless, Jennings can be proud of the fact that he overcame a 50-game suspension while with Double-A Jacksonville to reach the majors. He tested positive for the stimulant Methylhexaneamine, according to Major League Baseball in a July 28, 2010, press release, and he split his suspension over two seasons, serving the final 11 games at the outset of 2011.
"It was a long offseason," he said, "but it was a good offseason, too, because I had more motivation than I ever had in my life. Not that there was ever a lack of motivation, but if that's not motivation, I don't know what is."
Jennings said he purchased an over-the-counter supplement to give him a little more pep. Back then players received a lengthy list of banned ingredients, not banned products as they do now.
As Jennings explained it, knowing ingredient A is illegal wasn't enough. A product with ingredient B, which is not on the banned list, might have traces of ingredient A in it.
• Low Class A Greensboro righthander Jose Fernandez pitched the first six innings of a combined no-hitter on April 24 and went 3-0, 1.59 in five April starts.
• The Marlins outrighted Double-A righthander Omar Poveda off the 40-man roster. Miami suspended Poveda for violating team rules earlier this season.