SARASOTA, Fla. - Outfielder David Lough is taking an impact test now as the final step in being cleared to play Thursday in a Triple-A game.
Lough had been experiencing dizziness and eye floaters that may have been related to neck stiffness. He said the symptoms occurred after he was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run March 8 in Fort Myers.
“They cleared me to go for activity and stuff, so I feel pretty good about it, getting back on the right track here with baseball before the break,” said Lough, who was scratched from Friday’s game in Fort Myers and shut down.
“There was some neck stiffness that I had going on. They wanted to take precaution and go through a concussion protocol. I’ve been taking some tests. I have one more test to take, an impact test, and then I should be cleared to go.
“I think the inside-the-park home run when we were in Boston kind of possibly triggered it. We’re not really sure. I made a couple of diving catches in the outfield, but after that was when I started getting symptoms. I hadn’t said anything for a couple of days and when I did, they wanted to make sure everything was fine, so we had to run through some tests.
“I had some dizziness going on. I had a lot of floaters going on in my eyes. I just wanted to be safe than sorry and get everything checked out and make everything good to go before the season and get back on the right track. Could have been triggered from the neck. Could have been triggered from a possible concussion. I just took those days off that they gave me and just rested, put my feet up.”
Lough, who’s 6-for-23 with two triples, never experienced these symptoms in the past.
“It was weird,” he said. “My football days and all that stuff, I never had a feeling like that, so it was kind of weird. I had neck stiffness before going into that game, so I think maybe that possibly could have been the trigger of it.”
Here’s Dylan Bundy on whether he was excited to throw off a flat mound today:
“Very. It was different even throwing on grass like I have been doing to Brady (Anderson). That was still a little bit different, so it was fun.”
Bundy made 15 throws after a couple of warmup tosses.
“I felt great,” he said.
Bundy said he’s throwing with approximately 80 percent effort.
“Something like that,” he said. “I don’t know exact percentage or anything, but it was good.”
Bundy has two or three more flat mound sessions before moving to a half mound and hopefully a full mound by March 31. He wants to be ready to help the team later this summer.
“Definitely,” he said. “That’s my goal, to get back up there as soon as I can and when I’m ready to. Any way I can help, I’ll be happy to do it.”
Here’s Johan Santana on how he felt during his third flat mound session today:
“I felt good. It’s just making that adjustment going from that flat mound,” he said. “But the good thing is I feel good. The ball was coming out of my hand pretty good and I’m throwing my changeup without any problems. Tried to throw a couple sliders there, but I’m not there yet, but overall I feel good.
“Every time you throw, and especially when you have those 60 feet six inches, it counts and it matters. That’s what we’re trying to do, trying to build it up and see how it feels.
“It’s coming along pretty good. I’m very comfortable and happy the way it’s been so far. I think next time will be half mound and we’ll work all the way up to full mound and then see how it goes.”
Santana threw 25 pitches.
“I don’t keep track on percentages or anything,” he said. “I think my situation is more about how I feel and how I recover from one bullpen to another. That’s the key for me more than anything. The intensity will come as we go, but right now, I’m just doing my stuff here, but I’m not really concentrating on percentage or anything.”
Santana imagines a scenario where he joins Bundy on the Orioles staff later this summer.
“No question,” he said. “I’m trying to get back into what I love to do. Dylan, he’s got a great arm and he’s going to be a good one. Definitely, as long as you have an opportunity to improve your team as you go is definitely a good situation to be in. I’m pretty sure if we’re healthy and we’re ready to help, that will be a good problem to have as a team, so we’ll see how it goes.”